What Happens to Your Sense of Touch While Sleeping?
Sleeping is a crucial factor of our lives. It doesn't only energize us for the daily grind, but it keeps our body well-rested and functioning as well. As we sleep, our bodies begin to drift off once we head on to our city of dreams.
The body activity starts to decrease, and so does our thinking. You may have noticed (maybe not) that your senses begin to slow down as well, "resting" while you do. But how about the sense of touch while sleeping?
Your sense of touching may still be alive in a few ways, and they can be beneficial! Read on as I show you all about the sense of touch while sleeping.
Your Sense of Touch
Your sense of touch is not only limited to the way you move. It is also through the way you feel based on environmental factors. That range from temperature, materials, or other people's movement physically affects your body.
This sense is both in mind and body. You feel emotional components to it, from touching a loved one to feeling the pain of being hit. It is therapeutic, though it deteriorates as we age, but either way, it is known to play a huge role in relationships, and now, sleeping.
But how does it affect the way you sleep, exactly?
What Happens to Your Sense of Touch While Sleeping?
Just like all your senses, the way you physically feel will NOT completely "turn off."
But how come you can't use or feel your senses while you're sleeping? That's because the cognitive processing of how you sense things would change. It is different than if your body were awake, so while you and your senses aren't exactly conscious, they can still be affected if triggered sharply.
An example would be burning heat from a fire, or the smell of smoke. Being jostled around or someone turning on a bright light in your dark room can wake you up.
But if it were small changes like a shift in temperature or a turn to the other side of the bed, then there is less of a chance you will be affected. Take note that the sensitivity or strength of your senses while sleeping are increased if you are sleep-deprived.
What About Your Other Senses?
Besides your sense of touch, how do your other senses react while sleeping?
If someone turns on a very bright light into a dark room, then you may wake up from it. Similar to if the room were darker, you will sleep better. Another factor will be if you sleep in a messy room, as the disorganization can disturb our thoughts and relaxation.
Your partner's snoring or loud music from the neighbors' keep you up at night. Listening to soft lullabies and sound effects may soothe you to sleep better. That's your hearing senses working! The noise you listen to affects your sleep in both right or wrong ways.
You wouldn't be able to taste anything if you dreamed of food while you sleep. While it doesn't directly affect how we sleep, what you have consumed before will. If you consumed anything caffeinated or heavy, then chances are it will be difficult to sleep.
Unless to scent is unyielding, you won't be able to smell anything while sleeping. But what you smell before sleeping may affect how you drift off. Whether it's stinky socks or essential oils you smell, it may, again, make or break how you sleep.
To get a good night's sleep, it's best to make sure that you have a clean, quiet, and dim bedroom at a preferred temperature. Also, make sure that you eat light (and without caffeine) before you sleep.
How Your Sense of Touch Affects the Quality of Your Sleep?
Your sense of touch while sleeping can be affected in both emotional and physical aspect.
You may have noticed that you can't sleep on a hard floor. That's because your body feels the discomfort, tossing and turning from the hard feel. Our bodies are more relaxed on a softer bed that still offers ample support for our backs.
Other physical aspects would include the pillows that surround you or the temperature of your room.
Another physical aspect would be mothers who are sleeping beside their child. Any small shift of movement from the child may have them wake up in worry that their children are in danger. Feeling their child's movement is an instinct that would wake them up immediately.
As for the emotional side of things, physical touch may make or break your quality of sleep.
If you are sleeping beside someone you are unfamiliar with, slightly touching bodies, then you may feel a bit uncomfortable. The feeling of awkwardness may end up with you not being able to sleep!
Whereas if you were with a partner or someone intimate. Then you may be able to fall asleep immediately because of the comfort and familiarity you feel.
Studies have shown that cuddling or touching feet with your partner. As you sleep can help improve on your rest while strengthening your relationship!
You may be surprised to know that your senses play a factor with your quality of sleep, namely your sense of touch! While they do not turn off while we rest, the way you feel movement around you can make or break your quality of sleep. That's why it's important to know how your sense of touch while sleeping works.
Source: This article is based on personal experience and researches, such as
Sensory Perception During Sleep in Humans (2003)
Sleep and the Senses in Scientific American (August 1853)
Interactions Between Sleep and Sensory Physiology (1997)
I hope that this article teaches you about the wonders of your sense of touch while sleeping. If you have any questions or want to add more information about the topic, then comment down below. I would love to hear what you have to think.