night in the forest
Reflections

The Beauty of Darkness- Day and Night

The Beauty of Darkness- Day and Night
Shashi Kumar, Unsplash

No, this is not about the book “the beauty of darkness,” where a terminally ill girl receives visions in the night. This post is about the beauty of darkness and the health effect on all life on earth. Life on Earth is submitted to cycles, like the circadian cycle, necessary for repairing cells at night while needing light during the day. In former times the sunlight wasn’t darkened by the industrial polluted air. There has been no industry.

The sun’s radiation could reach the earth without any hinder, and spend her lifegiving warmth to all life on earth. Nowadays, the air is polluted, and the sunlight is shielded in a bad way. The same occurs in the night. You have to be in the deepest forest or in nature to have a natural night where you only see the lights of the moon and stars, otherwise complete darkness. We need the darkness to recover our body cells in the night, which all life on earth is experiencing. The night is for recharging and repairing our cells.

The circadian rhythm is a life force all life on earth depends on,  deeply disturbed in humans and animals living in the cities and areas where there is a lot of air pollution and no real day and night rhythm anymore, what is called light pollution. I know many people who are afraid of the night, and the sunlight, living an artificial life feeling sick very often. They use a lot of light at night and sun protection during the day.  Sleep and Vitamin D production are disturbed, as well the bodily detox system at night.

However, there are modern movements where people try to switch off every light during the night, and electricity, keeping the night black-dark to improve their sleep and health. Also, gazing in the sunlight in the early morning hours gives the circadian rhythm a reset. Follow me through the article, and I will explain to you the importance of Day and Night.

The Circadian Rhythm

The circadian rhythm or cycle is a natural endogenous process that regulates the sleep-wake cycle within 24 hours. Any process in the organism depends on this cycle that responds to the environment. These 24- hour rhythms are regulated by the circadian clock in all life, even cyanobacteria, and fungi. According to Wikipedia, circadian comes from the term ‘circa,’ a Latin word, meaning around or approximately, and ‘Diem, meaning day.

sun in the trees
Marys_fotos,pixabays

24- hour processes are generally called diurnal rhythms, which are describing the environmental processes. Circadian rhythms are adjusted to the local environment by external cues like light, temperatures, and redox cycles. If the sleep cycle is abnormal disturbed, this phenomenon is called in the clinical term a circadian rhythm sleep disorder.

The rhythm is present in the sleeping and feeding pattern of animals, and humans, showing the dependence of other functions as body temperature, brain wave activity, hormone production, cell regeneration, and other biological activities.

Research has shown that the interrupted cycle in mutant mice has demonstrated how important the body clocks are for cellular/metabolic processes. The mice became hyperphagic and obese, showing an altered glucose metabolism. The circadian rhythm is linked to the sleep-wake cycle. If this cycle is interrupted through working the night shift or flying through other timezones, it also affects the metabolic, hormonal, CNS electrical, or neurotransmitter rhythm.

The Effect of the Day

a woman sitting and reading in a park by sunshine
shrikeshmaster, pixabay

The effect of the day on our mood is visible to all of us. If we have a dark rainy day, we feel depressed or melancholic or missing energy. The sunlight gives us a boost of energy, lifting our mood. Sunlight means the production of Vitamin D3( it is a hormone).  This vitamin is essential for many processes in our body, such as strong bones and many metabolic and hormonal functions. We are a vulnerable creation where everything works together, as all life on earth, some more complicated, some more simple. Humans depend on seasonal periods and weather conditions, on light and darkness, so do all animals and plants. Sunlight is so vital to all our bodily processes. When winter is over, we all long for the light and warmth of the sun, giving us a great feeling. You can observe insects coming out of their winter shelters, birds beginning to build nests for their breed, all life is starting again, especially reproductive life. However, sunlight is vital for our health.

Because of air pollution, the sun is darkened, and if you live in the northern hemisphere, it could be that you don’t get enough sunlight even in summer. Combined with sun protection, you will certainly never have enough Vitamin D3 production. All autoimmune diseases show a striking deficiency of vitamin D3 in the blood. Autoimmune disorders are on the rise in so-called civilized societies is not a surprise. Civilized = artificial!

a bird feeding its children
blende 12, pixabay

The sun is also essential for the circadian rhythm affecting all bodily functions. While wearing dark sunglasses in summer, staying awake all evening in rooms with artificial light, watching television, or being busy on the internet, we interrupt our circadian cycle, damaging our body, mind, and eyes. The number of people who have a mutated sleeping rhythm or suffering from insomnia is devastating and affects all bodily processes. Also, did you ever ask yourself why there are so many cataract operations of the eyes?

There is a movement where people are getting up early in the morning when the sun starts to rise and do sun gazing without glasses or any protection to reset their circadian cycle. I have tried this, and it works great.

The air pollution in big cities has done a lot of harm to all life. In the first weeks of Corona, while people had to stay in lockdown, the air was suddenly so clean due to the absence of traffic on the streets and in the air caused by the enormous traffic of planes.  Amazing! It shows the world in which we live; under these circumstances, most people are not even aware of anymore; it is so common for them. They are used to a damaging lifestyle and life.

