In the quest to maximize subjective life quality, we are faced with many questions and decisions on how to optimally obtain this goal. One of the questions faced will inevitably be, "When should I make a short term compromise in order to obtain this goal?" A very simple example of this is working on something boring in order to get to more interesting stuff or to make money to pay for other more fulfilling experiences. I want to talk about compromise in the social sense though. When is it good for me to do something with friends or people when I really do not want to do it at the moment?
In Late Night Adventures, cspice talks about the adverse affects of alcohol and sleep deprivation on health and how these typically accompany night life outings. Furthermore, he argues that one can get most of the benefit of the night life without these issues. While this may be true for certain people, I think for many, these could have potential adverse social affects. For example, if going to a bar or club, there is a good possibility of not having a good environment before midnight. Many people do not even begin to go out until 11 pm or so, so there may only be an hour or half hour of a good amount of people at a bar or a club. Certainly, an issue would be to find a bar or a club with a good density of people before midnight. Also, staying out no later than midnight has the obvious coordination problem of going out with friends. Most people plan on staying out until 2 am or later when going out. Either you would have to drive separately or find people who also want to be in around the same time. Your friends who like to stay out later would potentially become less likely to invite you considering the extra coordination problems.
Sleep deprivation and irregularity in one's sleep schedule can be potential problems of staying out late. However, I think for most people, these effects are pretty small. I know for myself, that getting in around 2 or 3 am and sleeping until 10 or so on a weekend will not cause me to need to stay up later and lose sleep for the work week. Furthermore, there was a comprehensive study that suggested less than 8 hours of sleep is optimal. [Link] To be exact, it suggested 7 hours was optimal. This is not a huge difference, but the point is that people probably need less sleep than they think they do. This study was done with an extremely large data set although there is no fundamental evidence to suggest that 7 hours is optimal. However,the same is true for the conventional wisdom which says 8 hours is the best. I am not suggesting that sleep deprivation is good, but studies suggest most humans do not need the full 8 hours of sleep to be healthy. Most importantly, I think each individual needs to test out their own sleep schedule and find out what works for them best, while also considering if the potential social benefits/detriments are worth it.
Alcohol is ubiquitous with socializing and partying in America. The optimal amount to drink for your health is probably zero. However, anyone who has consumed alcohol before knows that it is usually pretty fun to do so. Keeping in mind the potential health and psychological consequences of alcohol, I think that it is probably not a bad idea to occasionally drink alcohol and every once in a while to even indulge a bit. Certainly I, as well as many others, had some very memorable drunken nights. The point is that it is not just all about health.
There are many pressures from society that encourages people to do many things they do not want to. It is important to identify these things and figure out the appropriate amount of compromise to still maintain a healthy social life. Your physical health is certainly very important, but I would rather live a slightly less healthy life in the company of more fun and interesting people than in a life without compromise.