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Pandora's avatar

Why do I feel sleepy after a crying?

Asked by Pandora (23363 points ) June 22nd, 2012

Ok, so I do understand why I would feel sleepy after a good cry if I was tense or upset, but I just gently cried after seeing a family re-unitited after 15 years. It was a sweet story and I wasn’t expecting to cry but it was very touching. I’m not the emotional type but I found myself wiping away tears of joy after watching the program. Then I found myself yawning every few seconds. I feel so sleepy now. So forgive me if I don’t reply tonight. I don’t think I can stay awake any longer. Just a heads up. I haven’t felt stress all day. If anything unusually happy.
I thought that this would only happen with sad tears. Not happy tears.
So what gives?

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3 Answers

lillycoyote's avatar

Crying, a really good, solid cry wears me out. Do you want to know the biology of it? Why crying makes you tired or sleepy? I don’t know if I have the answer for that. Intense emotions and intense psychological and cognitive activity can often strain and drain the body in ways almost like physical activity. Someone else will have to explain the physiology of it. I

If the physiology of it is exactly the answer you wanted then I probably shouldn’t have responded, but I did.

Pandora's avatar

Well I understand the physiology aspect of crying after high emotions being spent. I just don’t get why the happy cry would have the same effect. Especially since it wasn’t a deep satisfying kind of cry. Just weepy eyes. I know that stress hormones are released in a deep emotional cry but I wasn’t stressed at all yesterday. It was a good day all day. Just bummed around, worked out and relaxed and made a good dinner kind of day. I was wide awake till after seeing the touching program and then instantly after the tears I felt exhausted. Could barely keep my eyes open.

lillycoyote's avatar

Emotions, good or bad, an excess of joy or an excess of sadness, any of it, can be mentally and physically exhausting.

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