“Semen will not stay within the man who stays in bed beyond sunrise.”— Pranaman

Rising of the Sun represents life, dynamism, energy, and movement. It signifies the heralding of a new day made by God for man to evolve further. All life on earth derives the energy required to sustain through the Sun and there would have been no life on earth without the Sun. Sunrise surcharges all animate and inanimate objects on the earth and sky with immense cosmic energy, which is nothing but Prana (life energy.) The solar energy thus generated is the chief source of Prana for plants, animals, and man to sustain themselves. Sunrise fills the entire cosmos with ‘Sathwik energy’ (energy that supports purity) and ‘Rajasic energy’ (energy that supports activity).

All processes within the human body right from digestion, assimilation, circulation, and excretion, including functioning of the brain, occur because of the Pranic energy that the Sun gives. Benjamin Franklin also said: “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.”

The food we eat is again a product of Prana. All plants yield fruits and vegetables using solar energy. These fruits or vegetables are then eaten by man or animals and the Prana finds its way into the human system either directly or indirectly. The Prana thus inducted through food which undergoes digestion followed by a seven-stage process leads to the formation of Rethas(semen). Thus, semen represents the seventh and last tissue element of the life process at the gross level. It is the subtlest and most powerful form of Prana in the gross bodily level capable of producing another life. Now, to understand why one mustn’t sleep during the daytime, one must also know the properties governing the night. Sunset followed by moon rise represents the end of a day and withdrawal of life energy.

Birds automatically go back to their nests and retire for the day. Moon representing female energy, cools the atmosphere, making it more conducive for plants, animals, and man to rest, relax and recuperate from the toils of day. Night is a sign for man to stop activity and rest. Moon rise increases the ‘Tamasic energy'(energy promoting inertia/inactivity) in the cosmos to help life forms retreat and rest. The energies prevalent at night are unsuitable for activity but have been created for rest and rejuvenation. Many biochemical, physiological, and psychological functions occur during sleep. What happens if a man were to sleep for a few hours during the day? First, he indulges in an activity that is against nature.

When the energies in nature are fully conducive for activity, achievement, and progress, he immerses himself in something exactly the opposite. When ‘Sathwik’ energy & ‘Rajasic energy’ (the energy that supports purity and the energy that supports activity) is predominant, he indulges in sleep, which is ‘Tamasic energy’ (the energy promoting inertia/inactivity).

When nature has made it fully conducive for man to progress and evolve, he does the exact opposite by immersing himself in slumber through sleep. This has serious repercussions at the physical, mental, and karmic levels. First, the mind and body having rested during the day become less prone to sleep at night, which is actually the correct time to rest. A man who sleeps during daytime cannot get deep and dreamless sleep that is required for revitalization and detoxification of the body at night. A man who has not slept during the day will naturally be more fatigued and tired by night and thus synchronizes with nature through deep sleep.

By not sleeping well at night, various bodily hormones (such as melatonin) and secretions necessary to detoxify, refresh and revitalize the body with health that are produced only during deep night sleep do not get secreted. The non-release of these hormones results in health disorders and rapid ageing over the course of time, leading to ill-health. People who sleep during the day and thus suffer from lack of deep sleep at night are prone to irritation, agitation, lust, anger, and other negative emotions. Sleep disorders such as insomnia and sleep apnea manifest in many.

By going against nature, man creates an imbalance within his own self for which he has to pay a penalty. From the angle of Brahmacharya, people who sleep during the day and thus remain awake at night become unfit for a life of virtue and purity. They cannot hold their semen beyond a certain period. The energies prevalent at night are meant for man to rest in a deep sleep. Instead, if man were to be awake, these energies evoke lustful and sexual undercurrents within a person, causing the mind to wander over sexual objects. This will eventually result in frequent wet dreams.

The person becomes more prone to lust attacks and constantly is hammered by lustful thoughts even the day after. Also, the best health benefits accrue further to sleeping in a pitch-dark room at night with no light. Among the various health-giving hormones released at night, the smallest amount of light, for example, prevents the release of the hormone Melatonin, which is ideally released from the Pineal gland in the brain between 2-3AM when man is deep in sleep.

For this reason, Melatonin is also called as the ‘Hormone of darkness’. The hormone Melatonin has been known to act as an active ingredient in the prevention of cancer, immune disorders, cardiovascular diseases, depression, sleep disorders, delirium, infertility, headaches, gallbladder stones, obesity and mood swings, including protection from radiation. The slightest amount of light, however, prevents this hormone from getting released into the bloodstream and hence the need for total darkness. There are many other health-giving hormones which get released only during deep night sleep and not otherwise. The correct way of ensuring a healthy lifestyle is to go to bed no longer than 10PM and wake up before sunrise while still dark. Early morning, before dawn 4-6am is called in Hindu philosophy as ‘Brahma muhurtha’ which means the period most suitable for the attainment of the knowledge of the Almighty creator, during this period all forces and energies in nature are in perfect resonance for one to attain divine spiritual knowledge, the very aim of Brahmacharya.

It is said to be the time when the gods come down to earth to bless and uplift souls who are aspiring for liberation. This is the reason a celibate is required to rise early. The man who rises early and indulges in communion with God gets outstanding success in every mode of life. Brahmacharya again becomes beyond the reach of a man who stays in bed beyond sunrise. This period before sunrise is highly conducive for the Brahmachari wanting to meditate and evolve spiritually. It is a time which is neither day nor night but in between and hence promotes the meditative state which is beyond duality.

The normal man functions at his best with regular hours of sleep at night and activity at day. Sunrise denotes the beginning of all activity with abundant cosmic energy as heat, light, and positive energy, while sunset denotes withdrawal. This is the basic norm on which all life in nature functions. You will have seen how birds chirp early in the morning all by themselves, purely through their instincts, without the aid of electronic alarms! There is not a single bird or animal on earth which stays asleep beyond dawn. Their morning tweets are a celebration of a new day and new life. Man however, because of various factors and reasons, most of which are a product of his degenerated mental state, ignores his innate voice to rise early, stays riveted to the bed and consequently loses the innumerable benefits of an early morning start to his day.