The Effect of the Night

In former times when people had no artificial light in their house and definitely not on the streets, people followed their circadian rhythm, getting up early with the sun, going to bed when it was dark. They have been adapted to the seasons. Since we have the light, our problems have increased. If you live in the city and the street lights shine into your sleeping room, you will pay the price. Our bodies need the darkness in the night to recover and repair their cells. Many people don’t fall asleep or stay asleep due to the artificial lights they have in their houses or on the street. Our circadian rhythm needs us to sleep in complete darkness as nature has intended, but our artificial world with all the light is a disturbing factor. Going to bed early, using dimed light in a warm spectrum, or better no light, would be better for us, especially not the blue light of Led and our computers, which also interrupt our health. Combined with the electrical radiation and wifi in our houses, we will suffer illness and premature death, which already happens.

tents in the night, stars above
Richard Weller, Unsplash

I know when I worked on night duty that I loved to have only very little light on, walking through the dark halls, watching over the patients’ sleep has given me a beautiful feeling. I loved the darkness of the night, the quietness, and the peace, not the noisy day with all visitors and people coming over the floor and the telephone ringing.  My problems started after being awake all night, needing lots of cups of coffee to stay awake during the night, not falling asleep in the morning, or being awake already at lunchtime, which has certainly impacted my health. It is stressful what night shifters suffer during their working hours, and they are hardly paid for their work.

In Chinese medicine, they warn people to work night shifts due to the enormous toll on the bodies and minds. The night is there to get rest, to recover, and recharge.

The Beauty of Darkness

I don’t know, but maybe not many of us have been able to sleep in the darkness of a forest under a sky full of stars. Sleeping grounded on earth in nature is something people need to get used to. Most people don’t know how it is sleeping in nature. However, I know people who go camping in their holidays, mostly close to the sea or directly on the beach.

sleeping in a tent, free in nature
Marek Piwnicki, Unsplash

It is a fantastic feeling to sleep in nature, listening to the sounds of the sea, or forest, or mountains. I always loved to spend my holiday camping. However, camping on the camping ground with others is not the same. Ok, you don’t watch television, which is already great for your health, but you still have the lights shining all night on such a camping place.

In New Zealand, a friend of mine and I were driving with a car along the coastline of both islands, and wherever we stopped in the evening, we stayed and slept, in a hotel, motel, backpackers, but often in the car. The southern sky is amazing, full of stars. In the conservatory park Tasman, we had some great nights sleeping under the beautiful sky. The memories will always stay with us. Blessed are the people who live free in nature or can spend many nights outside civilization.

southern sky, milk street
Phil Botha, Unsplash

We also have this beautiful sky in the northern hemisphere, but because it is so crowded with cities and lights, we do not see much of the stars. I believe this is different in the Scandinavian countries. In Ireland, I could see the stars very bright shining as well. Being in Nature during the night, the scenery, the beauty of darkness is breathtaking. But, of course, I understand that there are people who don’t like to be outside at night. People living in the light and air polluted cities in this world will not know the luxury of a beautiful, peaceful night in nature.

I  have some weak shining solar lights in my garden, but not any other lamp, so animals and birds are not disturbed. Of course, neighbors have lights in their gardens, but luckily, it is not affecting my garden. 🙂 Animals and birds have the same circadian rhythm and need darkness to rest and recover; exceptions are bats and hedgehogs and night-active animals and birds, which rhythm is the other way around. Also, some do hibernate during the winter.

Final Thought

We have already gone too far in the case of pollution of our environment. All life is paying the price! Our health is declining by all the ill making comfort of our artificial world. People, who are sensitive to all the pollution, are forced to live in the countryside, or in the cities, buying all the stuff needed for the protection of their health, like an air filter, a water filter, darkening their sleeping room, painting the walls with paint that doesn’t let radiation in. It has become difficult to live in this stressful environment, but most people can’t afford to move a house to a place where they can live a more peaceful and healthy life. Our circadian cycle is disrupted, but many people have no clue or interest.

What do you think? Do you know what I am talking about, and did you experience nights in nature under a sky full of stars? Do you experience health problems due to the fact of a disturbed circadian cycle? Maybe you didn’t know until now? I would love to hear your opinion and experiences.

All the Best,

Sylvie

8 Comments

  • Henk van Dijkhuizen

    Een heel goed artikel. Heel interessant te lezen hoe “The Circadian Rhythm” ons slaap en wakker zijn proces reguleert, en hoe dit proces reageert op de omgeving. Dat dit proces ook aanwezig is in het slaap- en voeding patroon van dieren en mensen, en ons de afhankelijkheid laat zien met betrekking tot onze lichamelijk functies als lichaamstemperatuur, hersenactiviteit en hormoon productie, toont aan hoe belangrijk het is dat we dicht bij de natuur moeten leven.

