Staying up at night, sleeping during the day?

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Staying up at night, sleeping during the day?

Postby Seeker » Wed Apr 21, 2010 4:43 pm

Hello all,

What does Buddhism say about staying up at night and sleeping during the day?

I find it more peaceful at night. :meditate:

Thank you in advance.
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Re: Staying up at night, sleeping during the day?

Postby Ben » Wed Apr 21, 2010 7:51 pm

Nothing as far as I know.
Speaking as someone who did night shift for a very long time...
Go have a chat with your general medical practitioner on the health effects of interrupting your circadian rhythm.
It will make you think twice.
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Re: Staying up at night, sleeping during the day?

Postby Refugee » Wed Apr 21, 2010 8:31 pm

The only place I came across something about staying out late at night "Who by habit sleeps by day, and keeps late hours, is ever ........" is in the Sigalovada Sutta: The Discourse to Sigala. Link: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .nara.html

This, of course, refers to a person staying out late at night for sensory pleasure. It wouldn't apply to persons working night-shift, studying, or staying awake at nights for some other unavoidable reasons.
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Re: Staying up at night, sleeping during the day?

Postby Mawkish1983 » Wed Apr 21, 2010 9:15 pm

I have no choice but to work night shifts. I've been doing night shifts since November and will continue until September. The result? Constant searing headaches. Chronic fatigue. Unpredictable bowel function. Weight gain. Cracked dry skin. Heightened irritability. Strained relationship with my wife. The list goes on.

On top of this, we still earn about £200 per month less than we need to pay all the bills. Sorry, I digress.

Staying awake every night and sleeping every day in my experience is a bad idea.
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Re: Staying up at night, sleeping during the day?

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Apr 21, 2010 9:49 pm

Seeker wrote:Hello all,

What does Buddhism say about staying up at night and sleeping during the day?

I find it more peaceful at night. :meditate:

Thank you in advance.
It can be done, and after I get up again, I'll give you my take on it.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: Staying up at night, sleeping during the day?

Postby Paññāsikhara » Thu Apr 22, 2010 1:55 am

There is one sutta passage around somewhere which is specifically critical of monastics who spend all night planning and scheming things (the term used is something like "smolder and burn", or something like that), and don't do what they should be doing during the day, but sleep and drift off. But I think the emphasis here is more that monastics shouldn't be planning and scheming, rather than the times in which they do these things.

Whatever the case, it's not good for one's health. I remember studying this when researching shift work (in factories, etc.) as an Engineering student. Not good for physical or mental / emotional health, in general. (Though there probably are exceptions.) As Mawkish has said.
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Re: Staying up at night, sleeping during the day?

Postby Dhammakid » Thu Apr 22, 2010 4:01 am

There is something to human beings' current common plan of waking and sleeping. Evolutionarily speaking, primitive humans were incapable of getting much done after sunset, so sleep became a natural thing to do. When I attempted to "become" a "night owl," I experienced all kinds of problems, including rapid fluctuations in appetite, headaches, fatigue, dizziness and more. Now, I happen to know people who actually have an opposite sleep schedule, but it seems natural for them (or at least more natural for them than for me). I would advise against intentionally attempting to change your sleep schedule in such a drastic manner.

I've also looked into the idea of circadian rhythms and it is present in nearly every species of animal. Something to consider.

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Re: Staying up at night, sleeping during the day?

Postby Dhammakid » Thu Apr 22, 2010 4:08 am

Also, sunlight is indispensable for humans and all life. Sunlight aids in the production of vitamin D for humans, which assists in the absorption of calcium. Furthermore, for those of us suffering from mental illness, sunlight reaps great benefits, and lack of it can lead to an increase in symptoms of depression and anxiety (Seasonal Affective Disorder). Doctors even recommend sufferers live in regions with extended periods of sunlight throughout the year.

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Re: Staying up at night, sleeping during the day?

Postby Kenshou » Thu Apr 22, 2010 4:51 am

If you naturally find being nocturnal more comfortable, then most likely it could be done, besides the inconvenience that the rest of that side of the planet is running on a schedule opposite of you.

When I've got a period of time with few obligations and I can sleep and wake up whenever I choose, I often slip into night-owlism. Maintaining a normal sleep schedule has been a struggle my entire life. I'd spend the majority of my waking hours at night, if it weren't so inconvenient when it comes to functioning in the outside world.
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Re: Staying up at night, sleeping during the day?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Apr 22, 2010 6:12 am

I work the night shift (2230-0700) and when I am not working I keep night shift hours, rarely going to bed before 0200, mostly off to bed between 0300 and 0600.

When you are young to can get away with, for awhile, shifting your shifts, but as you get older, the harder it gets, unless you are one of those who can get by with little sleep.

If you are going to shift to essentially a night life, it will take a while, but you need to be consistent and you need to find consistent times to get up and go to bed. At first you will experience "sleep hell" aka jet lag and that could go for a month. Do some reading about Melatonin, which can help with the shift of sleeping hours so radically. Melatonin can be gotten at any pharmacy, but use it carefully.

Use bright lights in your living quarters and use as many full spectrum lights as possible.When you get up, spend time outdoors in the sunlight, if possible. Trying to function in a dimly lit living/work environment will make things very difficult, but when sleeping, keep you room as dark as possible, using only very dim light if you have to get up.

As for sitting meditation, do it in a brightly lit room, eyes open if you are having difficulty staying awake. Also, do lots of walking or standing meditation.

