1

votes

Is there anything wrong with being nocturnal?

Commented on August 08, 2017
Created June 02, 2012 at 8:34 AM

For some reason, I tend towards being awake at night. I've tried being awake in the day, and I don't like it as much. Also, for some reason, I sleep better during the day, although at least it's possible for me to sleep at night, now. If I'm getting enough sleep, albeit when the sun is shining, is this somehow detrimental to my health? The only thing I can think of is that I would miss out on some Vitamin D, so... would it be okay to just go for a half-hour walk in the morning, before I go to bed, and take a supplement?

I would think that it just wouldn't be worth it to try and make my body do something it's telling me it doesn't appreciate, but I just don't know.

C095bb93a1b8b819b468511b08b5c2a9

on August 08, 2017
at 07:28 AM

@Jon_11 if you study Biology of Psychology you'll actually learn that circadian rhythms are different for different people. You are a night owl from birth! Just as i was nocturnal as a baby, i am now. I don't think its really a broken fix it type thing. But whatever, high and mighty

Cdc21bedc8c5ff5c90a9dc0ea117208b

on June 02, 2012
at 11:04 PM

Thank you for your answer. It does seem to work for me this way, as I have no set schedule. Every time I try to be awake in the day, I can do it for a month or three, but then, somehow, my sleeping schedule slowly switches until I'm awake from about 4pm to 7am. I'll probably try and see if I can sleep 'properly' again, and if I end up being awake at night, then I'll just enjoy it and not worry.

D07a525f9021f8d72bf6aaa52893c795

(1011)

on June 02, 2012
at 11:00 PM

@ cerement - I politely disagree - and of course, it's just opinion, but you don't have to be an early bird any more than you have to be a night owl - what's wrong with 7hrs quality sleep from approx 11pm - 6am? Too "conventional"? My take is this is how we're hardwired, and you may as well accept it. I'm not (always) an anti CW zealot.

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on June 02, 2012
at 10:56 PM

37 years as nocturnal. I tried changing it, didn't work, felt fucking miserable. Now I go to bed at 3am and absolutely love it - I wake up rested with the same amount of sleep. Listen to your body, not dogmatic advice from people who don't know what you're going through.

E8dd83fe24a0879d8b16ab4ca92b72dd

(1307)

on June 02, 2012
at 09:45 PM

The question is it good for you. And I'm sorry to respectfully disagree, about the stance "It hasn't done any damage that I've seen yet, so it's okay!" I took antibiotics for years when I was younger for sinus infections. Didn't notice anything. I ate grains for years and whole wheat after my teens to "bulk up". Didn't notice anything. Now, I'm sitting here in my mid-twenties with a wrecked digestive system and low and f-ing behold! What screws up digestion? Antibiotics and grains.

E8dd83fe24a0879d8b16ab4ca92b72dd

(1307)

on June 02, 2012
at 09:42 PM

@ More Butter Please: I don't think your internal clock is "broken". I do think it is on a different schedule than it was built to be on. That's what makes people, well...people. We can actively change our physiology. You can choose to have surgery. You can choose to change your circadian rhythm. You can stretch yourself until you can do this: http://www.carlosdinares.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/flexibility1.jpg

E8dd83fe24a0879d8b16ab4ca92b72dd

(1307)

on June 02, 2012
at 09:35 PM

@ Little Rain: http://www.themedguru.com/node/21921

E8dd83fe24a0879d8b16ab4ca92b72dd

(1307)

on June 02, 2012
at 09:33 PM

@ itcutsbothways: You don't sound petulant at all! I don't think there's anything the body can't recover from...except death (bad joke, I know).

Medium avatar

(2923)

on June 02, 2012
at 08:13 PM

"Night Owls Stay Alert Longer than Early Birds" http://www.livescience.com/7723-night-owls-stay-alert-longer-early-birds.html -- there's nothing that needs "fixing" about having a offset sleep schedule, it ranks up there with saying introverts need "fixing" to get them to be more social ...

5e63e3fa78e998736106a4a5b9aef58c

on June 02, 2012
at 06:10 PM

@little Rain: I've had the exact same experience aa a night person. It's a lifelong thing, and no matter how I attempted to force myself to live on a day schedule, it never worked well at all. And frankly, I'm surprised at the dogmatism I'm seeing here regarding sleep--yes, night people really do exist, and no, we don't have broken internal clocks.

