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Why is nightime always the time I want to self-harm?

27 Answers
Last Updated: 05/19/2020 at 12:43pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
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Melissa Strauss, LPC

Licensed Professional Counselor

I am client focused and believe everyone has a strength. I feel confident in seeing clients with generalized and social anxiety, depression and relational goals.

Top Rated Answers
January 24th, 2015 1:58am
When I used to self harm nighttime also was usually when I wanted to self-harm. I think it was because nighttime I usually ended up having time to reflect on my day and past experiences which really triggered my depression and need to self-harm.
April 10th, 2015 8:06am
This could be for a number of reasons and everyone is different but these are just a few ideas. Often at night we are most alone and being outside a social setting means we are less affected by the perceptions of others - (while a small number or of people may self harm in front of others, most do not). At nighttime we are often more tired as well which makes resisting urges to self harm, or considering the rational reasons not to harder. Further to this many people keep their self harm tools in private areas such as bedrooms (particularly if they are younger) which means they are more easy to seek out at night and isolation is almost a given at night time so does not create the same level of suspicion as disappearing all day long. For a small number of people night time may also create an environment of fear and potential triggers which may lead to self harm as well.
January 20th, 2015 1:56am
In my experience, it's because that's when the day is winding down and you're not preoccupied with the other things that take place during the day. You're mind is distracted during the day with things like school, work, after-school activities, family, friends, and so forth. But at night, since you're getting ready to go to sleep, it gives your mind time to wander.
April 12th, 2015 3:47pm
I think it is a really good thing that you are asking this question. I am wondering if you are left with time on your hands to think during the evening and therefore find it harder to distract yourself from your thoughts of self harm?
May 15th, 2015 6:28pm
Maybe because that is the time when everything settles down, people sleep, the day turns dark, and things start to enter into your head because there isnt anything else to look at, do, or even say to anyone else in your house.
May 24th, 2015 1:03pm
This may be because its the time you are by yourself, when you have the most time to think. These feelings can be quite overwhelming and really irritating when you are trying to ignore them. You are strong enough to fight these urges, keep your head up!
July 14th, 2015 8:20pm
The reason for this is because it's dark, and usually people are asleep. You'd rather do it at night so nobody would know. But you shouldn't! Doing this can cause a lot of damage and no matter what, it's not worth it. I know you probably feel it's like a relief, but you'll regret it so much. Talk to a friend, family member, a teacher, counselor. Seek help. Nobody wants you to do this to yourself, because you are amazing! You are loved by so many.
August 31st, 2015 10:35am
It is a time when everyone's asleep so you feel most lonely at night because no ones around to talk to.
May 6th, 2015 2:09am
The night is a darker and less busy time than the day. It might lack opportunities to distract you from negative emotions so you might feel them stronger at night and are therefore more prone to experiencing destructive urges.
May 7th, 2015 9:05pm
The sun has a effect on the body that causes a hormonal balance, when the sun is down (night time) it causes a depressed mood for some. I'd recommend spending more time outside to try and get more of the chemicals your body produces while in the sun.
May 16th, 2015 8:01pm
Night-time can be when there are fewest distractions around you, when you are left alone with your thoughts to fall asleep. There are no distractions to stop you from dwelling on things that upset you and might trigger your urges.
June 10th, 2015 4:42am
When I'm alone especially at night I feel the most lonely. Nights are hard to get through by myself and I really don't like to be alone
June 29th, 2015 9:06pm
At night, you're usually tired and that makes your mind start to wander more. Overthinking is a lot more common at night. Thats why some people self-harm more at night, because their mind is "weaker" and its harder to resist the urges.
August 17th, 2015 6:03am
Night time is when you have the most time you have to think to yourself and your mind runs wild sadly.
September 22nd, 2015 9:47pm
