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    Thread: Nocturnality

    1. #1
      Dionysian stormcrow's Avatar
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      Nocturnality

      So Ive been thinking about human evolution and how for some reason or another we haven't evolved night vision even though it would be to our advantage to acquire such a trait. So it goes without saying that humans are by nature diurnal but my question is what are the negative health consequences of a human living a nocturnal lifestyle? I mean even if you get more than eight hours of sleep but you sleep during the day would we suffer any negative effects?

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      daylight while sleep= less serotonin produced
      no sunlight= lack in vitamin something
      everything is closed at night
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      Quote Originally Posted by Solarflare View Post
      no sunlight= lack in vitamin something
      That sounds eloquent.
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    4. #4
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      I am nocturnal by nature. I have perfect vision, but can't see in the dark (darnit lol)
      I do have serotonin deficiencies and a slew of other health problems (mostly stomach related).
      It doesn't make sense to me, but I read somewhere (?) that people who stay up at night have more stomach troubles because some process only takes place at night while sleeping. WTH? How do your organs know if the suns up or not lol. I'll try to find it again, maybe it's hogwash, but it's been a good year + since I read it.

      You can always get vitamin D and C through a pill and/or artificial lighting. But neither are as good as the sun, I guess.
      It makes sense that we *should* have developed something along the way to help us more at night (after all, people used to have guards at night and there are many night time predators).
      I guess one place to look to for answers regarding health problems are areas that have several weeks or months of darkness then several of daylight.

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      Yeah, I've heard being nocturnal can cause depression and a host of other problems, and I believe it's true. I know if I try to stay up all night these days I get stomach problems. Not sure if it's the same thing. But I've been nocturnal for a long time and I'm pretty messed up.

      Apparently the only real treatment for it is light therapy, where you spend a few hours a day (or night? n Not sure) in front of a huge bank of daylight-balanced bulbs.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Darkmatters View Post
      Apparently the only real treatment for it is light therapy, where you spend a few hours a day (or night? n Not sure) in front of a huge bank of daylight-balanced bulbs.
      Can't you just spend a few hours a day in the sun?
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      Hmmmm... that does seem.... logical!

      Here:

      Light therapy or phototherapy (classically referred to as heliotherapy) consists of exposure to daylight or to specific wavelengths of light using lasers, ...
      So - yeah... my bad!
      Last edited by Darkmatters; 09-28-2011 at 03:27 AM.

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      I lived the nocturnal lifestyle for a few months once and it was terrible. I started taking Vitamin D pills but that barely helped the feeling. Everything just felt wrong, never seeing the sunlight, like I was in some constant nightmare. All this, even though I am a 'night owl' and generally prefer when it's dark out. I suppose my mind still needs some daylight to feel sane. I have no idea whether the problem was chemical or psychological.
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      It would have been to our advantage to evolve wings and fire breath and teleportation, but dammitall.

      Rickets... that's what you get without the sun in your life. Rickets.
      Last edited by IndieAnthias; 09-30-2011 at 11:26 PM.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Dianeva View Post
      I lived the nocturnal lifestyle for a few months once and it was terrible. I started taking Vitamin D pills but that barely helped the feeling. Everything just felt wrong, never seeing the sunlight, like I was in some constant nightmare. All this, even though I am a 'night owl' and generally prefer when it's dark out. I suppose my mind still needs some daylight to feel sane. I have no idea whether the problem was chemical or psychological.
      I know that feeling too. I'd be half-nocturnal, waking up in the afternoon and going to bed sometime before morning, and I decided that instead of depriving myself of sleep by waking up earlier, I'd just keep waking up later and going around the clock. I'd have to be totally nocturnal for a few days or more and it was awful. Looking out at black darkness and having to dread going through a whole day like that. Staying up into the night for a few hours is fun, but being nocturnal really sucks.

      I think it's our bodies telling us that human beings are NOT supposed to be nocturnal. We evolved to be diurnal, that's the only way we can really function properly, and our chemistry and psychology is tied to that. We stay up late these days because of too much light and technology all around us, confusing our circadian rhythms.
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      Most of the issues can be solved with like 15 minutes out in the sun. So even if you stay up late until the night and wake up an hour past noon, there is still penalty of daylight hours in the day to get some light.

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      That's true, but I wouldn't call waking up an hour past noon living nocturnally.

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      People tend to sleep ~8 hours a day, right...? So if you went to sleep when the sun started to come up at 6:30 for a solid 8 hours, you'd wake up at... 14:30.

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      Maybe, but it doesn't seem fully nocturnal to me because you'd still experience 6 or so hours of sunlight. At one point I would sleep at about 10am, and wake up at about 6pm. By the time I got ready and ate 'dinner' and had time to look outside, it was dark out.
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    15. #15
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      But you could get a couple hours of sun before 10AM
      It would be hard to NEVER get any sun unless a person was trying not to or didn't want to lol

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      I was lucky in that when I was working evenings and sleeping in the day I rode a bike, and I'd go to work at 4:00 or 5:00, so I was out in daylight for about a half hour every day.

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      We were designed for natural light and darkness. Not only would we miss the benefits of natural light but we'd also miss darkness as we'd be using artifical light. Light at night (including light pollution from your window even if you aren't even nocturnal) has been linked to cancer. I guess if you were nocturnal and made sure you slept in a really dark room then at least you'd be getting your dark hours though of course you still wouldn't be getting your daylight.

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