Why is it so easy to fall asleep when it’s raining? There’s just something nice about being in your house when it’s pouring outside. And even nicer when you’re under layers of blanket, cozy on the couch or drifting off to sleep.
Although, it’s less nice when you’ve got work to do. Indoor or outdoors, rain seems to make it harder to concentrate on the task at hand, sapping energy and productivity.
Why is this?
Let’s have a look at some of the science behind rain and sleep so that you can better understand what’s happening to your mind and body next time it drizzles.
THE ATOMS IN THE AIR
On a rainy day, the air is at a lower pressure and is filled with water vapour (obviously). These two factors actually lower the overall oxygen levels in the air, making our brains a little more tired.
Raining also causes an increase of negative ions in the air; negatively charged particles that come about because of lightning and the friction between the rain and the air.
These ions can significantly improve the nervous, cardiovascular, and respiratory systems, helping people feel more comfortable and relaxed. Helpful when you want to sleep, but not when you’re trying to focus on work.
THE SOUND OF RAIN
The rhythmic, quiet sound of rain can be a remarkably good lullaby for people who are trying to sleep. Some studies have shown that the sound of rain actually causes the brain to relax unconsciously, pushing it towards a state of sleepiness.
Naturally, this is not the case when it’s thundering.
INCREASED SLEEP HORMONE
When it’s time to sleep, your body produces a hormone called melatonin. This causes you to become tired and your brain to begin shutting down. Melatonin secretion cycles with day and night; increasing when it’s dark and decreasing in sunlight. Because of this, the darkness that often comes with an overcast, rainy day can increase melatonin secretion and cause you to feel much sleepier.
RESTRICTED OUTDOOR ACTIVITY
The last, more simple factor, is that there just isn’t as much to do. Outdoor activities and even general tasks like grocery shopping become much more difficult and so people will often end up indoors and inactive; a state where sleepiness can come quite easily.
Hopefully next time it’s raining outside and you start yawning, you’ll have a better idea as to why.
However, sleep doesn’t come easy for everyone, even when it rains. If you, or someone you know has trouble with sleeping then please get in touch with us. A chat with one of our sleep technicians could go a long way to helping you sleep better, and live more fully.
Start your pathway to better sleep today.