George Herbert once said, “Time is the rider that breaks youth.” However, it does seem that many teenagers and young adults today do not seem to place value on time and utilise it to the bet that they can. Instead, one can often see many youths wasting their time on mindless activities. For example, it is quite common to see teenage boys and girls loitering at shopping malls or cyber cafes till the early hours of the morning. At any rate, adhering to the late-night culture can bring many problems for youths in the present and the future.
Due to the smorgasbord of food outlets that are open 24 hours a day in Malaysia, many young people flock to their favourite hangout spots in the wee hours of the morning to meet up with their friends over a plate or two of a local delight. However, the majority of youths today do not know about the adverse effects of late-night food consumption. Firstly, it is unnecessary for one to consume food at such a late time, as the energy is not expended later on when one goes to sleep. Instead, this unhealthy diet of carbohydrate-rich and fatty snack foods often ends up being wasted and turns into excess body fat.
Besides that, the late-night culture also affects the body’s biological system. Teachers often go through the rigmarole of trying to teach a class that is unable to pay attention because they lack proper sleep and rest. This is because a lack of sleep affects the body’s capacity for growth, repair and regeneration. Sleeping at odd hours will affect one’s physical and mental abilities the next day. As Thomas Dekker once said, “ Sleep is the golden chain that ties health and our bodies together.”
From another angle, a different type of problem with the late-night culture among youths concerns their safety. According to the National Crime Victimization Survey, approximately two-thirds of rapes and sexual assaults occur at night. Thus, the youths who stay out late are exposing themselves to an increased likelihood of being violently and sexually assaulted, as well as falling victim to other crimes, or even serious injury or death. For example, illegal racers such as Mat Rempits and drag racers also drive and ride dangerously fast, leaving it impossible for people who are out and about in the dark to see danger coming before it is too late.
In conclusion, the late-night culture brings with it many problems and side effects to the youth. It can be safely summated that in most cases, it is indeed better for young people to not go out till the late hours of the day. Instead, it would be wise for the youth to place more importance on their health and their physical safety.