Is that proper to get messages about your work (almost critique no constructive feedback) at the early dawn, I freaked out from my sleepings not the first time to expose that besides the high pressure to get results as soon as possible. I feel my body is exhausted and sick and sometimes crying, is this behavior normal in academia?

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    Two simple rules for maintaining sanity: Don't check your email first thing in the morning nor before going to bed. Don't charge your phone at the bedside.
    – henning
    Oct 15, 2020 at 17:51
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    I hate check email or even phones, but is this normal? besides kind of accusing or distrust if we go outside lab track me and record the time (although i went to other lab to do work related to the research)
    – user116038
    Oct 15, 2020 at 17:53
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    While the question is different, the accepted answer also applies here and answers this question. Oct 15, 2020 at 18:23
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    Are you expected to answer immediately? If not, it's fine. If the issue is a different one, please reformulate the question. Oct 15, 2020 at 18:48
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    It isn't clear, at least to me, whether these are email messages or something more intrusive like a text message. If email, read when you're ready to start your workday. If something more intrusive, please revise your question with that information.
    – Bob Brown
    Oct 15, 2020 at 19:05

3 Answers 3


It is entirely proper to send emails at whatever time anyone wants to. It is up to the recipient to read them as they see fit.


Your question mentions two problems and you only think they have to be related:

  • He sends "almost critique no constructive feedback"
  • He sends it at early dawn

The second point is nothing you should worry about. In academia it is quite usual that people work (or read mails, write mails, look into papers or proof read what their students sent them) at all kinds of times.

I got mail really early and really late and sometimes I was asked if I like to call the professor.
It would have been okay to just ignore the mail until the next morning, but I was happy to get early feedback and had a constructive discussion. The professor probably wouldn't have had time in the morning and I would have had to wait until he has time in the usual working hours. But there is no obligation to read the mail late in the evening, let alone answer it.

The other point is the kind of feedback. I think you'll find here other questions that address this in detail. This can mean two things:

  • Your professor may provide harsh feedback and may even be nonconstructive.
  • Your professor provides concise feedback that reads harsh but is not meant this way. This type of feedback is quite common and the cases in which other people misunderstand it as harsh feedback are common as well. Try to assume good faith if there aren't more signs.

Messages are asynchronous. The whole benefit of asynchronous communication is that the sender can send them at whatever time is convenient for them to send it, and the recipient can respond at whatever time is convenient for them to do so, with no requirement for those two times to be particularly close to each other.

If you don't want to receive emails early in the morning, the solution is simple: don't check your emails early in the morning. Turn off whatever is alerting you to them arriving in real-time until whatever time you do want to start checking them.

You have absolute and complete control over the hours do not receive emails, irrespective of when they might have been sent, and should not expect others to adapt their working schedule for your convenience when you have such a simple solution to the problem available to you.