What works for me and may not work for everyone, is trying to do a majority of my driving during daylight hours. I've done the Colorado straight through to the Bay Area thing a few times. I'll leave at 3 or 4 am, which puts me in the Bay by 10 or 11pm. You still have a lot of night hours, but only 3-5 on the tail end of your drive. If you're really motivated, a 12-1am departure would mean that you would arrive probably just after night fall. Just a consideration. When I was younger the driving through the night thing was more appealing, so maybe it's the better choice.