Have you ever experienced sad moments right before you sleep? Do you tend to feel more depressed as you think about those thoughts? Many of us have been there and we are no strangers to those experiences. Here are 6 reasons that may explain this phenomenon. As for a disclaimer, this article only focuses on a better understanding of nighttime depression. Please consult a professional if you have any questions about your personal mental health.
1) You feel lonely
If you are someone who lives by yourself. the distractions are decreased and you are mainly focused on our phones or limited within your own homes. especially at night. With the lack of interaction or companionship, thoughts of loneliness or isolation may kick in and make you feel worse for a prolonged period of time. (Gotter, 2018).
2) You reflect too much on your own
Sometimes, one of the main reasons we remain awake is thinking about ourselves. This includes negative thoughts such as, “Why did I do it?” or “What could have happened if I did not say that?” Reflection is a great way to evaluate ourselves to become a better person in the daytime, but doing it frequently at night may lead to anxiety or depression (Harrison, 2020).
3) There’s too much light in your room
When we sleep, we are trying to maintain a dark environment so that our eyes can adapt to the resting process. However, if there is a slit between the curtains that allows light to sneak in, it may be one of the reasons that sleeping is hard for you. The source of light can disrupt the sleep cycle and possibly associate with mood instability or depression (Harrison, 2020).
4) Your circadian rhythm is not coordinated
Circadian rhythm refers to the internal clock of your body. It often tells us the time to stay active and the time to rest. However, if the circadian rhythm is not properly maintained due to night shifts or jet lag problems. We are more prone to sleep deprivation or even worse, night time depression in the long run (Harrison, 2020).
5) You work/ study at night
As mentioned in the previous point, not all of us work in the day time. When you work or study at night, this means you strive to gain rest as morning comes. Because of the fact that you won’t be able to sleep at night and the daylight can interrupt your sleep cycle, you may find yourself have trouble sleeping over time. This may also increase the chance of unwanted exhaustion or potential risk of coronary heart disease (Angerer, Schmook, Elfantel & Li, 2017).
6) Your chronotype is disoriented
Chronotype refers to the signal in our bodies that tells us the appropriate sleeping time. If we sleep when we are not sleepy and stay awake when we are sleepy, we may be more prone to the risk of feeling depressed over time due to the shift of the chronotype. Due to that habit, it may worsen our nighttime depression (Harrison, 2020).
Angerer, P., Schmook, R., Elfantel, I., & Li, J. (2017). Night Work and the Risk of Depression. Deutsches Arzteblatt international, 114(24), 404–411. https://doi.org/10.3238/arztebl.2017.0404
Gotter, A. (2018, September 18). Depression at Night: How to Cope with Nighttime Depression. https://www.healthline.com/health/depression-at-night
Harrison, T. (2020, March 3). Night Time Depression: 6 Reasons Why You Feel Depressed At Night and How To Avoid. The Minds Journal. https://themindsjournal.com/night-time-depression-causes/