July 14, 2012
“There is no sound more peaceful than rain on the roof, if you’re safe asleep in someone else’s house.”
Surely, the sound of rain is peaceful, but does it make us fall asleep?
It’s the rainy season once again! Rain makes us feel relaxed and even tired, but does it contribute to a good night sleep? In a study by the University of Rochester, experiments showed that sunny days bring more restful nights.
With the sun high and bright, we sleep longer and more soundly, because we are wide awake and have exhausted our energies throughout the day. The opposite then is true. During rainy days, we hate getting up and we feel lethargic. We use less energy and thus cannot sleep better at night.
But if the study is correct, why is it that we hate getting up for work or school on a cloudy day?
Scientific studies have shown that we don’t like getting up due to the sound of rain and the absence of bright sunlight. These natural occurrences psychologically affect us by making us feel relaxed.
Another reason is more hormonal in nature. Apparently, serotonin, hormones that give us the general feeling of well-being and happiness, is regulated by the sun. The dimmer the sky (or any environment) is, the lower the serotonin level, and so we feel more lazy and sleepy.
Are younger people more affected by the rainy weather than adults?
A study seems to say so — In one experiment, some people experienced a feeling of gloominess when the weather is not good. This condition is called seasonal affective disorder or SAD (pun not intended). It is also applied to “blue” feelings related to gray skies and even winters.
On a lighter note, the National Sleep Foundation suggests ways to sleep better at night, with or without the rain:
When we take into account all these information, it becomes easier to understand why rainy weather or dark clouds make us feel less energetic. Studies show that a sunnier (and happier day) equates to higher productivity and therefore better sleeping time. But don’t despair, push yourself to excel in work and school, and you can curl under the covers and let the pitter patter of this rainy season happily lull you to sleep.