Mass General Research Institute researchers have discovered evidence supporting the assertion that after midnight there, nothing good happens. In addition, the researchers established a new hypothesis supporting the notion that the human brain is not supposed to be awake past midnight.
Staying awake past midnight causes neurophysiological changes in the brain
According to the researchers staying up past hours results in high-risk decisions and impulsive behavior like gambling, criminal activity, overeating, or drinking. Notably, the researchers indicated that staying up late can lead to neurophysiological changes in one’s brain, resulting in one viewing things negatively.
Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Neurology’s Dr. Elizabeth Klerman said that from an evolutionary standpoint, our biological circadian clock had been wired towards processes promoting sleep after midnight. According to her, the latest hypothesis will support future studies on how the circadian rhythms’ day and night differences affect decision-making, job performance, and human behavior.
Interestingly, findings will have significant implications for people that work past midnight, including pilots, healthcare workers, and police officers. According to the researchers, understanding how the brain changes past midnight can be instrumental in creating strategies that can prevent suicide, combat crime, and curb drug abuse.
People commit crimes under cover of darkness
According to earlier research, individuals tend to commit dangerous acts at night. For example, as per statistics, drug use, violent crime, and suicide occur more frequently at night. In addition, individuals are more inclined to choose unhealthy foods, such as processed foods, carbohydrates, and fats, after dark.
Usually, people find it easier to commit a crime under cover of darkness when they feel like they can get away with it. But, according to the researchers, there is a biological explanation for this. Klerman explained that the circadian rhythm changes during the 24 hours, implying that people will view things differently at night during the day.
The positive effect is high in the morning when the circadian clock wakes. However, surprisingly, the positive impact remains lowest during the night since the circadian clock is ready to fall asleep.