Saturday, May 18, 2024 | Dhu al-Qaadah 9, 1445 H
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The Night-dwellers!


On most nights, your routine would include turning off the light and going under your blanket. For a little while, you may hear cars on the street or your partner snoring next to you but in just a few minutes, it will turn into a quiet night as you fall deep into your peaceful slumber.

While some of us have such privilege, there are people who turn their night into day. Some blame sleeping disorders but several of them may want to go to sleep like a regular person but because of work, they have to be in the office working under the cover of darkness and go home when the sun is fully out on the horizon.

Ideal sleep hours vary from person to person, but most people naturally follow a similar circadian rhythm and wake up during the day. Messing with this internal clock can wreak havoc on your health. For example, disturbances in a person’s circadian rhythm are associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, digestive disorders and cancer. Not to mention that whoever prefers to be nocturnal in his life – if I may say so – is thus separated from social relations. It might be pleasing for some time to have a different sleeping pattern altogether but there will come a point that they may actually regret missing some key important moments usually done in the daytime.

Some may argue they don't actually miss a lot at all. Night dwellers may say that they will still be able to catch up with friends thanks to the availability of social media or their phones that allow them to communicate with whoever they want at any given time.

But it makes us wonder. Are there really people who don’t need social interaction? Aren't people who have different timings than us living a life of seclusion?

We are all aware of how the Coronavirus pandemic has changed the way we think about individual psychological needs. It has never been more clear that people can work well on completely different schedules! So here I think the workplace can play a big role in determining whether introverts and nocturnal peoples feel pressure to be open.

In the end, many people realise the importance of social connection and interaction, but we don’t have to be completely sure that connection means the same thing to everyone, or that there is only one way to live a fulfilling life. Most people may not think of defending the nocturnal people under the same banner or in the same spirit, but – if you agree with me – some introverts or the nightly people go about their lives enjoying the calm and solitude. They even challenge the basic equation of psychology which says that all human beings need social contact!

Dr Yousuf Ali Al Mulla is a physician, medical innovator and a writer.

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