Sleepless Nights: Why We Make Bad Decisions After Midnight

by Sep 4, 2023Relaxium Sleep, Sleep Tips, Wellness

Sep 4, 2023

Explore the fascinating connection between sleepless nights and impaired judgment, uncovering the science behind our tendency to make suboptimal choices during the wee hours. Delve into the impact of sleep on cognitive function and gain insights into how our decision-making processes alter in the darkness. Join us on a journey to understand the intricate interplay of sleeplessness and decision quality.

In the quiet of the night, when the world slumbers and the stars sprinkle the sky, a curious phenomenon unfolds—a time when our capacity for rational decision-making seems to waver. We are going on an exploration into the intricate relationship between our sleep-deprived minds and the choices we make under the cover of darkness. As the clock ticks past midnight, the decisions we face can take on a surreal hue, often deviating from the logical paths we tread during daylight. But why does this happen? What is it about the late hours that tempts our judgment to falter?

We will unravel the intriguing dance between sleep and decision-making, where science meets psychology and the ticking seconds mark a battle of wills within our tired brains. Through the veil of fatigue, we’ll uncover how sleep deprivation affects our cognitive functions, leaving room for impulsive choices, misjudgments, and a heightened vulnerability to risks. 

As we navigate this landscape of drowsy contemplation, you’ll come to appreciate the delicate balance between our tired minds and the choices that shape our lives, reminding us that even in the depths of night, knowledge is the beacon that guides us through the darkness.

Firstly, let’s talk about circadian rhythms

Each of us has our own circadian rhythm; so what does that mean? Well, circadian rhythm is a natural internal biological clock that regulates different physiological and behavioral processes such as:

  • Sleep-wake cycle: Our sleep-wake cycles dictate when we feel the most alert and awake during the day, as well as when we are tired and ready for sleep. 
  • Body temperature: Our body temperature will actually fluctuate according to the circadian rhythm. Typically, in the early mornings, it tends to be lower and then higher in the afternoon.
  • Hormone release: Hormones are released in accordance with the circadian rhythm. For example, melatonin will increase in the evening to signal to the body to go to sleep. 
  • Digestion and metabolism: Circadian rhythm even influences the timing of digestion as well as metabolic processes. 
  • Cognitive function: Alertness, memory, problem-solving skills, and more are dictated by the circadian rhythm. 

It operates on a 24-hour cycle and helps to synchronize the body’s functions with its environment. The circadian rhythm is primarily regulated in the area of the brain called the suprachiasmatic nucleus, located in the hypothalamus. 

So why does this matter? Well, considering cognitive functions are most effective when your body is most awake, staying up late is what increases the chances of making poor decisions. Allow us to explain.

Why do we make bad decisions after midnight?

Making bad decisions after midnight, particularly in a sleep-deprived context, is influenced by the complex interplay of our circadian rhythm, brain function, and cognitive processes. Here are a few key factors that contribute to this phenomenon:

  • Impaired cognitive function
  • Increased risk-taking
  • Emotional instability 
  • Reduced inhibition
  • Altered perception of risk 
  • Struggle with delayed gratification
  • Impact memory and learning
  • Circadian rhythm influence
bad decisions after midnight

Impaired cognitive function

As the day turns to night our cognitive functions start to decline. Functions like attention, memory, reasoning, and problem-solving all start to diminish. This can lead to reduced judgment and the chances of overlooking potential negative consequences decrease. 

Increased risk-taking

Sleep deprivation can increase risk-taking behavior. The brain’s reward center becomes more active which makes us more likely to seek our pleasurable and exciting experiences. This leads to impulsive decisions. 

Emotional instability

Emotions are regulated while we sleep so depriving the body of sleep can heighten emotional reactivity rather than regulation. Decisions made emotionally can be faulty as they aren’t always considered rationally. 

Reduced inhibition

The prefrontal cortex, responsible for executive functions such as impulse control and rational decision-making becomes less active when you are sleep deprived. This leads to a decreased ability to inhibit impulsive or undesirable behaviors. 

Altered perception of risk

Sleep deprivation alters our perception of risk, this makes us more likely to underestimate potential negative outcomes. Risky behaviors don’t seem as risky with a lack of sleep. 

Struggle with delayed gratification

Lack of sleep can weaken our ability to delay gratification and make long-term plans. This can lead to wanting immediate rewards, potentially ignoring consequences occurring down the line. 

Impact on memory and learning

Sleep plays a large role in the consolidation of memories. Without sleep, it is harder to draw on past experiences and knowledge to make an informed decision.

consolidation of memories

Circadian rhythm influence

As we stated before, the circadian rhythm is very important as it influences levels of alertness and cognitive performance. The later you stay up, the less alert you are.

How to avoid making poor decisions

Well in this context, you need to prioritize sleep. The more sleep you get, the better your decisions will be. If you struggle to sleep at night, you may want to invest in a sleep supplement. Here at Relaxium, we have the perfect supplement, called Relaxium Sleep. Relaxium Sleep was developed by clinical neurologist Dr. Eric Cilibeti, designed to help you fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, and wake up feeling more refreshed and alert. 

Drug free sleep support

Invest in sleep and make better decisions

Don’t wake up stressing about the poor decisions you made in the night; avoid this altogether by getting enough sleep each night. 

Relaxium offers a number of safe and effective supplements that aid in the categories of sleep, calm, focus, and immunity. Created by Clinical Neurologist, Dr. Eric Ciliberti, offers a 30-day Money Back Guarantee trial of Relaxium Sleep to allow our users to truly experience its effects. To try the product today visit our website for more information. 

To restful and healthy days ahead. 

The Relaxium Team 

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.