Da2c728c093488e4f2ea87b81619682f

(388)

on June 02, 2012
at 04:10 PM

How come I've been "nocturnal" since I was a baby? Apparently I was always wide awake at night and wanted to sleep during the day. I'm the same way now. Are you saying that I screwed up my circadian rhythm at like my time of birth or something? Not trying to sound mean, just... I don't get it.

E8dd83fe24a0879d8b16ab4ca92b72dd

(1307)

on June 02, 2012
at 12:56 PM

+1 to most of this (and the name...I like butter, what can I say?). Mental health definitely has a connection to when/how much you sleep. The difference between quality is just far too apparent for me. Sleep during the day? I need 10 hours it seems. Sleep at night (even 1-2 am)? I need like 5-6 hours. There's a lot of science pointing to 8-9 ours as optimal, but I there's definitely a difference. The point I disagree with is the "Is it working for you?" part. I know what Butter is trying to say, but it's not a question of "Does it work for you?" but "When will is *stop* working for you?"

D07a525f9021f8d72bf6aaa52893c795

(1011)

on June 02, 2012
at 11:03 AM

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/06/02/can-sleeping-affect-immune-system.aspx?e_cid=20120602_DNL_art_1

Cdc21bedc8c5ff5c90a9dc0ea117208b

on June 02, 2012
at 09:31 AM

Wow, I;m sorry, I just realized my comment sounded petulant. I'm really sorry, I was just disappointed that I really shouldn't be awake at night. That's no excuse for me to sound that way, though.

Cdc21bedc8c5ff5c90a9dc0ea117208b

on June 02, 2012
at 09:00 AM

That's too bad, it makes me REALLY happy to be awake at night, and I am positive I am not anxious, depressed, stressed or an insomniac. I was, for a decade, and this is the first time I can remember that I'm not any of those things, just content. But I suppose you're right, and I should just learn to sleep like everyone else. Thank you!

Cdc21bedc8c5ff5c90a9dc0ea117208b

on June 02, 2012
at 08:48 AM

Sorry, I should have searched for that. My bad, and thank you.

Medium avatar

(2923)

on June 02, 2012
at 08:35 AM

http://paleohacks.com/questions/121844/what-if-im-nocturnal

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7 Answers

4
5e63e3fa78e998736106a4a5b9aef58c

on June 02, 2012
at 09:58 AM

Since early childhood, I've never been very successful at living a day-adapted schedule. Going to bed at dawn and waking up at noon is the natural rhythm I've always fallen into, given the chance. I sleep just fine during the day, and have never needed blackout curtains. And I do get sun exposure for Vitamin D; I just get mine in the afternoon.

I finally chose self-employment so I could dictate my own hours, and have been contentedly nocturnal for the last few years. I've always seen a noticeable improvement in my mental health whenever I've been on a night schedule, and in the last three years I've seen a big difference--I've finally been able to make certain changes in my life for the better.

That said, day-people (who are the majority) really do suffer when they have to work night shifts for very long. Just as I've always struggled when keeping a day schedule (and all the while performing at a sub-par level and being extremely stressed out), day people have the same difficulty on a night schedule. Either way, it can be extremely stressful. But if you're a night person, and that comes easily to you, and your ability to think and work and function is better on a night schedule--there's no real need to change.

Is it working for you? That's the most important question to ask yourself. Because you'll get plenty of people telling you that no, it can't possibly work, and that if you think your idiosyncratic way of doing things is really working you're deluded, or broken, or just plain wrong. Screw that noise. Is it working for you?

E8dd83fe24a0879d8b16ab4ca92b72dd

(1307)

on June 02, 2012
at 12:56 PM

+1 to most of this (and the name...I like butter, what can I say?). Mental health definitely has a connection to when/how much you sleep. The difference between quality is just far too apparent for me. Sleep during the day? I need 10 hours it seems. Sleep at night (even 1-2 am)? I need like 5-6 hours. There's a lot of science pointing to 8-9 ours as optimal, but I there's definitely a difference. The point I disagree with is the "Is it working for you?" part. I know what Butter is trying to say, but it's not a question of "Does it work for you?" but "When will is *stop* working for you?"

