It can be tricky to know when the best time to send an email is. Of course, working hours seem to be the most appropriate.
However, are you allowed to send an email late at night? Or do people think it’s rude and you should avoid it?
This article will answer these questions to help you understand more about emails.
Is It Rude to Send an Email Late at Night?
It is generally not rude to send an email late at night. After all, an email is a ping that the recipient can read at a time that suits them. Most recipients won’t check their inbox until they’re back in the office, so sending an email late is okay.
There is nothing fundamentally wrong with emailing someone late at night. It’s not unprofessional, meaning it works well if you have something to share and can’t find a better time.
The reason it’s fine is that people can choose to read emails when it suits them. There is nothing telling the recipient that they must read and reply to your email as soon as you send it.
The same rules apply to text messages. It’s usually fine to send someone a text message regardless of time. That’s because they can choose when they want to read it.
There are a few specific rules that you might want to be wary of, though.
- Don’t text your boss outside of your work hours (unless your boss texts first)
- You can text a professor whenever you need help (inside and outside school hours)
- Try to avoid texting anyone at antisocial or sleeping hours (between 11 pm and 6 am)
- If you can, wait until morning to send your text
Unless you’re sending something that’s urgent, it’s probably best to wait until morning.
That way, you avoid accidentally annoying the recipient, which could result in a more positive response.
9 Polite Ways to Send an Email Late at Night
Next, you need to know a few polite ways to send an email late at night. After all, it’s important to know how to apologize for texting late at night.
Here are some great synonyms that will work in emails and text messages:
- Sorry for the late-night email
- I apologize for the late hour
- I’m sorry for reaching out so late
- I hope this message doesn’t disturb you
- I really hope I didn’t wake you
- Sorry about the late message
- Sorry for reaching out at this hour
- I’m so sorry to be a nuisance at this time
- I hope you don’t mind the late text
Keep reading to learn how to text someone at night when you need them. It’s best to be apologetic and polite to get a positive response.
1. Sorry for the Late-Night Email
You can email someone late at night by saying “sorry for the late-night email.”
It’s a direct and sincere apology that shows you regret having to get in touch so late.
Sometimes, you can’t avoid sending an email late into the night. That’s why this phrase works quite well. It shows you did not mean to interrupt someone at night, but there was no better time.
You can also review this email example:
Dear Professor White,
Sorry for the late-night email. However, I need your help understanding this assignment before handing it in.
2. I Apologize for the Late Hour
Feel free to use “I apologize for the late hour” in a late-night text message. It shows you regret leaving it so long before messaging someone.
Of course, this only applies if you cannot wait until the next morning. It shows you’ve found something important and need to share it immediately before it’s too late.
You can also review these text message samples:
- I apologize for the late hour, but this message couldn’t wait. Do you have a moment to talk about our next steps?
- I apologize for the late hour. I couldn’t think of anyone else to message who knows about this situation!
3. I’m Sorry for Reaching Out So Late
You can use “I’m sorry for reaching out so late” instead if you’re sending a text message late.
There’s nothing wrong with messaging someone late at night. But that doesn’t mean you should leave your message without an apology.
We recommend saying this when texting colleagues. It shows that you have a good update for them and would like to get their verdict on something.
You can also review these message samples:
- Hey, I’m sorry for reaching out so late. I don’t suppose you know what we’re supposed to do with this project, though.
- I’m sorry for reaching out so late. Have you heard anything from the Beckett’s yet?
4. I Hope This Email Doesn’t Disturb You
Try “I hope this email doesn’t disturb you” as a formal alternative when sending emails late at night.
It’s good to be polite, as late-night email etiquette suggests you should apologize for the late hour.
Generally, this allows you to send emails after work hours with no issue. It’s polite and respectful, making it a great choice when emailing your boss.
Feel free to review this sample email:
Dear Ms. Murphy,
I hope this email doesn’t disturb you. However, I would like to know what you think about my proposal before I move forward.
5. I Really Hope I Didn’t Wake You
“I really hope I didn’t wake you” works well when sending a late-night text message. It shows you hope the ping of your text wasn’t too loud.
Of course, it’s likely that most people have their phones set to silent or vibrate in the night. But you should still apologize just in case you woke someone up with your message.
After all, you probably wouldn’t appreciate being woken up by a message, either. It’s best to say sorry before you go on to discuss anything more.
Here are some text message samples to help you with it:
- I really hope I didn’t wake you, but I checked my work emails, and I really need to talk to you!
- I really hope I didn’t wake you, as I know it’s late. Do you have a spare minute to discuss what we do next?
6. Sorry About the Late Message
If you don’t know how to text someone at night, try “sorry about the late message.” It’s one of the simpler choices, but it still works as a respectful phrase.
It shows you wish there was another time that could work. However, sometimes, you can’t help but send a text message at an anti-social time (like the middle of the night).
Here are some examples to help you with it:
- Sorry about the late message, Mathew. Please tell me you have some good news to share about this situation.
- I’m sorry about the late message. However, I didn’t know who else I could trust with this information.
7. Sorry for Reaching Out at This Hour
Including “sorry for reaching out at this hour” is great in business emails.
It shows you have important news to share at night, which simply cannot wait until morning.
This works best when contacting your employer. It shows you respect them and want to reach out, but you’re worried you might upset them if you contact them outside of work hours.
You may also review this email example:
Dear Mr. Branch,
Sorry for reaching out at this hour. I have finally completed the file as requested, and I was hoping you could review it.
All the best,
8. I’m So Sorry to Be a Nuisance at This Time
For a more sincere and personal phrase, try “I’m so sorry to be a nuisance at this time.”
It works best when emailing a client. Sometimes, we have to contact clients outside of the workplace. However, when we do this, we need to ensure we keep things friendly and open.
After all, the last thing you’ll want to do is annoy your clients. That’s an easy way to lose them. It’s best to be apologetic and honest about why you’re contacting them so late.
Here is a great email sample if you’re still unsure:
Dear Miss Perry,
I’m so sorry to be a nuisance at this time. However, I would like to discuss these matters with you immediately.
9. I Hope You Don’t Mind the Late Text
A polite text message goes a long way in these situations. Even when you leave your text message late into the night, it can help to sound more polite to get a positive response.
That’s where “I hope you don’t mind the late text” comes in. It’s very polite and shows you wish you could have texted earlier.
Feel free to review these examples if you’re still stuck:
- Hey, I hope you don’t mind the late text. I was really hoping we could talk more about this before we move forward.
- I hope you don’t mind the late text, as I have a few things I’d like to discuss with you. Please let me know when you’re free!
Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.