People enjoy Sunday because they get to enjoy a day of sun. Why can’t people enjoy ‘sunday’ everyday? That’s because the moment we wake up, we have to prepare to work, in an artificial environment of constant lighting and recycled air-conditioning. Day or night, it does not matter.
But imagine a society where official working hours start from 12pm and ends at 9pm, where people start the day with leisure activities like a stroll in the park or shopping. I’d like to live in that society, because one gets to enjoy the freshest hours of the day, a time when the sun barely rises from the horizon, when the earth is still cool and the air is fresh.
I always like the early hours of the day, even before the sun rises. It is the time when the earth’s heat has dissipated completely and there is this feeling of newness and cleanliness. Unfortunately, not everyone has the luxury (or sanity) to wake up at 5am everyday to enjoy the moments, because you would be deprived of sleep. To do that, you probably have to sleep at 9 or 10pm, which to most people, are the ‘golden hours’, where youngsters go clubbing and the families watch TV programmes.
Why are we so crazy about ‘nightlife’? I reckon it’s because of the need to let the hair down after a hard day’s work or studies, and perhaps the temperature is lower in the evening, and also because people are always attracted to beautiful lights, and therefore generates an air of romanticism and passion.
Why do we hate waking up early? Simply because we sleep late the night before doing the activities I described above.
Now, what if my version of society allows you to have recreational activities in the morning, work in the afternoon and past dinner, then sleep right after that? I find this society is more healthy. Here’s how it might work:
1) Morning is the freshest time of the day. It’s a waste to spend it in an enclosed office breathing unhealthy air-conditioner. Use this time to enrich yourself, either sports or reading or time with families, get some sun, shopping, whatever. For those who detest getting fresh air and prefers to live in the dark, they can carry on sleeping till 11am.
2) Start office/school at 12pm till 9pm. Afternoon is always the dreaded time coz it’s hot. Office-goers who works from morning tend to feel sleepy after lunch so productivity is reduced. If office were to start at 12pm, they come in to work fresh, and probably not so drowsy coz the momentum barely starts. For schoolers, if lessons go into the night, they get to enjoy cooler air too. Come to think of it, it’s better to start in the heat and end with a cool, because our body tolerate better at the start and slowly reduces tolerance through the hours, so in a way the environment balances our metabolism.
3) Work/school ends 9pm. Head home and sleep. No evening activities. And for night owls, they can party till 3am, then sleep till 11am.
This new ‘society’ benefits both sunday-lovers and party-goers. It allows both lifestyles to co-exist. Party-goers can sleep late and still go to work. The regulars can get fresh air and sun to enrich their mind before they go to work.
Anyway, it’s just my wishful thinking. Any society that works in this manner would be totally out-of-sync with the other societies within the same time zone. What I could really do is to practice sleeping early and wake up early myself, but I can’t do it alone: my wife has to do the same, or else our lifestyles would be out-of-sync.
When one lives in a society, one has to conform with the society to be sociable.