I don't think it is sleepless because it is much used for sleepless nights not for people, but I found an incident in Coca where it was used to describe a man. Anyway, if you have a sleepless night it means, I think, that you want to sleep but you cannot because you have a medical condition whatever level it is, but not because you have a lot of work you want to finish.

If there isn't any, then I would like to know if there is a word that describe someone who does not sleep a lot at night because that's his nature or they love night life.

It is an old house, painted white and well kept, standing behind a low stone wall tufted with moss, and it dates back to 1790. There are many rooms for a sleepless man to walk through. I knew that if I were a better person, I would have stayed up with him, the way I used to do each year. But I was tired, and longed for sleep the way I used to long for the press of our two bodies. And besides, I didn't want to go through this yet again. The wife : a novel by Wolitzer, Meg.

Note: if you think the title of the post is not quite right fix it please.

  • 2
    A related idiom: burn the midnight oil, which NOAD defines as read, study, or work late into the night. It describes the action, though, not the person. Borrowing from Damkerng's answer, one could say: "Don is a real night owl; he burns the midnight oil almost every night."
    – J.R.
    Commented Jan 1, 2014 at 11:23

5 Answers 5


I think you can use a night owl, or a night-person.

I think a sleepless man is fine. Another similar word is an insomniac (a person who suffers from insomnia), but I believe that you know it already.

Actually, what you describe sounds pretty much like me myself. :)

Sometimes, people called me a vampire, a batman, or a dark knight, which is not quite to my taste. In casual chatting, I personally prefer a night dweller or a man of the night more.

Here is an excerpt from Wikipedia's page Night owl:

A night owl or evening person is a person who tends to stay up until late at night. The opposite of a night owl is an early bird, a lark as opposed to owl, someone who tends to begin sleeping at a time that is considered early and also wakes early.

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    I think this is a good question to start doing [a little/adj.] research with Coca esp. to check the connotation of the proposed answers. I know I can use learner's dictionaries, but sometimes they do not give you much. I've just been watching some Youtube videos about Coca.
    – learner
    Commented Jan 1, 2014 at 7:07
  • @learner I guess you mean COCA (the corpus), maybe? Commented Jan 1, 2014 at 7:10
  • COCA is great. It's helped me to sort out some of my English usages, though sometimes I wish that they could provide more powerful searching. :) Commented Jan 1, 2014 at 7:17
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    I will +1 this for night owl. I'm not quite so fond of the other two suggestions, although if the question was about someone who gets up early, morning person would be my first choice.
    – J.R.
    Commented Jan 1, 2014 at 10:59
  • 1
    You probably mean dark knight although I don't think that term is actually used for a night owl. I'd reserve that term for a black-clad billionaire vigilante metropolitan protector.
    – Jim
    Commented Jan 1, 2014 at 15:37

Night Owl

A night owl is specifically someone who stays up late at night.

Evening/Night Person

An evening or night person is more generally someone who does better in the evening or at night, meaning they're more awake or productive at those times.

Sleepless Man

I understand what this phrase means, but it sounds literary to me. I wouldn't use it conversationally.

Man of the Night

There's a term at least in American English, "lady of the night", which is a euphemism for a prostitute. I would stay away from the term "man of the night", since my first reaction would be to interpret it to mean a male prostitute.

  • 1
    Ah, thank you about man of the night. Now I know what they meant (or tried to imply) when they teased me in some chat rooms. :) Commented Jan 1, 2014 at 14:50
  • @DamkerngT. Oh no! Well, forewarned is forearmed. :-)
    – godel9
    Commented Jan 1, 2014 at 15:03
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    Oh, my! A man-of-the-night, in chat rooms. I've heard about them before! ;^)
    – J.R.
    Commented Jan 1, 2014 at 16:58
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    @Damkerng: I don't think anyone uses "man of the night" these days (200-300 years ago when it was more common, it often meant a burglar, night-thief). People still use the far more common lady of the night (usually facetiously, since it's generally recognised as "dated") to mean a prostitute. Commented May 26, 2014 at 12:24

You could call that person "a nocturnal creature" to suggest that they party often late into the night; or if you wish to point out that they're not getting enough sleep, they are sleep-deprived.


One who suffers from insomnia (difficulty sleeping) would be called an insomniac.


"Creature of the Night" (or Night Creature/Night Person); "Daysleeper"; "Nochternal"

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