Cdc21bedc8c5ff5c90a9dc0ea117208b

on June 02, 2012
at 11:04 PM

Thank you for your answer. It does seem to work for me this way, as I have no set schedule. Every time I try to be awake in the day, I can do it for a month or three, but then, somehow, my sleeping schedule slowly switches until I'm awake from about 4pm to 7am. I'll probably try and see if I can sleep 'properly' again, and if I end up being awake at night, then I'll just enjoy it and not worry.

4
E8dd83fe24a0879d8b16ab4ca92b72dd

(1307)

on June 02, 2012
at 08:45 AM

Problem is, and I'm not saying this to be a smart-ass, you aren't nocturnal. Humans have never been nor will ever be nocturnal (maybe thousands of years down the road as our 24-hour lifestyles evolve us into damn vampires--not sparkling ones, though!!). You can screw up your circadian rhythm though. However, while your mental state might adapt, your physiology won't, and eventually it will all affect each other. Also, insomnia is a lot of times due to stress (anxiety/depression). Oh, and take it from me, you can be very stressed and "not know it."

http://www.nursezone.com/nursing-news-events/more-features/Night-Shift-Work-Deemed-a-Carcinogen_21068.aspx

E8dd83fe24a0879d8b16ab4ca92b72dd

(1307)

on June 02, 2012
at 09:42 PM

@ More Butter Please: I don't think your internal clock is "broken". I do think it is on a different schedule than it was built to be on. That's what makes people, well...people. We can actively change our physiology. You can choose to have surgery. You can choose to change your circadian rhythm. You can stretch yourself until you can do this: http://www.carlosdinares.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/flexibility1.jpg

Cdc21bedc8c5ff5c90a9dc0ea117208b

on June 02, 2012
at 09:31 AM

Wow, I;m sorry, I just realized my comment sounded petulant. I'm really sorry, I was just disappointed that I really shouldn't be awake at night. That's no excuse for me to sound that way, though.

Cdc21bedc8c5ff5c90a9dc0ea117208b

on June 02, 2012
at 09:00 AM

That's too bad, it makes me REALLY happy to be awake at night, and I am positive I am not anxious, depressed, stressed or an insomniac. I was, for a decade, and this is the first time I can remember that I'm not any of those things, just content. But I suppose you're right, and I should just learn to sleep like everyone else. Thank you!

5e63e3fa78e998736106a4a5b9aef58c

on June 02, 2012
at 06:10 PM

@little Rain: I've had the exact same experience aa a night person. It's a lifelong thing, and no matter how I attempted to force myself to live on a day schedule, it never worked well at all. And frankly, I'm surprised at the dogmatism I'm seeing here regarding sleep--yes, night people really do exist, and no, we don't have broken internal clocks.

E8dd83fe24a0879d8b16ab4ca92b72dd

(1307)

on June 02, 2012
at 09:33 PM

@ itcutsbothways: You don't sound petulant at all! I don't think there's anything the body can't recover from...except death (bad joke, I know).

E8dd83fe24a0879d8b16ab4ca92b72dd

(1307)

on June 02, 2012
at 09:45 PM

The question is it good for you. And I'm sorry to respectfully disagree, about the stance "It hasn't done any damage that I've seen yet, so it's okay!" I took antibiotics for years when I was younger for sinus infections. Didn't notice anything. I ate grains for years and whole wheat after my teens to "bulk up". Didn't notice anything. Now, I'm sitting here in my mid-twenties with a wrecked digestive system and low and f-ing behold! What screws up digestion? Antibiotics and grains.

E8dd83fe24a0879d8b16ab4ca92b72dd

(1307)

on June 02, 2012
at 09:35 PM

@ Little Rain: http://www.themedguru.com/node/21921

Da2c728c093488e4f2ea87b81619682f

(388)

on June 02, 2012
at 04:10 PM

How come I've been "nocturnal" since I was a baby? Apparently I was always wide awake at night and wanted to sleep during the day. I'm the same way now. Are you saying that I screwed up my circadian rhythm at like my time of birth or something? Not trying to sound mean, just... I don't get it.