Eat regularly at the same times as much as possible and exercise.

And keep in mind that doctor appointments and the like are going to be on the day shift, get them as early as possible or as late as possible.

And finally make sure you sleep at least 8 hours, even if you have to do it 4 here and 4 there, but best to try to do a solid 8 hours straigtht, and keep away from sleeping aids. It is not that you can't use them. It is, rather, they present a problem of dependency and messing up you dream/sleep cycles. Anything else, ask.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: Staying up at night, sleeping during the day?

Postby Ben » Thu Apr 22, 2010 6:45 am

That's interesting Tilt
When i was on night shift, I was working 1AM to 9AM, five days a week. My youngest son was born during the nine-month period I was on night shift. So, with a young family, I was five days on night shift, two days off. I wasn't prepared to live night shift continuously as I wouldn't see my family at all.
The continual interruption to my circadian rhythms, and the draconian work conditions, were sheer hell. Most of my colleagues who had been there, admittedly longer than I, had chronic health problems including depression.
kind regards

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Re: Staying up at night, sleeping during the day?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Apr 22, 2010 6:53 am

Ben wrote:That's interesting Tilt
When i was on night shift, I was working 1AM to 9AM, five days a week. My youngest son was born during the nine-month period I was on night shift. So, with a young family, I was five days on night shift, two days off. I wasn't prepared to live night shift continuously as I wouldn't see my family at all.
The continual interruption to my circadian rhythms, and the draconian work conditions, were sheer hell. Most of my colleagues who had been there, admittedly longer than I, had chronic health problems including depression.
kind regards
Working nights can suck big time. Fortunately where I work we are unionized, which affords us protection against having to work three shifts in a pay period, and those like me get paid an extra $3.50 an hour for working straight nights.

I get paid very well, which allows me to work less than full time, and often I have a great deal of down to read, mess around in the internet and the like.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Staying up at night, sleeping during the day?

Postby oceanmen » Thu Apr 22, 2010 12:38 pm

Seeker wrote:Hello all,

What does Buddhism say about staying up at night and sleeping during the day?

I find it more peaceful at night. :meditate:

Thank you in advance.


from my personal experience, the closest i can think of is waking up 2 hours before sunrise for meditation/pray/chant in the dark,
then sleeping 1 hour after that. provided of course i go to bed early the day before (1-3 hours after sunset depending
on the season and location - winter/summer - close/far from equator)
but waking ALL NIGHT and sleeping ALL day....not sure the night and day were created for that...
perhaps it varies from person to person....reminds me of the old "last minute study for exams" days...

metta
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Re: Staying up at night, sleeping during the day?

Postby Mawkish1983 » Thu Apr 22, 2010 3:06 pm

oceanmen wrote:not sure the night and day were created for that...
Huh? Created by whom?
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Re: Staying up at night, sleeping during the day?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Apr 22, 2010 3:14 pm

Mawkish1983 wrote:
oceanmen wrote:not sure the night and day were created for that...
Huh? Created by whom?
I was going to ask that question, but the I haveen accused of being mean to god.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Staying up at night, sleeping during the day?

Postby Mawkish1983 » Thu Apr 22, 2010 3:49 pm

tiltbillings wrote:I have been accused of being mean to god.
Which one? There are so many to choose from, past and present. Oooh, I need to constrain myself, I'm feeling in a strange mood.

Must be the night shifts.
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Re: Staying up at night, sleeping during the day?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Apr 22, 2010 4:09 pm

Mawkish1983 wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:I have been accused of being mean to god.
Which one? There are so many to choose from, past and present. Oooh, I need to constrain myself, I'm feeling in a strange mood.

Must be the night shifts.

Which one? The one claims of itself that it is the creator and cause of everything, demanding obeisance of the creatures it created.

As for the strange feelings, get some sleep; it's good for you.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Staying up at night, sleeping during the day?

Postby oceanmen » Thu Apr 22, 2010 4:24 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
Mawkish1983 wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:I have been accused of being mean to god.
Which one? There are so many to choose from, past and present. Oooh, I need to constrain myself, I'm feeling in a strange mood.

Must be the night shifts.

Which one? The one claims of itself that it is the creator and cause of everything, demanding obeisance of the creatures it created.

As for the strange feelings, get some sleep; it's good for you.



its hard enough putting an effort to meditate and become more skillful
let alone question the intentions, words and actions of others...

the topic is about "Staying up at night, sleeping during the day?"
no need for aversions or cravings to labels like (created)...

metta
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Re: Staying up at night, sleeping during the day?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Apr 22, 2010 4:29 pm

oceanmen wrote:no need for aversions or cravings to labels like (created)...
:

No aversion nor craving. Just curious about the use of the term. Humans evolved to be awake during the day, sleeping at night. Compared to night time animals we are rather pathetic as a night animal, but if a human wants shift to being awake during the night it can be done. It does not go against the "laws" of nature.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Staying up at night, sleeping during the day?

Postby oceanmen » Thu Apr 22, 2010 4:32 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
oceanmen wrote:no need for aversions or cravings to labels like (created)...
:

No aversion nor craving. Just curious about the use of the term. Humans evolved to be awake during the day, sleeping at night. Compared to night time animals we are rather pathetic as a night animal, but if a human wants shift to being awake during the night it can be done. It does not go against the "laws" of nature.


agreed, it can be done..
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