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Supacase's avatar

Is there any such thing as naturally nocturnal human?

Asked by Supacase (14490 points ) August 31st, 2009

Not any vampirish stuff going on here. Is there any natural reason some people would be drawn to the night? Not a condition that needs to be corrected like a shifted or elongated circadian rhythm, but an actual need for this type of person to exist? Maybe not now, but ages ago and has been passed down?

Say if a child as young as age 2 exhibited traits of staying up late into the night despite best the best efforts of her parents to get her to sleep and this persists through adulthood and develops into a desire, possibly even a need, for her. Is there any explanation other than it is not normal and needs to be corrected? Could it, somehow, for some reason, for some group of people, actually be normal? Be the way they are meant to be just as much as they are meant to have blue eyes or two feet? If so, why? Any thoughts on why?

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22 Answers

Saturated_Brain's avatar

Not unless it’s a biological mutation. As humans we’re designed to live and work in the daytime. Most nocturnal animals, if not all, have special adaptations which allow them to thrive in a dark environment. For one thing, they all have eyes which are extremely sensitive to light, which humans lack. And unless you have eyes as large as dinner plates I don’t think we’re going anywhere in that direction anytime soon.

pathfinder's avatar

From my focus at thise question.Just add.If something like that happend.For example human mutatiom than it will come from water.That could explain nano live in water and in the air.This can happend but after long period.The mutation is like a bingo game.Why.The time in such a game is main element and it is unpredictibble…

gailcalled's avatar

@pathfinder; I so happy am that your front.

Saturated_Brain's avatar

@pathfinder Out of curiosity, what’s your first language?

gailcalled's avatar

@Saturated_Brain: That is the question. We’ve asked many times. I think he is a Borat clone, and a clever one.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

I don’t believe in any natural mutation for a nocturnal human where it would run in families. It could become a preferred lifestyle choice by acclimation where kids grow up in that environment and just get used to but the human animal is pretty much a day creature for the best survival and health- you know you get some Vitamin D by sunlight exposure.

Yetanotheruser's avatar

@Supacase There have been periods in my life where I had no set schedule to follow (as in work schedule). As long as I did the work I got paid. I found myself staying up later and later, and getting up at a corresponding later time. I found that my natural (circadian?) rhythm was to go to sleep just before or about sunrise, and get up about 10 or noon, and maybe catch a small nap (30 min to 1 hour) sometime about midway between wake up and go to sleep.

augustlan's avatar

I really think I am one. Have been all my life. Even when I was in school or worked a full-time daylight hours job, the absolute earliest I could go to sleep is 1AM. Without such an imposed schedule, I am up all night long and sleep the first half of the day away.

evegrimm's avatar

I think it might be more likely that humans may have adapted to be crepuscular—that is, active during dawn and dusk. It’s an anti-predator tactic, and since humans used to be prey, I wouldn’t be surprised if this trait showed up (sometimes).

I find that, all things being equal, I tend towards nocturnal behavior as well. Although I am tired in the afternoon (pretty much from 12p to 5 or 6, lol), I can (and do) stay up until the wee hours of the morning.

Some people are just naturally night people—‘night owls’, you might say. Those of us who fall into this category find that our creativeness and learning capabilities work ‘better’ during the night than during the morning. Also, we (night owls) hate getting up in the morning, no matter if we have enough sleep or not.

Also, in the future, I wouldn’t be surprised if some humans develop either their own Vit. D or need less of it…we’re either moving towards Utopia or living underground/with tons of smog. But I’m not sure if that will mean we’ll be more nocturnal or not.

Saturated_Brain's avatar

@gailcalled Borat clone? Hmm… Kazakhstan anyone?

MacBean's avatar

@Yetanotheruser That sounds EXACTLY like me.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

Yes, there are naturally nocturnal people. Everyone has a circadian rhythm and it will be different for each person, depending on their genetics. Scientists are beginning to identify “morning”, “day” and “night” people through certain genes.

El_Cadejo's avatar

Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome

i’ve been like this my whole life. Hey loook at that, its 2am right now :P

ShanEnri's avatar

I love darkness! It is comforting to me. No headaches, no people to deal with. I sleep most of the day and stay up through the night!

Jeruba's avatar

I believe in pathfinder. I think he is awesome, amazing, a natural poet. Everything he writes exhilarates me because he does things with words that I could never conceive of. Speaking without a trace of facetiousness, I hereby affirm that I am a pathfinder fan.

mattbrowne's avatar

No, naturally nocturnal people would die of vitamin D deficiency leaving no offspring.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@mattbrowne there are other ways to get vitamin D aside from the sun.

its kinda rare that im actually exposed to the sun.

mattbrowne's avatar

@uberbatman – Yes, but access to pills or enriched food is necessary. This might work in developed countries. Lack of sunlight has other negative side effects, e.g. affecting serotonin levels.

Jonasty's avatar

You don’t need sunlight all day to get sufficient Vitamin D, just about an hour. Ironically, many people work indoors all day and get less sunlight than I do. I usually get up around two in the afternoon, but I work outside. I usually sleep from 6am to 2pm and I am as happy and healthy as anyone I know. I’ve been this way as long as I can remember-my sister is too.

keely's avatar

I don’t think there is anything biologically holding us back as far as hours we are awake with respect to adaptions and evolving. While it is true that naturally nocturnal animals have larger eyes, night vision and their predators are out during the day per se, humans have electricity and lights, and are on the top of the food chain. With 24 hour cities, the excuse that “there is nothing to do at night” doesn’t ring true anymore. I think that our natural sleep habits are free to roam to crepuscular, nocturnal etc. and there wouldn’t be any drastic survival issues that would “breed that out of us” so to speak.

Response moderated (Writing Standards)
SethNightowl's avatar

I am a Nocturnal human myself. I use my bodies energy differently than most people. I can see in detail at night, and I can hear up to 25 kHz. I /am/ adapted to night. I /am/ currently staying up from eight at night, to six in the morning, which is dawn in my town. I don’t appreciate when people call me lazy because my circadian rhythm is different, or because I get migraine’s when exposed to too much sunlight. It literally makes me sick. I have been studying my circadian rhythm’s, and my adaptations for so long, I can’t even remember a time when I needed the sun for Vit. D.

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