    Hoe kan het zijn dat de mensheid door industriele revolutie en vooruitgang bereid was en is om steeds verder van de natuur af te leven en zijn gezondheid hiervoor in de waagschaal te leggen. Wat hebben we door de extreme vervuiling onze planeet en onszelf aangedaan. The Circadian Rhythm wil ons lichaam in staat stellen te herstellen van de dagelijkse inspanning en cellen te produceren of te reproduceren. Zodra dit proces niet kan plaatsvinden, zetten we de deur open om ziek te worden. En dan gaan we het zoeken bij de reguliere geneeskunde die ondersteunt door de farmaceutische industrie ons nog verder wegbrengt van de natuurlijke genezingsbron.

    Ik hoop dat dit artikel door veel mensen gelezen wordt, en het een directe aansporing zal zijn om duurzaam te gaan leven. Terug naar de natuur moet het devies zijn.

    • Sylvie

      Hoi Henk, Dank je wel voor jouw commentaar! Ja, je hebt helemaal gelijk! Het is zo belangrijk niet te vergeten waar wij vandaan komen, met de natuur te leven. Wij gehoren er bij. Onze gezondheid is afhankelijk van deze rhythme, maar helaas hebben mensen dit vergeten, en leven liever in een kunstmatige wereld met kunstmatig voedsel. Zij zij al ver vandaan, en misscihien is het heel moeilijk voor hun weer terug te keren. 🙂

  • Hannie

    Oh, Sylvia, it looks like we agreed on it beforehand! Coincidentally, I also wrote an article about the Circadian rhythm this week. 🙂

    When we still lived in the Netherlands we had no curtains so the bedroom was never pitch-dark. Back then I hadn’t made any connection between my not-so-great sleeping patterns and the light seeping in.

    Nowadays we always shut the rolling shutters so no light is getting into the bedroom anymore.

    Your paragraph about the start of the lockdown also appealed to me. We have several English neighbors who have their house as a holiday house. As soon as they arrive they hang party lights in the garden and on the terraces. But now that they weren’t allowed to travel the bats and the birds came back into our garden.

    Yet they see themselves as very conscious people. Making the conversations about nature difficult at times!

    • Sylvie

      Hi Hannie, It is because we have the same interest in health and sustainability. I think it is great to have many people trying to make others aware of the damaging lifestyles we live to impact the planet’s and our own health. That is so beautiful! Yes, the circadian rhythm is so essential that we shouldn’t interrupt it. But people are not aware of these things. Is it not beautiful to have these animals in our garden? I love to watch bats and birds, and I am always pleased to see them joyful flying and bathing in our small garden. It is so lovely! Thank you very much for your comment, Hannie! Keep up your great work!:)

  • Matt Lin

    Hi Sylvie,

    It’s true that so-called civilized equals artificial, which makes more health issues to modern people. I know I never sleep well when the lights on, so I can relate to what you mentioned in the effect of the night. To change our lifestyle back to normal, it’s advisory to learn from our ancestors – sleep early without any lights and any electronic devices on for a better rest.

    I can compare my health status, both mental and physical, between living in the city and countryside because I experienced two lifestyles. I used to live with my parents in the countryside and live in the city on my own. The gap is too huge to tell how bad I am living in a big city. Air pollution, noise, and endless lights are all the reasons…

    My current remedy is going back home(the countryside) every weekend to stay with my parents to balance my mind and body, giving me more time to share our lives with my parents. My ultimate goal is to move back to the countryside with my parents, preparing for this now. 🙂

    Cheers,
    Matt

    • Sylvie

      Great Matt, I am very pleased with your comment! Thank you very much! Yes, we need to go back, with our lifestyle, with consumption, with growing food, living in villages. What do we need? We have too much! And the spiral goes up, far too quick! It is a great idea to live with your parents, Matt. They will love to have you with them. I don’t know how life is in Taiwan, but I believe there is no difference in consumption and lifestyle choices. Today we walked through a green part of our city containing lots of wildflowers, and even then, we have seen only about three bees. Can you imagine? We need to hurry up. Sleeping in the countryside is so healthy, air, few lights. We need to value where we are coming from! I love your comment, Matt! 🙂

  • Sasha

    I have lived in a busy city all my life, surounded by artifiial lights, air & light pollution, as well as constant bombardment of harmful blue light from tv/computer/mobile screens! I never knew how much this impacted my health and my overall life until I went on a trip to visit old family members that lived far far away into the countryside. That was when I was exposed to the mere beauty of nature and how it positively interacted with my circadium cycle. I slept, breahted, and ate better than I ever had in my entire life!!

    So I can totally relate to what you were saying about your experince sleeping under the starry sky in New Zealand. It is truly an overwhelmingly pleasant experience to say the least! I now miss no opportunity to drive as far away from all the light pollution as I can whenever I get the chance.

    Thank you for writing this post as I think it is super imperative that more people read and understand how polluted the air we breathe really is. Maybe your post may inspire readers to enjoy & adopt a life in nature to blanace out their circadium cycles.

    • Sylvie

      Hi Sasha, I understand you very well! We are thinking of moving to the countryside. I am already using a grounding sheet in my bed, but more pollution is coming our way, like 5G. We don’t want to live in the city anymore. You have experienced a beautiful situation, being restful, giving your body what it needs, and feeling your circadian rhythm. Please follow your heart! It is more important to be healthy. You are on the right way, Sasha! Don’t leave it! 🙂

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