Have you ever noticed that you feel sleepy when you’re around someone you love? Maybe you feel this way when you’re cuddled up with your pet, spending time with your family, or hanging out with your best friend.
But why does this happen? In this article, we’ll explore the science behind this phenomenon and help you understand why you might feel sleepy around someone you love.
The Love Hormone: Oxytocin
The key to understanding why we feel sleepy around someone we love is a hormone called oxytocin. Oxytocin is often referred to as the “love hormone” because it’s released when we feel close to someone. It’s responsible for that warm and fuzzy feeling we get when we’re with our loved ones.
What Does Oxytocin Do?
Oxytocin has many effects on our bodies and minds. Here are some of the ways it can affect us:
- It makes us feel happy and calm.
- It can reduce our stress levels.
- It can lower our heart rate and blood pressure.
- It can make us feel more social and empathetic.
All of these effects can make us feel relaxed and even sleepy.
The Science Behind Feeling Sleepy
So, how does oxytocin make us feel sleepy? When oxytocin is released, it can cause our body to produce melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate our sleep-wake cycle. Melatonin is the hormone that makes us feel sleepy at night, and when it’s released during the day, it can make us feel drowsy too.
In addition to melatonin, oxytocin can also reduce our cortisol levels. Cortisol is a hormone that’s released when we’re stressed or anxious. When our cortisol levels are high, we tend to feel alert and awake. But when our cortisol levels are low, we can feel more relaxed and sleepy.
Here are some common questions that people have about feeling sleepy around someone they love:
Does this happen to everyone?
Not necessarily. Some people might feel more alert or energized around their loved ones, while others might feel sleepy.
Can you control this feeling?
Not really. Oxytocin is released automatically when we feel close to someone, so it’s not something we can control.
Does this feeling go away over time?
It’s possible. As we spend more time with someone, our brain might not release as much oxytocin, which could mean we don’t feel as sleepy around them.
Additional facts and statistics
- Oxytocin levels increase during physical contact: Research has shown that physical contact with a loved one, such as hugging or holding hands, can increase oxytocin levels in the body, leading to feelings of relaxation and sleepiness.
- Women may release more oxytocin: Studies have found that women may release more oxytocin than men during physical contact with a loved one, which may explain why women tend to feel sleepier around someone they love.
- Oxytocin can reduce pain: In addition to making us feel happy and relaxed, oxytocin has also been found to have pain-relieving effects. It can reduce the perception of pain by up to 40%, which may also contribute to feelings of relaxation and sleepiness.
- Lack of oxytocin can lead to social anxiety: People with social anxiety disorder may have lower levels of oxytocin in their bodies, which can make it difficult for them to form close relationships and feel relaxed around others.
- Oxytocin levels can vary based on relationship status: Research has shown that people in committed relationships tend to have higher levels of oxytocin than single people or those in casual relationships. This may be because oxytocin is released during intimate moments, such as sex, and helps to strengthen the bond between partners.
Feeling sleepy around someone you love is a normal and natural phenomenon. It’s all thanks to the love hormone oxytocin, which can make us feel relaxed and happy. So, the next time you’re feeling sleepy around your loved ones, you’ll know that it’s just your body’s way of telling you that you’re in a safe and happy place.