Why The Sound Of Running Water Makes You Want To Pee

Some people like the sound of running water because it helps them relax. For others, it creates a strong urge to urinate. This is no coincidence and it happens more commonly than you think — all thanks to the power of suggestion.

Suggestion is a subtle force that can influence our behaviour, how we perceive things and how we act later. In regards to needing to pee, this SciShow video explains the obvious: running water simply sounds a lot like urination.

And over a lifetime of performing the same bathroom ritual — peeing, hearing the sound, flushing the toilet, and (hopefully) washing your hands after — you associate many bathroom sounds with peeing.

And now that you've read this, you probably can't not think about running water and likely want to pee now. You're welcome.

Why Does Running Water Make You Want to Pee? [SciShow]


    My sister had an operation and found it really hard to urinate afterward. The nurse came into the bathroom to help. All she did was turn on the tap and left. It worked. Magical!

    I've previously heard a different reason - that it is an evolutionary tactic.

    When humans were hunter-gatherers, clean water supplies were not always available. So the sound of running water was a trigger signal to the body to empty out wastes, and fill up on the nearby clean water, as it was unknown when the next chance to drink might be.

    Stagnant water is often of poor quality, while running water is usually clean / fresh, which is why the sight of water doesn't work, but the sound does.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now