Many people start thinking darker and deeper when it's nighttime for several reason. It could be quiet, lonely, you are tired, you need time to process the day and your dark thoughts might show. The result : You need to let it out somehow and self-harm is the first thing that comes into your mind. Try to reach out to someone who's still awake at nighttime and just talk to them, try to distract yourself and don't feel lonely. You can also try to listen to music (not sad music) before you sleep so it isn't quiet anymore, it's harder to think negative and it's really calming. If these won't help please reach out to a professional to seek help. It's worth it.
September 28th, 2015 8:48am
In the evening/night, you finally have a time after a tiring day to rethink your actions or mistakes. Meditation about everything that happened can lead you to suprising, sometimes saddening conclusion. If you feel like self harm may help you, you're already in the mood to do that.
January 18th, 2016 1:04am
Night time often feels the loneliest and most upsetting. It is harder to reach out for help because you can't be sure if people are asleep. Darkness itself can cause sadness. Some combination of these factors may be why you feel the need to self-harm at night.
January 26th, 2016 3:35am
During the day you are busy and you may not really think of it or have to the need to do it. At night, your mind is pretty much clear and you nobody around you. Your mind gets all these thoughts.
February 16th, 2016 7:09am
It could be because it's easier to think about your emotional wounds and pick them apart at night when there's no distractions. Please take care of you ♡
August 16th, 2016 4:03pm
I truly understand this question... I used to cut myself at nights since the darkness and silence were comforting. It was as if they were expressing my emotions for me, dark. Everyone would be sleeping and wouldn't be aware of what I was doing. It was just like that...
December 26th, 2016 12:46pm
It gets a little lonely, and quiet too. In that environment, the mind wanders and it's really way too easy to start thinking about self-harm as an escapade as compared to any other times of the day. Afterall, it's when we try to sleep that the past memories and mistakes come to haunt us.
January 16th, 2017 2:12am
Nighttime is the time when you are most isolated (since people are asleep), and being alone can cause you to withdraw into yourself and your feelings because there aren't people around to talk to.
February 6th, 2017 6:35am
At night, it's dark and you're alone. Nobody else in your house is awake and it's just silent. I've always wanted to do it at night because it's just so much more calm and there is less of a chance of someone walking in. Night time is much more depressing than daytime, and you're less occupied; leaving you to be more alone with your thoughts.
April 10th, 2018 2:33am
Night time is quiet time, when the day has come to an end and everything and everyone is settled in for the night. It leaves a lot of time for our minds to wander and sometimes we even feel alone. There are plenty of coping strategies that can be used even at night. Research, get on 7 cups, read..find what works best for you. To get other, more positive things on your mind.
June 11th, 2018 7:56pm
Because at nighttime, you're alone in a dark room, giving your thoughts a gateway into your brain and making sure you only have those thoughts to focus on
August 13th, 2019 8:30pm
I find nighttime to be the least distracting time of the day. Everything else gets shut down, put aside, shut out. Like peeling the layers of an onion. I'm only left with myself, and uninterrupted time to think and feel. Even in the best of circumstances, nighttime is when we all need to take the best care of ourselves. Treat yourself as if you have a friend visiting you - you do, because you are your own best friend. Talk out loud if you have to! Create nighttime and bedtime routines that help you feel organized. When we finally lay down to sleep, that's going to be the scariest time. When we face only ourselves. I focus on deep breathing exercises, and tensing and loosening every part of my body one by one, from the toes up. If I start to spiral downward into negative thinking against myself, I get up and do something, anything. I try again after 20 minutes. We don't need to be afraid of the night. We can all be our own best friends helping ourselves, one day at a time.
May 19th, 2020 12:43pm
The reason why night time is the general time to self-harm is because, in my personal opinion... I find that its because everyone is in bed and you are alone, in a confined space where your thoughts can go wild. You have time to think and reflect on anything. Your mind begins to wonder and that's usually when overthinking takes place to the extent where you begin to feel overwhelmed by your thought process. To some this may not be the case and that is perfectly fine but like I said previously, this is only a personal opinion.