Trying to find a hobby that is positive for your health and enjoyable can be a challenge. Knitting is one such hobby that also allows for creativity and a great reward at the end. If you’re a knitter, you might often wonder: why does knitting make me sleepy?
Knitting has an especially calming effect that can even push people into a meditative state, which can result in you feeling sleepy. This feeling of calm that can transform into tiredness can be attributed to the repetitive motion, the singular area of focus, and the quieting of the mind.
If knitting makes you tired, that’s not a bad thing. In fact, you can use this to your advantage in order to improve your sleep and decrease your stress levels.
The Role Of Knitting in Stress Reduction and Sleep Quality
The regular indulgence in some dedicated knitting time, especially at night, can contribute to improved sleep quality. This phenomenon has been studied and it’s believed that it can improve sleep due to how it engages your serotonin levels, which is an important component of both reduced stress and improved sleep.
The repetition of moving your needles through the yarn, the counting, having the goal of a specific project, and the ability to keep yourself focused on a healthy activity all contribute to knitting’s numerous health benefits, its ability to bring down stress and anxiety levels, and its ability to encourage better sleep habits.
The Benefits of Knitting: How it Improves Your Sleep
Knitting is a soothing activity that doesn’t require a lot of physical or mental exertion, doesn’t have you staring into the bright blue lights of technology, and watching your progress as you continue your project makes you feel good. All of these things can put you in a tranquil mindset, which can help make falling and staying asleep much easier.
People who deal with consistent issues both falling and staying asleep will often try numerous activities in order to try and manage their sleep concerns. For those trying to avoid sleep aids or who haven’t had success with things like calming decaf tea or reading, knitting could be something new to try.
You can start small when it comes to knitting so you don’t become overwhelmed and make it so knitting has the opposite effect on your state of mind. Once you feel comfortable, bring your knitting with you when it’s time to get to bed.
Why is Knitting Tiring?
One of the reasons why it’s suspected knitting can be so tiring is actually because of its correlation to an old wive’s tale of counting in order to fall asleep. With knitting, you usually have to keep a consistent count to follow a pattern in order to create something. While you might think that counting would keep you awake, it seems to have the opposite effect.
A lot of people wouldn’t immediately see knitting as a meditative practice, but it is. The practice has a way of helping many people drown out the noise from the outside world and any kind of mental and physical energy is just channeled into knitting.
Once you’re in a state of calm and quiet for some time, it can make you tired because your mind and your body are relaxing in a way it may not be used to, especially if you live with a lot of stress or struggle to get to sleep.
What Knitting Does To Your Brain
There have been a few studies linking activities like knitting to improved mental clarity, especially if you’re experiencing a creative rut or a lack of motivation. Research has also shown that people who knit experience a healthy spike in serotonin levels that helps enhance your mood.
When you consider all of the skill, the counting, and the coordination it takes to knit, it’s no surprise that knitting can also help you improve your overall cognitive function. For people who may be at risk of cognitive decline due to conditions such as dementia, knitting is highly recommended to encourage that continuous brain engagement.
Knitting is also recommended as an activity for people with anxiety disorders, brain injuries, insomnia, and those recovering from strokes, substance use disorders, or body focused repetitive behaviors associated with OCD. With how knitting causes your brain to refocus, it creates new positive pathways in the brain, and replaces a harmful habit with a good one.
The Physiological Effects of Knitting on the Body
Just as there are a few ways that knitting calms the brain, the same is true of its effects on the body. The boost in serotonin can also help your body to relax, helping to ease any pain and tension you may be holding onto.
A lot of people who have taken up knitting have also seen improvements in their blood pressure levels, which can be attributed to having somewhere to channel their stress. It’s an activity that often makes people happy and lets them have a creative outlet that results in something they can cherish or gift to someone else to cherish.
Once you get the hang of knitting, you can even consider joining or forming a knitting group. This type of thing has been highly encouraged for populations who highly benefit from knitting, such as seniors, as a way to be social and enjoy a fun activity with people who have the same interests.
Knitting may not be the easiest hobby to pick up, but the positive benefits that knitting can have on numerous aspects of your life far outweigh the learning curve. Even just dedicating ten to twenty minutes of time to a knitting project when you can’t sleep or are having a bad day could be just what the doctor ordered to unwind.
The gains one can see from adopting a knitting habit have been studied and there’s a wealth of evidence to support them, but as with anything, not everything works for everyone. The great thing is that there isn’t any risk involved in taking up knitting, so it’s worth a try if it can help you get to sleep faster.
Make sure to follow my tips and recommend products to ensure your knitting project turns out amazing! Also, don’t forget to check out my other articles for all your Q&A’s. Happy knitting!