Why does rain make you sleepy?

Have you ever wondered why the first sniff of rain makes you tired? Or why it’s virtually impossible to tear yourself away from the sheets on a rainy morning? Well, it turns out you’re not just lazy, there’s a scientific reason why rain makes us sleepy.

There are a number of factors that make us feel sleepy when it rains, but most of them have to do with how the weather affects the way our bodies function.

How does the weather affect your sleep?

The UVA and UVB rays in sunlight cause the release of serotonin, while the pineal gland reduces the production of melatonin. Serotonin, often called the ‘happiness hormone’, is responsible for alertness and good mood, while melatonin is used by the body to regulate our sleep-wake cycle by producing more to induce sleep and less to stay awake.

However, rainy weather is often accompanied by dark, heavy rain clouds that reduce the amount of sun exposure. This works in the same way as nightfall, decreasing serotonin production and increasing melatonin.

“Our ability to fall asleep or wake up is enhanced by our environment. If we are used to falling asleep in complete darkness, it can be difficult to do this when there is light in the room. Conversely, if we are used to waking up when it is light, it can be difficult to do so when it is dark, whether due to seasonal or weather changes,” says Dr. Darius Loghmanee, sleep specialist at Advocate Christ Medical Center. , in a statement.

Additionally, the increased humidity during rainy weather can mean your body has to work harder to maintain a stable internal temperature through homeostasis – and all that work can be tiring.

In addition to increased humidity, barometric pressure is also affected by stormy conditions. Storms are usually accompanied by lower pressure, which reduces the oxygen content in the air. Although only minor, drowsiness can be a sign of oxygen deprivation.

Finally, it can be the sound of rain in particular that makes us feel sleepy. Rain is a kind of pink noise, similar to white noise. Listening to both can be an effective way to improve sleep by providing consistent background noise that blocks out any distracting sounds. Unlike white noise, pink noise is characterized as lower pitched and more soothing. The sound of rustling leaves, the wind, and even the sound of your own heartbeat are all categorized as pink noise.

Seasonal affective disorder

Conditions such as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) are caused by seasons and weather conditions. Technically called seasonal depressive disorder, many experience SAD due to reduced light levels in the winter months, although SAD can be experienced at any time of the year.

A leading treatment for SAD, and one that could also work to shake off the rainy day blues, is light therapy. While this can take the form of prescribed tanning sessions to increase UV exposure, most mainly involve the use of a light therapy box that emits a light intensity of 10,000 lux.

Dr. Michelle Drerup, director of Behavioral Sleep Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, told Bustle that lightbox therapy “can be extremely helpful in combating sleep inertia and helping increase daytime alertness.”

While it may be the last thing you want to do on a sleep-deprived rainy day, exercising is also a great way to shake off feelings of fatigue, as is staying hydrated with things other than coffee – sorry!

All “explainer” articles are confirmed by fact checkers to be correct at the time of publication. Text, images and links can be edited, deleted or added at a later time to keep the information current.

The content of this article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified healthcare providers with any questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

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