Why Does Rain Make You Want to Sleep?
Over the last few months, my life has been high gear. Between work, volunteering, family, weddings and moving, there has been no rest for the weary. Now that it's raining, all I want to do is sleep.
As I lay in bed this morning struggling to get up and not hit snooze for the fifth time, I started to wonder, 'what is it about rain that makes me want to sleep?' So I Googled it.
Various sites came up with answers, but wanting and answer with some credibility I clicked on PsychologyToday.com. I was disappointed with what I found.
"Rain may make you feel tired, but it doesn't really help you get a good night's sleep. In fact, sunny weather brings more restful nights, according to research done at the University of Rochester Sleep Laboratory in New York. When the clouds go away, not only do you sleep more soundly, you are more likely to sleep longer."
So, I kept digging. I backtracked formed a new search and then landed on an article from the Sydney Morning Hearald from 2012 by Dan Nancarrow. According to the expert in the arcticle, Central Queensland University associate professor in chronobiology and sleep Naomi Rogers, lack of light makes it hard to wake up.
"When it is cold and raining and it is dark you're not getting as much of that signal when you wake up, you're not getting that big jolt of information of 'is it daytime let's switch off the night activities and go into the day'. It's not the cooler weather making us want to stay and bed and snuggle up under the covers, but the lack of light we are reacting to."
OK, so it's hard to wake up when it's raining, but how can we feel rested after we get the day started? How much sleep is enough? Next, I visited the National Sleep Foundation's website and discovered that the number hours need varies from person to person, but their are recommendations based on age.
For adults ages 26-64 years, 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night are recommended. The chart also notes that 6 or 10 hours may be appropriate for some. Sleep is critical to our health as humans just like diet and exercise, but it is often overlooked.
How can you improve your sleep health, and wake up (even on rainy days) feeling rested? The National Sleep Foundation offers these guidelines:
- Stick to a sleep schedule , even on weekends.
- Practice a relaxing bedtime ritual .
- Exercise daily.
- Evaluate your bedroom to ensure ideal temperature, sound and light.
- Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillows.
- Beware of hidden sleep stealers , like alcohol and caffeine.
- Turn off electronics before bed.