Reality Is Better Than Dreams: Why People In Love Don't Get Any Sleep

by Lauren Martin

Dr. Seuss said, “You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”

Anyone who’s ever experienced the rush of true love understands that sentiment all too well because being in love is the most tiring thing you’ll ever experience.

It’s sleepless nights, early mornings and one too many late nights out. It’s forgetting to sleep, eat and dream.

It’s like living through a daze.

To the outsider, it sounds like an arduous task, something not worth the missed hours of sleep, something that’s ruining your once restful life, something that's more of a negative drain on your life than a positive flow.

But that’s the thing about love – it turns your stagnant routine on its scheduled head and sleep; that one thing you cherished and consumed with pleasure becomes the one thing you don’t want anymore.

Because when you’ve found someone you love, someone you want to be with every day and every night, sleep just seems like a waste of time.

Don't worry, this isn't just you falling into a lovesick trap; it’s science.

According to a study published by University of Basel, Switzerland Professor Serge Brand, in the Journal of Adolescent Health in 2007, adolescents who considered themselves in love reported at least an hour less sleep a night than their romantically unattached peers.

This lack of sleep is attributed to the hypomanic-like condition our brain enters when we are in love.

Like taking a drug, our dopamine levels are highly active when experiencing passionate love, the same way our brain’s pleasure centers go off when we do cocaine.

Along with increased dopamine, other hormones are increased during sex and the mating processes, including cortisol, vasopressin and oxytocin.

These hormones create an elevated mood, making it more difficult to sleep. It’s like trying to get to bed after taking a hefty amount of uppers.

Putting science aside, however, we have our own ideas as to why it’s so damn hard to get any rest when you’re absolutely, positively, head-over-heels in love.

Because of all the sex

Is there anything better than sex? When you’re having good sex, you start to believe a bed is made more for lovers than for sleepers.

It’s your oasis, your sanctuary, your bliss – but for a completely different reason than your single self ever found it to be.

You don’t want to lie in it; you want to roll around in it, spoon in it and bask in it until you’re forced apart by the reality of dawn.

Because you finally found someone to stay up with

We spend our lives searching for that one person who will wake up when we need to talk and want to hear about our dreams and innermost desires.

We fantasize about the one who will sit with us as the sun rises and talk about nothing until it turns to something.

Once you’ve found that, it’s hard to let a night go by when you’re not picking one another’s brain until it’s time to pick up on reality.

Because you don’t want to miss him or her for a second

The idea of wasting eight to 10 hours apart when you have such little time together during the day seems futile. Why spend time apart in dreamland when you can be together in reality?

There’s nothing worse than the idea of facing a third of your life without your partner. He or she is better than any dream you'll ever have.

Because when love fuels you, you don’t need sleep

It gives you the rush of cocaine and the invincibility of it. You feel like you can do anything, including days without sleep.

You’re flying high, fueled on a type of sustenance you’ve never experienced before.

You want to sing, dance, skip, kiss, anything but halt the momentum of this exciting new love. You’re on another level, in another world and looking to do anything but close your eyes.

Because pillow talk is better than pillow face

Who can fall asleep when there’s so much to talk about? Who wants to pass out when they’re ready to learn?

There’s nothing worse than having to end a conversation because your eyelids are about to close.

There's nothing more dreadful than the idea of dreaming instead of living. Like children forced to take naps again, we never want to leave the party.

Because we don’t want passionate sleep; we want passionate reality

Nothing is happening in your sleep – at least nothing you can control, taste or feel. It’s out of your control, and all those moments you’re yearning to experience are halted.

When you’re in love, all you want to do is be surrounded by it.

It doesn’t matter if your lover is sleeping next to you, spooning you or holding you, you want to be conscious around his or her love.