Why do rainy days make you sleepy? It makes me sleepy just to watch the rain fall on my window. I live in Georgia and while staring out the window watching Hurricane Michael come through one night, I got sleepy again. What is it about this weather that makes me sleepy? So I looked into it and here is why rain makes a lot of people sleepy.
You are sleepy during rainy days due to the clouds causing darker sky’s and your body produces melatonin at a higher rate. When your body makes more melatonin, it reduces serotonin that can cause relaxation, depression and sleepiness. This is why some people get sleepy on a rainy day.
Not everyone gets this feeling during rain or storms. Some people get excited or overly happy during a rainy day. Believe it or not, rainy days can have an impact on how we perceive our day by manipulating how our brain works. Lets dive a little deeper.
Why Rainy Days Can Make You Sleepy
Rainy days can cause your body to go through a lot of different changes. Most everything dealing with cloudy days, rain or thunderstorms deals with your body’s reaction to cloudy days and the sound of rain. For your entire life, your body has been trained to go to sleep when it is dark and static noise, or white noise, to help drown out other sounds that are distracting. Mix this with the sky getting darker with a solid background noise, like rain on a tin roof, and it helps to create the perfect environment for your body to go to sleep. After all, this is what it is used to for your entire life.
There are other key factors that play a big role in making you sleepy during rainy days that your brain tosses into the mix. For example, as the sky darkens, your body begins to produce more melatonin and stop producing as much serotonin. Melatonin is the chemical responsible for letting your body know when it is time to sleep, and time to wake up. Serotonin is responsible for helping regulate your well being like happiness and helps to regulate the body’s sleep cycles.
When your body begins to increase the production of melatonin while reducing the production serotonin, this creates a sleepy person! This process happens to everyone prior to going to sleep at night, unless you have a medical disorder that prevents the normal sleep process. Sunlight has been shown to help increase serotonin production as well, which is why most everyone likes a bright sunny day. If the sun is blocked by clouds, this slows down that serotonin rush and can make you feel like you have less energy than normal. This will also create that sleepy and lazy feeling.
How To Stay Awake On A Rainy Day
First of all, getting sleepy during a rainy day is a completely normal process. You are not in control of the chemicals released during this time, but you are able to fight it and stay awake pretty easily if you need to be. If you are at work and it starts to rain, you probably want to stay awake to not get into trouble. Here are some ways to fight that sleepiness until your body gets back to normal.
Yes, water. The colder the better. Cold water will help shake those senses back to normal and “shock” the body for a few seconds to remind it to wake up. It may even trick the body into thinking it is time to eat, instead of time to sleep.
Engage in Conversation
Call someone or talk to someone nearby. Talk about the rain, talk about upcoming events or anything else you can talk about. This will get your brain powered up for conversation and interactivity.
Take a Quick Nap
Set an alarm on your phone, no longer than 10-15 minutes, if you have to. Once the alarm goes off, get up and get moving. Sometimes you may be worn out already and the rain is just not helping. If you need to sleep, then take a quick power nap. You just do not want to make it to stage 3 sleep and stay in a relaxed state for a few minutes.
Plug in your headphones and find your favorite jam. Everyone has access to the music you love nowadays with smartphones and tablets. Tap on Pandora or Spotify and get to jamming. This will help you fight those sleepy urges.
Move around. Walk around the house, or deliver paperwork at your job, whatever it is, just get moving. Get the blood flowing and the heart pumping. It will get you out of sleep mode and into staying awake.
Sometimes you just gotta take that quick nap. Maybe you are at home and the kids are at school and you have plenty of time to take that nap. Do it. If that isn’t an option, then these tips will help you in the great fight against getting tired and sleepy.
But Why Does Bad Weather Make Me Happy?
A lot of people feel relaxed, sad or sleepy during rain or storms, but others feel joy and happiness instead. What weirdo’s right? Well, not really, and science has your back too. Bad weather, such as rain and thunderstorms, can be therapeutic for some people. Maybe even you if you are reading this far.
This is going to sound like it is for the introverts out there, but some people actually enjoy getting stuck inside during a storm. People with anxiety like to feel like they are “hibernating” during the weather and not being bothered by anyone. No obligations to go meet someone or get stuck in awkward situations. The rainfall also offers a white noise type effect that drowns out the sounds of the world around them and calming them down. For these people, a bright and sunny day is stimulating and is overwhelming for people that suffer from this type of anxiety.
Psychologists call this a reverse seasonal affective disorder, or a summer depression. This disorder can be triggered by seasonal shifts. We all live with different types of anxiety in our lives and there are people that thrive in environments that others find sleepy. While we focus on the sleep aspect the rain and weather, going into depth about these disorders is above the scope of this blog. If you want to learn more about these disorders, click the link below for a great explanation by Jordan Gaines Lewis, Ph.D at PsychologyToday.com
Why Are We So Affected By The Weather?
Weather has different ways of interacting with not only our environment, but also out brain. Some people can even claim that they can “feel it in their bones.” Believe it or not, they just may be able to.
Windy days can blow around airborne viruses, hot and muggy days can help bacteria thrive and cold days can make getting sick easier. Did you know that the physical effects of the weather play a large role too?
For example, in cold weather, your heart has to pump harder to move the blood through your body and stay warm. This puts you at a higher risk of having a heart attack! While hot weather can increase your core temperature to cause a heat stroke.
Finding the balance of how the weather affects you is critical to finding comfort, more especially for a good nights sleep. No one likes to sleep in the heat, or the cold.
Having the ability to control the climate where we sleep definitely contributes to a healthier sleeping lifestyle.
Rainy days can in fact, make you sleepy. Your body gets tricked when the sky gets dark and thinks night time is coming. This makes your brain throw out those chemicals to make you tired. For some people, rainy weather can make them happy and can be very therapeutic for them!
For me though, I am looking out of the window on a rainy day as I finish this post and I definitely need a cup of coffee. I would love to nap, but I am at work and need to stay awake!