Why Is Everything Funny When You’re Tired?

Tiredness makes everything funnier. It’s a scientific fact. Well, sort of.

There is some truth to the old adage that “laughter is the best medicine.” When you’re tired, your brain is less able to filter out distractions and focus on the task at hand. This can lead to you finding things funnier than you normally would.

So why is everything funny when you’re tired? Let’s take a look at the science behind the phenomenon.

Why is everything funny when you’re tired?

Sleep deprivation causes euphoria, which can make things that are not normally funny, seem funny. Additionally, tiredness brings happy hormones, which may also lead to a more humorous attitude. Perception is also changed when one is tired, making things appear more positively. Finally, when we’re tired our cognitive abilities decline and we become more forgetful and emotional. As a result, everything seems funnier when we are exhausted.

Why is everything funny when you're tired
Why is everything funny when you’re tired

Sleep deprivation causes euphoria

Although being tired is often associated with being cranky or short-tempered, some people actually experience hysterical laughter when they are sleep deprived.

Short term euphoria has been found to be a side-effect of sleep deprivation by researchers at the University of California and Harvard Medical School. They found that tiredness after a sleepless night led to feelings of euphoria, which can mean that people find funny things that they would normally not laugh at at all.

In fact, some people find that their sense of humor is highly exaggerated after an all nighter and they are much more likely to joke and have more humor when they are tired.

Sleep deprivation makes you see things better than they are

As well as finding things more funny because of the temporary feeling of euphoria, people can also view things more positively when they are tired. As perception is a cognitive ability, and this is impacted by tiredness, you can actually view things in a better light when you are tired.

The two groups in the study at UC Berkeley (one slep deprived, one not) reacted very differently to pictures of pleasant scenes, with the tired group finding them much more positive than the group who had had more sleep.

Tiredness brings happy hormones

When we’re tired, our brains are actually working harder than when we’re well-rested. This is because our bodies are trying to cope with the stress of being tired. One way it does this is by releasing hormones like dopamine and cortisol. Dopamine is known for making us feel happy, while cortisol can make us feel alert and focused. So when we’re tired, we may laugh more and feel happier because our brains are releasing more of these “happy” hormones.

Being tired can also make us more forgetful and less organized. This is because our cognitive abilities decline when we’re tired. This can lead to us making more mistakes and taking longer to complete tasks. However, it’s important to note that even though we may not be functioning at our best when we’re tired, our brains are still working hard to try and keep us going.

Tiredness can also lead to us being more emotional. This is because when we’re tired, our stress levels increase and it becomes harder for us to regulate our emotions. As a result, we may end up crying or getting angry more easily when we’re tired.

Why do I laugh uncontrollably at night?

The combination of feelings of euphoria, impaired perception and happy hormones flowing through your body when you are tired can actually make your brain find tthings hugely funny and you can end up laughing hysterically at a pretty poor joke.

Why do I feel so weird when I’m tired?

If you have been sleep deprived then you won’t just feel tired, your tired brain will also have trouble keeping up with what’s going on around you. Attention, memory, cognitive abilities and cognitive speed are all affected by losing sleep.

If you have missed out on your normal shut eye you may also find yourself feeling dizzy or generally unsteady. You can even find yourself feeling much hungrier than usual as your body tries desperately to provide you with more energy.

How common is sleep laughing?

Laughing during sleep is actually pretty common, with 73% of undergraduate students in one study reporting that they had laughed during their sleep in the previous year.

Generally, sleep laughing is nothing to worry about and is common and unharmful.

Conclusion: Why is everything funny when you’re tired?

When we’re exhausted, our bodies are under stress and we excrete hormones like dopamine and cortisol that make us happy. So while we may be feeling stressed out because of our tiredness, the hormones that make us happy can also override that feeling and make us laugh more. It’s a strange but true phenomenon!

Falling asleep early, geting enough sleep and ensuring you get enough rest are important to keep your brain health and to ensure the pleasure pathways in your brain aren’t stimulated by your terrible jokes in front of your friends!

Read also: Why does fresh air make you tired?