Why we are likely to engage in addictive behaviors at night

Posted on January 13, 2015

Photo: flickr

Tired nervous system

Our capacity to resist temptations solely depends on our willpower and our willpower depends on our conscious thinking power. When we wake up in the morning, our nervous system is fresh after a good night’s sleep and so our conscious thinking power and the capacity to resist temptations is high. But as we progress through the day, all the stress and over-stimulation tires our nervous system and by the time we are about to sleep, our willpower is at its lowest. So if any temptation crosses your mind at this point, you are very likely to give in to it. For example, if you find that you have a chocolate cake at home, you’ll go and devour it without thinking. Or if you have beer in the house, you’ll grab the bottle immediately. So it is essential that you don't expose yourself to such triggers at night when you are most vulnerable to give in to them.

Just before we are about to sleep, our subconscious mind does a brief review of the day. It brings into our awareness the high points and low points of the day. If you had more high points than low points and all that you had planned for the day was accomplished then you'll feel happy and satisfied. On the contrary, if you had more low points than high points and didn't accomplish much of what you had planned for the day, then you'll feel unsatisfied, disappointed and sad. Now for a lot of people, the low points are usually more than the high points and this makes them feel bad at night. To escape from these bad feelings they indulge in addictive behaviours. (the only fact you need to know to quit any bad habit)

Think about it, if you've had a really great day would you feel the need to pleasure yourself up a night? No, absolutely not! The people who indulge in addictive behaviours at night are actually escaping this ‘reviewing process’ of the mind because they know they’re not going to like what they find. So they do anything that they can push their thoughts away- eat, play online games, watch porn, watch movies, etc.

Others who are brave enough not to escape find themselves evaluating the day and monitoring carefully what went right and what went wrong. If you are one of them you'll often find yourself doing detailed reviews every night just before you sleep and making new plans for the next day. It’s obviously a very good habit, not only because it will increase your self-understanding and self-awareness, but also because you are essentially improving your communication skills with your mind! It'll make you better and better with each passing day. Never push away your thoughts, listen to them. They only want to help you lead a better life!

Ignoring your mind can prove to be dangerous

Our mind is always trying to communicate with us through emotions and reviews to make sure we are on the right track. At night when you are alone, all by yourself, your mind gets a brilliant opportunity to communicate with you. But most people don’t like what they hear. And so they escape. But remember, you can’t escape for long. Soon, when things go out of hand, you’ll get depressed or even suicidal. I don’t think I need to tell you that most of those who commit suicide are usually the ones who were in the grip of addictive behaviours and when they couldn't take it anymore, their mind found no other option but to make them kill themselves!


Source material from Psych-Mechanics