What time do you usually go to bed at night? Sleeping late at night has become the trend in our culture today, but please bear in mind that our basic physiology has never changed at all from the days of our ancestors. We still need 7-8 hours of sleep a night minimum, but there’s more to it. We can’t be sleeping late either. Which is why I’m TRYING hard to sleep earlier and below I outline why I think sleeping late is bad.
I have been going to bed at around 2 AM. I have been sleeping at this time for the past few years, and many times, it was even later than that! Now I realize why it’s bad to be sleeping so late. Apparently, when you sleep late, your body unleashes a ton of destructive hormones like cortisol, into your bloodstream. Cortisol is a stress hormone; too much of it, and it can seriously affect your cell health. This explains why all this while, after 12 AM, my body always felt increasingly “wasted.” Not just sleepiness, but a general sense of lethargy seeping through my entire body.
When you force your body to stay up in the wee hours of the morning, your body reacts by releasing a lot more cortisol into your bloodstream. This influx of cortisol is exactly what you don’t need. Cortisol increases blood pressure, weakens the immune system, slows down growth and cell renewal, and interferes with sleep by reducing serotonin levels. Some authorities even call cortisol the “death hormone.” Now that’s why doctors have been saying getting less sleep increases your mortality rate!
Also, going to sleep late disrupts the production of melatonin. As we know, melatonin production is in full swing after midnight. Therefore, if you don’t get into bed, you’re basically telling your body to produce less melatonin, and this can affect your circadian rhythm in many ways. It is akin to jet lag in many respects, but just imagine doing this every night, and you should know the answer.
Another aspect of sleeping late comes from the spiritual standpoint. I found it interesting to read that ghosts or demons are all out in full force during the “witching hours,” which most authorities say starts from 12-3 AM. Hmmm, hallucinations are often a byproduct of prolonged sleeplessness, so could they be related? Could it be, some of those apparitions are indeed caused by hallucinations due to not sleeping?
When I read the horrid experiences of people who have very bad insomnia, I often tend to think that those who can sleep normally but make it a habit of sleeping late; these are the ones who don’t really appreciate what they’ve got. Sleep is a precious thing indeed, and no amount of modernization in our society or culture can change its importance in our lives. So please, whatever it takes, go to bed early and try to get enough sleep. That’s what I’m trying to do now. No more going to bed after midnight if I can really help it.