My party is currently on an outdoor mission, and after a fight they wanted to take a long rest. Before this they checked the time of the day with me, and I said about 4 PM.
I told them they would end the long rest at midnight, when the humans would have disadvantage on any encounters. I offered a short rest, but the bards want to regain spell slots, so they insisted on having a long rest. I'm planning an encounter that should be finished before midnight (a ritual).
Can a long rest be taken any time in a day? Taking a long rest at 4 PM and ending it at midnight, thus forcing the adventure to continue from midnight, seems a bit odd. Or should I make them start in the morning at 6 AM instead (thus not having a 14 hours rest)? Is there a rule that prevents them from taking a long rest that's more than 8 hours?