Nyctophilia: The Love of the Night

Nyctophilia is the love of the night. In fact, although Romeo loved his Juliet, he also declared himself a lover of the night. If you have a hard time going to bed early and it makes you feel a kind of existential emptiness, this article is for you.
Nyctophilia: The Love of the Night
Cristina Roda Rivera

Written and verified by the psychologist Cristina Roda Rivera.

Last update: 21 December, 2022

Are you one of those people who feels far more comfortable once the sun goes down and darkness arrives? Nyctophilia or love of the night is the feeling that your life is far better at night.

Unfortunately, for most of us, ‘normal life’ and everyday life take place in broad daylight. Therefore, there’s no other choice but to adapt to it. For this reason, if you have the condition of nyctophilia, you’ve probably found you’ve had to abandon your own needs and go to sleep instead.

However, you probably feel anguish at having to go to bed just because you need to sleep. In fact, you want to be able to enjoy the night a little more. Therefore, having to miss it generates feelings of resistance in you.


Nevertheless, if nyctophilia defines you, you can stop feeling guilty, because it’s genetic.

About 25 percent of the world’s population is represented by evening people and 25 percent by morning people. The remaining 50 percent are the lucky ones who are happy at both times. For those who don’t have this luxury, it’s best to respect your biological clock, chronobiologists claim. Although it can sometimes be difficult to match your own rhythms with your professional, social, and personal obligations.

Nyctophilia: how to identify if you’re an evening person?

First of all, correctly identify your chronotype. To do this, there’s a questionnaire accessible on the Internet. It was published in 1976 in the International Journal of Chronobiology by researchers Jim Horne and Olov Östberg.

You have to respond to the 19 questions by imagining yourself in an absolutely ideal situation devoid of all limitations. In fact, you have to completely forget your social rhythm in order to answer the questions correctly. Some people don’t manage it because they’re too used to not listening to themselves on such vital and simple issues.

Helpful tips

Behavioral therapies can be effective. Also, respecting a healthy lifestyle. For instance, avoid using electronic screens or playing sports for at least two hours before falling asleep. This isn’t good for anyone, but even less so for people whose natural rhythm is disturbed, like night owls and early risers.

Nyctophilia: why are you fascinated by the night?

The night attracts and intrigues. Time seems to slow down as shadows slowly envelop the world. The hustle and bustle of the day give way to calm and silence.

The night hosts the euphoria of the party. It’s a time when artists find their most brilliant ideas while it makes others anxious. In our civilized world, the nights are bright. However, despite our artificial light, the reigning darkness renews the night landscape. It enlivens intuition and sharpens the senses.

Nyctophilia almost turns the night into a different world. We associate the night with the forbidden, transgression, proscribed pleasure, debauchery, death…, it’s a world away from mediocrity.

Woman with nyctophilia

Socializing in another way

If you’re a night owl, you may feel relieved at night. Because, during the day, the multitude of people you talk to and the huge amount of things you have to do might make you nervous. The night is a more individual time. You’re able to find time for yourself. A time outside the limitations imposed on you during the day.

Working at night

Most of our contemporary societies have made daytime work the norm, inviting workers to put their ideas on paper from 10 am to 7 pm, Monday through Friday. However, creating overnight has many benefits:

  • Night work has certain advantages over day work. For example, if you work while most people are asleep, you’ll avoid a significant number of distractions, such as emails, calls, or unexpected visitors.
  • In addition to having fewer distractions, you might experience an extremely special feeling knowing that the rest of the world is sleeping. It may make you feel encouraged to be more creative and daring. Consequently, you’re more likely to give space and opportunity to new ideas.

A life choice

Many choose to work while others sleep. If you’re one of them, you evolve in a separate world, on the fringes of society. However, why do you have the desire to work at night? Perhaps remuneration is the key, which tends to be more substantial between 9:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.

Or maybe you just prefer to work at night. It means you escape the hustle and bustle, the incessant phone calls, the shouting, the crowded subway cars, or the traffic jams.

Furthermore, you might feel privileged to be on the sidelines and to belong to a world apart. In fact, working at night can bring you a sense of power. Nevertheless, it must be said that it goes against nature. Because controlling sleep to this point goes against your biological rhythms. Obviously, this isn’t without consequences and nightwork inevitably disrupts your social and biological references.

An owl at night.

On the other hand, the night is a unique kind of meeting place. You talk for longer. Your only limitation is going to sleep. This, both at work and at leisure, fosters different and unique interactions.

The ideal would be for all of us to know from an early age what our biological chronometer is like. Then, we could adapt to it more successfully. After all, it’s important to sleep and work, but it’s no less important to create, be happy, and practice nyctophilia when we feel like it. Indeed, if it’s about being productive and not just about being a worker, there may be nothing better than doing it at night, if that’s what you love.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.