Biologically humankind has no habit of being wakeful at night. They are diurnal. Night time is used for deep sleep so as to mend the mind of its upheavals and keep it in order. But this habit has been changing drastically in recent times. Losing their sleep many transform into somnambulists nowadays.
More than the nocturnal animals and birds many software personnel are functioning actively during night time. It is a wrong notion to be hopeful of sleeping in the day time, what is lost during the night. The darkness of night that soothes our body and mind with peace cannot be surely experienced during day time. Particularly, the melatonin hormone that is secreted during night cannot release adequately during day light. It is a very important hormone for the functioning of our body and mind.
The unchanging timetable for most of the software personnel working for multinationals is to work in day shift for a month followed by night shift for a month. There is no doubt about its deleterious impact on our physiological functions. The way shift system happens during night and day, diseases too will shift their attack on us repeatedly. If there is a continuous shifts of day and night, the brain will lose its control and get confused in due course of time. It won’t be conducive for the body to give work during night time repeatedly.
Now and then losing sleep for a few days will not impact us significantly. But those who work during night for years and trying to search for sleep during day time will surely affect us, causing ill health. Disturbing the ‘wakeful-sleep balance’ imprinted in our genetic makeup over thousands of years of humankind will impact us with serious implications.
Addicted to caffeine
One of the research findings conclude that those who work during night become addicted to caffeine, an active ingredient found in coffee and cola. In order to get rid of sleep they tend to consume more caffeine products leading to neurological and psychological complications. We yearn for caffeinated drink even for one night. Therefore it is sure that those who continuously work during nights keep drinking coffee in excess, leading to serious health issues. Caffeine can induce temporary wakefulness but can also lead to permanent damage to our health.
Mind related problems
We tend to tease those who keep waking during night as psychotics. It is true in a way. Those who suffer from prolonged sleeplessness will tend to be temperamental, depressed and dull. We would have experienced the implications of losing one night sleep the very next day. If that is so, imagine the problems of those who suffer from sleeplessness chronically.
No day time sleep
It’s said that a short nap during day time might help us physiologically, especially for the aged. But prolonged sleep during day will lead to serious health problems. It is better to avoid day time sleep. If there is loss of night sleep it needs to be compensated during day time. If you are experiencing ill health without reasons, it is better to self check the total duration of sleep, time and nature of sleep.
Queuing of sickness
The starting point of most of the diseases is loss of sleep. It is important to mention that many subtle physiological functions are happening only during sleep. Sleeplessness will lead to forgetfulness, obesity, ulcer, psychological problems, constipation, indigestion and blood pressure. Most of the accidents happening in the world could be related to sleeplessness leading to inattentiveness.
Sleep has different levels. It is fundamentally divided in to Non REM and REM sleep (Rapid Eye Movement). They alternate while sleeping. Stopping of alternation of sleep levels will lead to confusion. The brain cells need rest during night to rejuvenate themselves. And most of the organs will also mend their problems during sleep. Therefore sleep is highly essential biologically.
Lost sleep due to changing lifestyles
Sleeplessness due to old age, or due to sickness or drug induced can be treated easily. It will be cured as soon as the reason is found out. But there is no help for those who go to sleep late at night, addicted to drugs or partying whole night. There is no medicine for it but only the change in one’s lifestyle.
The peacefulness of night is meant for sleep as designed by the nature. It is harmful to change it as per our wishes. Till now there has never been nocturnal human being on Earth. Let us not change it artificially. It is better not to change the natural law of sleeping during night.
It is not a problem to enjoy a night witnessing the miracle of night, utter darkness of new moon, shining full moon, intense lonesomeness and subtleness of love. The night created as a blessing for peaceful sleep should not be thwarted due to cultural changes. Let us have a deep and restful sleep.
(This article written in Tamil by Dr. V. Vikaram Kumar MD(S) for Vikatan.com has been reproduced in English by V Amalan Stanley)