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Why Do I Get Sad At Night?

The phrase nighttime insomnia is not a favorite of many people, because anything hindering a good night’s sleep is definitely not pleasant.

Now, before you get worked up, first, you should know you’re not alone, and many people feel it too. Second, it can be treated.

Now, before we get to that, why do you think you get sad at night? And what does it mean to have nighttime depression?

You’ll find out shortly, as you continue reading this article.

Is getting Sad At Night A Nighttime Depression?

Depression is regarded as a mood disorder that is accompanied by physical and emotional symptoms that affect your daily life, making it difficult to perform everyday functions.

It is a mental health condition that causes an intense feeling of sadness, or lack of interest in daily activities.

Nighttime depression is simply depression that occurs mostly at night.

It is also characterized by an intense feeling of sadness, overthinking and other emotional and physical symptoms that rob people of their sleep.

Although, many people feel sad from time to time, as it is a part of human nature.

However, when it gets constant and recurring, then there is indeed a problem that needs to be solved.

Nighttime depression is often accompanied by intense insomnia, which is a medical condition known as difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.

With insomnia comes the inability to fall asleep, waking up constantly after sleeping in the night, and an inability to concentrate.

We all experience depression in different ways, from mood swings to lack of motivation to do things or perform optimally.

However, there are some people who only experience their own depression at night, and it comes in diverse symptoms for different individuals.

What are some of these symptoms?

What Are The Symptoms Of Nighttime Depression?

Nighttime depression comes with a lot of symptoms, and most of these symptoms are the same with people who suffer from depression, although they usually surface mostly at night.

Symptoms of nighttime depression often range from a feeling of unhappiness or intense sadness, hopelessness, and low self-esteem to getting zero or no pleasure at all from things meant to make you happy.

People with nighttime depression sometimes spend most of their night staring into nothing, crying their eyes out, feeling intense sadness, or lacking interest in almost anything and everything.

For example, a person who likes to have conversations might self isolate from every other person, shying away from conversations, and keeping only to themselves.

The symptoms are not only emotional; they manifest physically as well. In such situations, individuals might feel;

  • Being always tired
  • Complete loss of appetite
  • Inability to sleep for long or sleep at all
  • Having zero to no appetite
  • Lack of sex drive
  • Various pains and aches.

Just like any other disease condition, symptoms typically range from mild to severe cases depending on how deeply rooted such a person’s condition depression is.

At the most favorable, you might only feel constantly low in spirit, but severe conditions might even go as far as continually giving you suicidal thoughts when you are about to go to bed.

Although a bad mood is not something unusual as we all experience it at some times in our lives, it is, however, a dreadful thing when it occurs only at night and too frequently.

Why Do I Feel Sad Only At Night?

There are several reasons your depression could worsen at night.

According to various studies, symptoms of depression, although they may develop at any stage and time, are usually worse at night.

Let us examine some factors that could be possible for the detrimental effect of your nighttime sadness.


As humans, we ruminate over things consistently, which is much more heightened in people with depression.

Individuals who suffer from depression often think about things, mulling over past unpleasant events and spinning them like weaves in their minds.

This creates a roller coaster of awful emotions that includes focusing too much on only negative emotions.

It is common knowledge that you are more prone to being alone at night, with enough time to overthink even the most trivial things.

Nighttime rumination may be a significant cause of your sadness at night because it worsens your emotional state of mind.

Nighttime Light Exposure

Dark places have been discovered to be highly linked to cases of depression.

Research shows that depressed individuals who sleep in the dark have more difficulty falling asleep than those in a well-lit room.

However, exposure to too much light can also mess up your sleep routine, especially if your eyes are sensitive to being exposed to light.

Keep it mild, not too bright, and not dark to spook you.

Sleep Routine (Chronotype)

Chronotype is the normal inclination for your body to fall asleep at a period. Sleeping late can be another reason you experience depression at night.

Studies on the link between chronotype and night depression show that early birds who go to bed earlier report fewer cases of night depression.

Your sleep routine can play a significant role in your mental state.

Risk Factors For Being Sad Only At Night

Nighttime depression can result from anything; some major factors increase your risks of getting nighttime depression.

Although there are many causes of depression, factors influence or contribute to the development of nighttime depression in people. These factors include;

  • Substance abuse
  • Genetics
  • Stress
  • Some medical conditions or mental health problems
  • Poor nutrition/malnutrition
  • Brain chemistry
  • Past trauma
  • Low self-esteem or extreme pessimism

Tips For Coping With Being Sad At Night

However unpleasant your nighttime depression may be, the good thing is that there are ways in which you can try to cope with it.

To manage your nighttime depression, here are a few tips to consider;

Unwind Before Going To Bed

Spending time with people and having conversations is a great way to let loose a little before going to bed.

It will get some happy thoughts in you and make it easier to sleep well at night.

Try Not To Do Stressful Things During Your Bedtime

Stress is a significant factor in nighttime depression.

As much as you can, try to reduce how much you stress yourself if you want to have a goodnight’s sleep.

Reduce Your Alcohol Intake

Substance abuse, excessive consumption of alcohol, and toxic substances can have a terrible effect on your health status.

They are factors that potentially increase the symptoms of your nighttime depression.

How To Treat Being Sad At Night

Your nighttime depression is not without a cure, it can be treated, and you also can have a goodnight’s rest.

There are several ways to treat nighttime depression; the first is to seek medical care for the depression itself.

It is rare for people who do not have any depression to feel depressed only at night.

There must be a pre-existing condition of depression before it can worsen at night.

That condition needs to be treated first; then, your nighttime depression will get better. Here are practical ways to cure your depression:


There are different therapies for managing nighttime depression; cognitive-behavioral therapy can help people suffering from depression change their behavioral patterns.

Psychotherapy is one; it involves the use of psychological methods, particularly in relation to personal interaction, to help a person make behavioral health changes.

It is mainly used for patients with mental health issues, helping them overcome their problems.

It is often adopted for patients suffering from depression and can permanently solve your nighttime depression.

Use Of Medications

There are Antidepressant medications effective for treating symptoms of nighttime depression.

Consulting a healthcare practitioner is the best way to get a prescription fit for your mental condition.

Selective serotonin trip inhibitors are an example of drugs used to treat symptoms of depression in individuals.

Lifestyle Changes

Lifestyle modifications for treating cases of nighttime depression include sleeping in not too bright rooms, unwinding and trying to have fun and make happy memories before sleeping, engaging in less strenuous activities, and eating a healthy diet.

The ways you can improve your lifestyle to reduce your depression symptoms include:

  • Doing relaxing activities before bed
  • Exercising occasionally
  • Reducing stressors
  • Restricting bright lights when sleeping
  • Avoid alcohol, cigarettes, toxic substance, and caffeine.

Bottom line

Not that you fully understand what causes your nighttime depression and how to solve it, what’s left for you to do is to take the right actions.

Depression is indeed a global pandemic, and we all need a cure, so work towards improving your mental status so that you can sleep better at night.


Healthline: Depression at Night: How to Cope with Nighttime Depression

Verywellmind: Why Am I Depressed Only at Night?

 Verywellmind: Causes and Risk Factors of Depression

MedicalNewsToday: What to know about depression at night

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