深夜テンション (しんやてんしょん, shinya tension/tenshon) means the phenomenon that you experience when you’re staying up late at night. During 深夜テンション, you typically feel high, bold, and somewhat irrational even without drinking. 深夜テンション can bring you the “golden time” when you feel more positive than usual and find anything, even lame jokes or conversations, quite hilarious. Some people end up going overboard and doing something they regret the next day, such as:
- buying very expensive and unnecessary stuff on Amazon
- writing a lengthy and poetic post on Facebook
- sending an overly emotional text like “I love you” or “I can’t help thinking about you” to one’s crush
, and so on. This phenomenon is considered to be caused by the rise in dopamine following sleep deprivation.
深夜テンション consists of the two words “深夜“ and “テンション”. The first word means “midnight” and is composed of the two kanji characters “深” meaning “deep” and “夜” meaning “night”. The latter word “テンション” is loaned from the English word “tension”, but its meaning is completely different from the English word. See the following section for how it is used in Japanese.
テンション (tension) in Japanese
In Japanese, テンション (tension) is used to indicate a person’s emotional state or feeling. For instance, “テンションが高い” or “ハイテンション”, which literally means “tension is high” or “high-tension”, actually means “(someone) is excited, giddy or delighted”. Similarly, “テンションが低い”, which means “tension is low”, indicates that someone is down, gloomy, or depressed. Since many Japanese people believe that “tension” in English has the same meaning as テンション, you may sometimes hear them say “You are high-tension!” or the like, which you can interpret as “You look excited!” or “You look delighted!”.
It is my 黒歴史 that I uploaded my dance video on YouTube during “midnight high”.
You should avoid deciding something important when you are in “midnight high” (temporary high at midnight).
If you write a blog during the “midnight high”, you most likely regret that the next morning.
During “midnight high”, even lame jokes can sound very funny
Synonyms in English: temporary high at midnight
Related words and phrases: 深夜 (midnight), テンションが高い (excited), テンションが低い (down)