Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and for most people, it’s a day to celebrate their being in love. As we all know, falling in love gives us feelings of exhilaration, intense passion and happiness and this feeling intensifies where the love we feel is reciprocated.
When a person is in love, that person’s energy skyrockets giving him or her heightened concentration and thoughts about the object of affection tend to persist. When a person is at this state, the brain activity and dopamine levels increase.
Dopamine is a chemical which is associated with happiness and gives us a sense of pleasure whenever we engage in behaviours such as eating, drinking and having sex. Unfortunately, this is also the same system that becomes hijacked when we do drugs. Anyway, being in love brings about a sense of pleasure similar to being high on drugs and cocaine.
Other changes which take place in the brain when we feel passionate love includes an increase in hormones which are involved in the stress response and those which are responsible for mating. This leaves the brain in a cocktail mix of feel-good chemicals leaving one in a state of elevated mood, energy and activity. When we are intensely in love with a person, we spend more time awake trying to be with our beloved and we spend even less time in bed.
There are few researchers who have directly asked people who are in love about their quality of sleep but in a study conducted at the University of Basel in Switzerland, adolescents who are in the early stages of intense romantic love tend to sleep shorter by an hour compared to their not-in-love counterparts. Sleep was also shortest in those who were most obsessively distracted by thoughts of their loved one.
However, it’s interesting to note that although the infatuated ones have shorter sleep, they also have high quality sleep. In a study published in the International Journal of Psychiatry and Clinical Practice, there are no sleep differences in adolescents based on their love status.
So the upshot of being crazily in love is shorter but high quality sleep with high levels of energy. If you’re happily in love, enjoy your natural dopamine high!
If you are not in love and still have trouble going to sleep due to anxiety or another underlying condition, get in touch with one of South Florida’s top sleep therapist. Rebecca Ginder could have the answer you’ve been looking for. Click here to book an appointment with Rebecca Ginder!