You have probably heard people say that they sleep like a baby once it starts to rain. Some of your friends might even prefer to nap when it rains because the smell comforts them. But what if it keeps you awake?
Why can’t I sleep when it rains? There are many reasons why rain may keep you awake. Noise is an obvious one, especially if it patters against the window or there is thunder. Other reasons include lethargy, boredom, and temperature.
While many claim to sleep better when the rain patters on their roof, there are others who actually struggle to do so. Although these are the common factors that can help people sleep, they can also be the same reasons why others can’t sleep when it rains.
How Can Rain Affect Our Quality of Sleep?
It is no secret that the body needs enough sleep to fully function. The average adult needs at least 8 hours a day to stay healthy. Without proper sleep, you would easily catch a horrible disease that would turn you into a Zombie.
Fortunately, there are various aspects of achieving good sleep that are under our control. However, there is one factor we often overlook, which is our environment. Sudden changes in precipitation, humidity, or temperature can have an effect on our quality of sleep.
The rain is a particular factor in this regard. While there really is no definitive research that shows the direct relationship between rain and feeling sleepy, some evidence does reveal that dark and cloudy weather can affect our senses in a way that signals us that it’s time to doze off.
Indeed, it is quite common to find ourselves buried under our blankets when it is raining cats and dogs. But, do we really sleep better when it rains? Does it really contribute to having a good night’s sleep? Sometimes, the answer is NO!
What Makes it Difficult to Sleep When it Rains?
According to some studies on sleep, there are people who actually sleep better during sunny days. In fact, workers who have overnight shifts tend to become pretty sensitive to sound. After having been in a quiet environment at work, their ears become accustomed to silence or soft sounds.
Noise – A common fact about rain is that it is sometimes accompanied by wind and thunder. The strong gusts of winds, the growling thunder, or the rattling windows are just a few disturbing sounds that can keep one from enjoying a usual and uninterrupted sleep.
Lethargy – Another reason that rain can make it difficult to sleep is a lack of energy. In areas of the world where it rains regularly, some people can end up feeling lethargic. With outside being wet all the time, it can plant the idea that you can’t do anything or go anywhere.
Boredom – When you don’t have anything to do, it’s easy to sleep for longer hours and this isn’t always a good thing. It is one thing to get sleep, but another thing to get quality sleep. You might have been able to get 10 or 12 hours of sleep, but if you’ve had a 6 hour sleep after a hard day of work, you tend to feel more rejuvenated.
Too cold – Finally, rain is generally associated with a cool temperature. Our body’s ideal temperature is 37 degrees Celsius, so once we start to feel cool, our brain starts to tell us we’re hungry. Food makes us feel warm because it makes our body active, therefore producing heat. Now, you might think this is a good thing because it means we can be energetic rather than be lethargic, but unfortunately, that’s not the case.
Poor diet – After we eat, all our body wants to do is rest so that it can focus on digesting what you ate. With no motivation to go outside, you’d probably decide to just lay in bed and unknowingly build your storage fat. It is especially bad to eat late at night as this can leave you feeling bloated or uncomfortable to sleep straight away, despite how much you love the rain. So, it is safe to say that rain does not only impact your sleep negatively, but can also ruin your diet!
Ways You Can Promote Quality Sleep
Even though gentle rainfall can provide a soothing effect, noisy storms and thunder can wake you abruptly and make it hard to fall back to sleep. These can eventually lead to stress and create anxiety in the long run. The good news is that there are ways you can conquer this nuisance and ensure you get quality sleep.
Despite the fact that we cannot control the weather, working with some controllable factors is a great way to lessen their effects.
1. Increase your exposure to bright light during the day
Our body has its own time-keeping clock called circadian rhythm. This innate time-keeping ability affects your hormones and practically your entire body and brain. It is responsible for helping you stay awake during the day and tells your body when it is time to sleep at night.
Exposure to sunlight can keep your circadian rhythm functioning normally. When it rains, you’re actually reducing the amount of natural sunlight exposure, which then affects your circadian rhythm, hence affecting your sleep patterns. Increasing your exposure to bright light during the day is essential to improve your daytime energy, as well as your quality of sleep in the night.
2. Maintain a sleep-inducing environment in your bedroom (or wherever you sleep)
Your sleeping environment is one of the key factors in getting a good night’s rest. Having and maintaining a comfortable environment usually means keeping it clean and organized, as well as a quiet place for you to relax. Always use bedding that will make you feel comfortable enough to ignore the rainy noise outside. If you really despise the smell of rain, then some sweet-scented aromas should do the trick.
3. Learn relaxing techniques
If thunderstorm and heavy rain keep you from enjoying needed sleep, performing some relaxing techniques can be a great idea. To help you get your mind of the tinkling water drops from the drain outside, try to put yourself in a meditative state of mind, such as being alone in a small and quiet tropical island with a clear blue sky. You could also try some breathing exercises to relax your body to sleep.
If you are really sensitive to sound, you could always invest in earmuffs or earplugs. Make sure to buy good quality ones, though, otherwise you might wake up with tomato colored ears. If you’re not quite tired yet because the noise outside woke you, then reading a book is a good strategy.
Conclusion – Why Can’t I Sleep When It Rains?
There you have it! Regardless of how much positive feedback the rain gets for lullabying people to sleep, there are still some angry fans out there and with good reasons too. A famous quote from a famous scientist named Isaac Newton is, “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction”. This means that there will always be a good and bad side to everything.
Now that you have found out that not everyone can sleep when it rains, you can feel confident in the fact that you’re just like everybody else, which is normal. You’ve also learned some new things on how you can get better and more quality sleep, as well as how you can sleep amidst the fierce attacks of rain. So, it’s true what they say that sometimes it really does pay to know your enemy.