There’s nothing quite like the feeling of someone playing with your hair. For many people, it’s a sign of affection and comfort. But why do we sometimes feel sleepy when someone plays with our hair? Turns out, there’s a scientific reason for it! Keep reading to learn more about why we get so drowsy when someone plays with our locks.
When you have your hair played with you can often experience a tingling sensation all through your scalp and even through your body. This can be an amazing feeling and can reduce anxiety, increase your happiness levels and even make you tired. It’s no wonder that people love having their hair brushed and played with.
How do you feel someone touching your hair?
Although there are no nerve endings in your hair itself, there are sensory neurons at the base of your hair follicles which can sense someone touching your hair.
As the movement of your hair is created by someone touching it, the nerves at the base of your hair follicles and in your scalp respond, and because we are social animals our bodies react by releasing hormones as a result of touching by another human.
Why does it feel good when someone plays with your hair?
Humans are actually physically wired to feel pleasure through touch from another human. When someone else touches you in a loving way, this indicates intimacy and emotional connection.
In turn, this human touching releases oxytocin, which is a bonding hormone. Your body then reacts by reducing your cortisol levels and this reduces stress and increases our mood.
The release of hormones is one of the main reasons why it feels so good when someone plays with your hair!
Why do you get sleepy when someone plays with your hair?
There are two main reasons why you might get sleepy when someone plays with your hair. The first is that the oxytocin released when you’re touched can also have a calming effect on the body, which can lead to drowsiness.
The second reason has to do with the fact that when we feel relaxed and our cortisol levels are lowered, our bodies naturally want to sleep. So if you’re feeling calm and relaxed after someone has played with your hair, it’s only natural that you might start to feel sleepy!
Having someone play with your hair actually stimulates a lot of nerve endings, as each individual strand of hair will have sensory neurons at the base of them.
Someone touching your hair gives us a lot of sensory experience all at once. This can have the direct effect of making you feel more tired and sleepy.
Reduction in cortisol
The reduction in cortisol levels that happens through experiencing touch can also help you to relax. As relaxation is a precursor to sleep, this can indirectly lead you to feeling more sleepy as your stress reduces and your body feels more calm, relaxed and at peace.
Read also: Why does relaxing make you tired?
Someone you love touching your hair
When someone you love touches your hair the whole thing is amplified, and your body releases even more feel good hormones.
Around people you love your body releases dopamine and serotonin, which your body then works to balance. This hormone regulation can make you feel more sleepy.
As well as this, the feel good hormones will again make you feel even more relaxed and ready to go to sleep.
This is also one of the reasons why you feel sleepy around your boyfriend or girlfriend.
Conclusion: Why do you get sleepy when someone plays with your hair?
So there you have it! The next time someone plays with your hair and you start to feel sleepy, you’ll know why. It’s all thanks to the release of oxytocin, dopamine and serotonin, which work to reduce stress levels and make us feel more relaxed. So snuggle up and enjoy the feeling!