There are two types of people. Those that feel a spike in productivity once it starts pouring outside, and those other ones, that feel tired and sleepy to the point they need to lay down and succumb to the lullaby of the rain. That is not necessarily bad, but if you’re in the middle of something and the sound of rain makes you doze off, there’s something you need to do about it.
Many people would be surprised to know that there’s the whole scientific explanation behind our behavior to get sleepy once it starts raining outside. In this article, you can learn more about why rain makes you sleepier, but also how to learn to control this hormonal rush and feel more productive to finish your daily tasks.
For different people, rain can spark different feelings. Some people feel more sleepy, some have difficulties waking up in the morning. However, some people get a spike and supercharge of productivity which helps them finish doing their daily tasks and search for more things to be done. Then again, in some people, rain can spark nervousness.
According to productivityreport.org, scientific research found that nice weather can make some individuals feel less productive and even a little lost. That’s because the nice weather will have people rather think about the places they could visit and what they could do instead of what they’re doing.
Contrary, the bad, rainy weather contributes to more productivity as there’s not too much to look forward to outside work. Then again, a study older than a decade found that 9% of people will experience more mixed feelings of anger than during warm and sunny days. Like you can see, it’s different for everyone.
But, there are many things about the rain that can make us sleepy too. Let’s start with our circadian rhythm, which is one of the most important mechanisms in our body. It’s our body clock that ticks inside our brain.
Thanks to our neurotransmitters and other chemicals inside our head and the rest of the body, our brain gets signals about when we’re tired when it is time to eat, and much more.
What’s more important is that our circadian rhythm takes instructions like a robot, from our environment and projects it on our chemical levels. That being said, natural light in our lives plays a great role in our functioning.
When it’s raining, there’s less natural light than we’d expect, which is the first confirmation that rainy weather can make us tired and sleepy.
Less natural light also means less ultraviolet (UV) light, which also influences our daily routine. As you may know UVA and UVB rays spark our brain’s signal to produce more serotonin, the happiness hormone.
Higher serotonin also means that we’re more active and willing to take the initiative in completing our daily tasks.
Like many organisms in the world, exposure to sunlight helps us thrive, and in turn, makes us more productive and ready to take the initiative. In the paragraphs below, we’ll detail all the science behind why rain can make us sleepy.
Reasons Why Rain Makes You Sleepy
We researched and explored the reasons why rain makes you sleepy. Knowing the causes behind this calming and serene occurrence making you succumb to sleep will also help you fight the cause.
Lack Of Natural Light Spikes Melatonin Production
One of the key reasons why rain makes you feel groggy and drowsy is because your chemical composition changes, as we mentioned below. What happens before it rains? Rain doesn’t happen in just a moment.
From clear blue sky heavy cloud mass accumulates above the day and night sky, which significantly dims the ambient light. The clouds keep building up, and it keeps getting darker. If it’s a thunderstorm incoming, the outsides maybe even darker.
When the natural light is dimmed, our pineal gland produces melatonin. Melatonin, as mentioned earlier, is a hormone that tells our brain and our body that it’s time to get some shut-eye and get some quality and restful sleep. It’s also a hormone that controls our circadian rhythm, also known as our biological clock.
When the sky is dimmed, you may feel like there’s a spike in melatonin production, which will make you tired and sleepy, and eventually, you’ll want to ditch everything you’re doing just to get some rest.
White And Pink Noise
Do you know what are white and pink noise? White noise defines as some sort of neutral vibrations. That means that its intensity is equal even when the frequency changes. This interesting trait of white noise gives it the ability to lower down the frequency of other noise, like the noise of a clock, crying baby, loud neighbors, or busy roads and traffic.
Over the last decades, the use of white noise machines that can produce such neutral noise helps everyone from babies to adults to fall asleep and dream soundly. It can be found in vacuum cleaners, washing machines, fridges, fans, and many other home appliances.
Rain can produce such kind of noise. In addition to that, pink noise often accompanies white noise and aids others in sleep. Inside white noise machines, you can turn up the volume of rain, fireplace wood cracking, waves, thunderstorms, and other natural noise. White noise and pink noise come accompanied when it rains and thunders outside.
If you feel more calm and serene during the rain, that’s because of white and pink noise. If you feel more tired and sleepy, the soothing sound of these two noises is likely lulling you to sleep.
Lower Barometric Pressure
You know how oxygen reaching all parts of our bodies, including our heads, is good for us. That’s why when we go to the mountains where we inhale fresh and clean air rejuvenates us and makes us more alert.
In the same way, when there’s a storm or rainy weather outside, the barometric pressure drops, which also means that there’s less oxygen in the air. Less oxygen also means that we’ll yawn more frequently and feel sleepy in the process.
If you notice that you’re drowsy all of a sudden, it’s possible that the atmospheric pressure dropped due to rain and that you need to take it slowly and rest.
Many people think that getting sleep during the dark and rainy weather is good and that they get more sleep. However, scientists and studies show that lower barometric pressure leads to poor sleep quality because not enough oxygen enters the brain.
One study found that lower barometric pressure affects your sleep in a way that you are more likely to develop symptoms of insomnia and obstructive sleep apnea.
Seasonal Affective Disorder
According to scientists, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depressive disorder that likely affects people during the winter months. It’s the most active during the winter because there’s less sunlight and when rain and snowfall are highly probable.
The reason it is often connected to depression is that symptoms like feeling constantly sleeping or sleeping for too long during such days are similar to that of depression where people tend to shut down and find comfort in sleeping and oversleeping.
If you suspect to have the seasonal affective disorder, you should talk to your doctor, who will also direct you to your therapist who will confirm the disorder. One of the most common treatments for this disorder is light therapy, where patients use a UV lamp and turn it on every day for some time.
Alternatively, some doctors may suggest a tanning bed that can treat the symptoms.
How To Feel Less Sleepy When It Rains?
Normally, there’s nothing wrong with feeling sleepy when it rains. It’s a natural occurrence, and unless you have something important to tend to, it’s good to take a breather and rest. However, if you live in an area where it rains often and feels affected by the weather there are a few things that you can do about it.
You should do something about it if it hinders your daily activities and prevents you from getting work done. If your doctor rules out the seasonal affective disorder, here are the things you can do to prevent feeling sleepy while you’re busy:
- Surround yourself with as much natural light as possible. Use candles, LED lamps and lighting bulbs, open the windows and move away from your curtains so that more light can penetrate your room.
- Add a yoga or pilates routine into your daily routine. If you decide to stay active at the times when you rain, you won’t feel as sleepy as you felt before. As you feel the sleepy rush spiking, get up and do something for yourself.
- Distract yourself. If it’s still a day, you can plan out some exciting and creative activities that will keep you up and prevent you from feeling sleepy.
- Turn up the volume. Play your favorite music loudly, and don’t spare the dynamic rhythm. If you will listen to slow-paced music, you’re likely to fall asleep easier.
- Brew a warm cup of coffee or tea, or grab a snack. Binge eating is a bad idea but you won’t gain an excess amount of weight if you go for a chocolate bar. Tea, coffee, and chocolate are rich in caffeine that will keep you up and focused.
- Give in. In the end, there’s nothing wrong with giving in. It’s a thunderstorm, it’s raining and the sips of rain create a beautiful melody on your window’s outer sill. Give yourself a chance to rest and take a nap. When you wake up, you’ll be rejuvenated and ready to go on about your activities.