In honor of Valentine’s Day, it’s only fitting that we discuss how being in love affects the way we sleep. Falling madly in love is often associated with a lack of sleep. Scientists are now able to provide us with insight as to why we miss out on the world of snooze when preoccupied with the world of love.
Being in love is often described as euphoric, exhilarating, and full of intense passion. We seem to have endless energy and concentration power especially, when it comes to the object of our affection. Studies have shown that our brain activities are heightened in areas that are rich inn dopamine.
The neurotransmitter dopamine has a key role in our personal reward system. It is partially behind the feelings of happiness we have while drinking, eating, and experiencing intimacy, as well as the feelings associated with drug addictions. Other hormones that are involved with passionate love include the stress hormone cortisol, and hormones involved in bonding with your partner such as vasopressin and oxytocin. This medley of love-oriented hormones within our brain leaves us in hypo-maniac condition. We want to spend more time with our lover and less time asleep.
While there haven’t been many studies that have asked people about their sleep when they are in love, a notable study was conducted at the Psychiatric University Clinics at the University of Basel in Switzerland.
Published in 2007, the study found that adolescents who were intensely in love reported having shorter sleep, compared to other adolescents who were not in love. The more obsessively in love a participant was, the less sleep they had. However, an interesting discovery was that though the obsessively in love participants got less sleep; it was high-quality sleep.
Studies have not been conducted on people who are in love past age 25. Both the quality and quantity of sleep decrease with each decade. Falling in love can happen at any age so, who’s to say if new love would give you a boost or not? Enjoy your Valentine’s Day and the dopamine high that comes with it!