Most people seem to be sleepy when the weather is dark and rainy. For the longest time I've had my own theory about it but I also decided to do some research. Here is the best explanation I could find for why rain and sleep go together.
Bonus - see the last idea for my own, unproven theory.
The absence sunlight triggers our bodies to stop producing the hormone melatonin, which makes us sleepy at night. When it’s raining and skies are overcast, we miss out on our body’s internal alarm clock.
Naomi Rogers, a chronobiologist from Central Queensland University, told the Sydney Morning Herald, that when you don’t see the sunlight first thing in the morning, your body never gets the cue that it needs to shift into daytime mode.
Earthy smell of rain can be soothing. Plants secrete oils during dry periods, possibly to stop seeds from developing when there aren’t enough resources for them to thrive. When it rains, the water brings out the accumulated oils and they mix with a chemical called geosemin, which is produced by soil bacteria, to create a “musky” smell.
Bill Ypsilantis, a soil condition and health specialist at the Bureau of Land Management, told NPR that this is the same smell you feel when turning over the soil.
Also there is the smell of ozone - a molecule made of three oxygen atoms, generated when lightning interacts with the air, breaking up and recombining oxygen molecules with two atoms into chains of three instead.
It also creates a powerful association with rain.
Rain sounds are also comforting. The rhythmic pitter-pattern of rain hitting a roof, umbrella, or the ground below is called pink noise. Pink noise is a category of background noise that, like white noise, has all of the frequencies that humans can hear, ranging from 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz. Unlike white noise, which has the same volume at every frequency, pink noise has lower volumes at higher frequencies, which according to some research may improve our quality of sleep by decreasing our brain activity.
So the combination of melatonin, smell and sound creates the conditions for being sleepy.
My own theory has to do with preservation of energy. If it rains most animals have a harder time to foridge for food or you can even get sick if you prance around in the rain.
If you can't eat you better not spend energy. And what better way to do it except by spending a rainy day in a borrow or our own beds? I think we just evolved to be lazy during rainy days. I still like my theory, although there is no proof for it.
More like this
Does White Noise Help You Learn?
Explore the World’s
Take Your Ideas
Just press play and we take care of the words.
No Internet access? No problem. Within the mobile app, all your ideas are available, even when offline.
2 Million Stashers
This app is LOADED with RELEVANT, HELPFUL, AND EDUCATIONAL material. It is creatively intellectual, yet minimal enough to not overstimulate and create a learning block. I am exceptionally impressed with this app!
Don’t look further if you love learning new things. A refreshing concept that provides quick ideas for busy thought leaders.
Best app ever! You heard it right. This app has helped me get back on my quest to get things done while equipping myself with knowledge everyday.
Great interesting short snippets of informative articles. Highly recommended to anyone who loves information and lacks patience.
Great for quick bits of information and interesting ideas around whatever topics you are interested in. Visually, it looks great as well.
Brilliant. It feels fresh and encouraging. So many interesting pieces of information that are just enough to absorb and apply. So happy I found this.
I have only been using it for a few days now, but I have found answers to questions I had never consciously formulated, or to problems I face everyday at work or at home. I wish I had found this earlier, highly recommended!
Even five minutes a day will improve your thinking. I've come across new ideas and learnt to improve existing ways to become more motivated, confident and happier.
Read & Learn
Access to 200,000+ ideas
Access to the mobile app
Unlimited idea saving & library
Unlimited listening to ideas
Downloading & offline access
Supercharge your mind with one idea per day
Enter your email and spend 1 minute every day to learn something new.
I agree to receive email updates