Nyctofilia: causes, symptoms and treatment

Many people are attracted to the night and this condition is known as nyctophilia. It is valid, as long as it does not cause health difficulties or problems in relationships with others.

Last update: 03 February, 2022

Nyctophilia is the attraction to the night. It is not classified as a pathology, but it is a problematic condition due to the effects it can have on health. Depriving yourself of much of the sunlight and carrying out activities in the opposite direction than usual has its consequences.

We speak in the strict sense of nyctophilia when a person freely chooses to be awake until late at night. Those who work shifts do not do it for pleasure, but for the demands of work.

When a person has nyctophilia, You don’t necessarily have to get treatment.. You are also not required to change your lifestyle.

What is nyctophilia?

Nyctophilia is a condition that is characterized by an unusual attraction at night and in the dark. It is not considered a disorder and is not included in any of the psychiatric diagnostic manuals.

As such, it cannot be considered as a problem. Despite this, it is possible that behind this type of behavior there is some difficulty. Perhaps it has to do with a sleep disorder or with obstacles to adapting to social life.

Each case is different and that is why the circumstances in which a person with nyctophilia lives must be assessed. If this does not cause you any inconvenience, you can talk about a simple preference.


One of the most revealing elements to evaluate nyctophilia is the cause that provokes it. This behavior can have very diverse origins, which must be cataloged to know if it is a problem to be resolved or a lifestyle that has been freely chosen.

circadian rhythm pattern

The circadian rhythm is a biological cycle by which the hours of sleep and wakefulness are regulated. The usual thing is that people are more active in the morning and deactivate at night, coinciding with the presence of the sun. However, and for reasons unknown to science, some people have a different pattern.

Some nocturnal habits are sporadic and appear for a specific reason. The causes of nyctophilia are varied.

psychological traits

People with a high IQ tend to be more active at night. The reason why this occurs is not known. Similarly, those who are introverted find the night more attractiveto the extent that social life is much less intense at that time.

alteration of habits

People who do not have a structured routine tend to develop very flexible habits of sleep and food. In principle, there is a tendency to sleep late and wake up late too. If the absence of commitments in the mornings is added to this, it often leads to nyctophilia.

aversive situation

It is possible that there is something during the day that generates rejection in a person. By being awake at night, she seeks to avoid that negative stimulus.

Likewise, a childhood trauma that occurred at night can generate an alert fixation at that time. It would be an effect of post-traumatic stress.

Symptoms of nyctophilia

As long as it is not a pathology as such, one cannot speak of general symptoms either. What can be done is to outline the characteristics that are indicative of this condition and that are problematic:

  • Vitamin D deficiency: Sun exposure is essential for the production of this vitamin. Its lack affects the state of mind, but also the bone and immune systems.
  • Social difficulties: When a person has little or no social contact due to the habit of staying awake at night, it is a situation that should be evaluated by a professional.
  • Labor problems: the difficulty or inability to meet work commitments is an indicator that nyctophilia is inconvenient.
  • Rest deprivation: If love at night leads to fewer hours of rest or less restful sleep, there is also a problem.
If nyctophilia results in extreme tiredness to carry out the activities of the day, then a solution must be found.

Available Treatments for Nyctophilia

Nyctophilia does not require treatment if it does not cause inconvenience for social or work performance, nor does it significantly affect physical health. Otherwise, it is necessary to consult with the doctor to find ways to overcome this condition.

The priority would be to consult with a psychotherapist. This professional will assess each case and will be able to detect problems. The presence of sleep disorders or significant alterations in the circadian rhythm can lead to the prescription of drugs.

In general terms, The healthiest thing is to sleep at night and be awake during the day. As much attraction as there is towards the night, it is convenient to moderate the habits. Nyctophilia is an acceptable way of life, as long as it does not cause harmful consequences.

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