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Night and Day

  • The invention of electricity has altered the rhythm of life. People used to go to sleep shortly after nightfall and wake up shortly before or after sunrise. Artificial lighting (which became widespread after electricity was distributed to every household) allows people to stay up till late at night and to sleep till late in the morning. Electricity also enabled a wide array of appliances that work at night and provide motives to stay awake till late.
  • The human body, however, is controlled by biorhythms that react to daylight.
  • When daylight hits the skin, the body produces certain chemical reactions. When there isn't enough light, the body produces different chemical reactions. Those chemical reactions control functions of the body.
  • A person who stays awake after dark is a body that is carrying out chemical reactions meant for the night but has to carry out functions (such as walking or drinking) that are meant for the day. Artificial lighting can only partially compensate for the lack of sunlight.
  • A person who sleeps in the morning is a body that is carrying out chemical reactions meant for the day but has to carry out functions (such as dreaming) that are meant for the night. Blinds can only partially simulate night.
  • The gap between natural-life rhythm and real-life rhythm must be keeping the body in a constant state of stress, comparable to being constantly hallucinated or inebriated.
  • Why do people like to stay up till late at night and sleep till late in the morning? What is the evolutionary advantage that makes them boast about late-night hours and/or oversleeping?
Proof-edited by Alexander Altaras