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on June 02, 2012
at 10:56 PM

37 years as nocturnal. I tried changing it, didn't work, felt fucking miserable. Now I go to bed at 3am and absolutely love it - I wake up rested with the same amount of sleep. Listen to your body, not dogmatic advice from people who don't know what you're going through.

2
D07a525f9021f8d72bf6aaa52893c795

(1011)

on June 02, 2012
at 10:30 AM

I am concerned! I urge you to fix it - sleeping at the correct time, and for long enough, is quite possibly the next most important health factor after sensible eating. You should be looking for the same fixes an insomniac seeks (q.v. here).

Do remember (without wanting to sound parsimonious) that some discipline is needed during a period of adjusting to new habits, but enjoy it - after all, we also embrace shiny new things!

I think I'd start by skipping your daily sleep (so get tired), do a heavy resistance work out around 5pm, eat soon after, avoid TV/PC that evening, then read for roughly an hour before bedtime - you probably won't make it past 10pm. Usual prescription applies - make sure it's completely dark in the bedroom.

Medium avatar

(2923)

on June 02, 2012
at 08:13 PM

"Night Owls Stay Alert Longer than Early Birds" http://www.livescience.com/7723-night-owls-stay-alert-longer-early-birds.html -- there's nothing that needs "fixing" about having a offset sleep schedule, it ranks up there with saying introverts need "fixing" to get them to be more social ...

D07a525f9021f8d72bf6aaa52893c795

(1011)

on June 02, 2012
at 11:03 AM

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/06/02/can-sleeping-affect-immune-system.aspx?e_cid=20120602_DNL_art_1

D07a525f9021f8d72bf6aaa52893c795

(1011)

on June 02, 2012
at 11:00 PM

@ cerement - I politely disagree - and of course, it's just opinion, but you don't have to be an early bird any more than you have to be a night owl - what's wrong with 7hrs quality sleep from approx 11pm - 6am? Too "conventional"? My take is this is how we're hardwired, and you may as well accept it. I'm not (always) an anti CW zealot.

1
6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on June 02, 2012
at 09:33 PM

It is absolutely possible to be born with a disregulated circadian rhythm (I was, and my son was) so that being more awake at night feels natural. We are about 5 generations into this experiment with artificial light in the evening and that has only intensified with LED TVs and computers, combined with reducing our exposure to sunlight, and removal of animal fats that contain vitamins A & D from the diet, so I expect this phenomenon to only increase over the next few generations.

I am a resolute night owl, and naturally feel more alert in the evening, but my health slips when I let my schedule drift too late. I did full nocturnal for years and my health really paid a price for it. Sleeping 3am-11:30am seems to work just fine, but 7am-3 or 4pm kind of destroyed me, my vitamin D tanked, and my thyroid went haywire. I tried doing sun exposure by doing my shopping run in the morning before sleep but that made falling asleep really difficult and messed up my stomach.

I don't know what your situation is, but if you get a chance to spend some time away from electricity and artificial lights camping or staying out in cabin somewhere that can do wonders if you feel like you want to give a circadian reset a try. I have found it almost impossible to change in my normal surroundings without a good dose of Ashwagandha every night, the siren song of late night TV or the computer is just too much, but travel to somewhere quiet usually helps when I need to reset and rejoin that land of the living.

0
9d43a925e4051ec3bdcee84bd78ca01a

on April 08, 2014
at 02:53 AM

I'm in med school and guess what? Some people are nocturnal.

http://voices.yahoo.com/the-truth-nocturnal-people-183708.html?cat=5

And further the 8 hour sleep cycle is also new. Only about a hundred years old actually. Before that we slept naturally in four hour chunks.

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-16964783

So nothing wrong with being nocturnal...and do some research, guys. And not just one article.

0
E93764e6dd622cb1c7bdd4bdd8d7af78

on September 07, 2013
at 12:44 AM

I'm retired and when I get tired and sleepy I sleep. When not so I do my hobbies or whatever no matter whether its 1.30.In the am or 1.30 in afternoon. So far I feel pretty good and am already 20 yrs old. Just joking. I am 70.

0
2a0f1afde303eadc422d015fc22f7512

(1118)

on June 02, 2012
at 08:47 PM

You have hormonal systems that synch with daylight. When you're "nocturnal" you interrupt some of those cycles so your body may not be processing things like cortisol or leptin correctly or appropriately. It's not ideal.

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