Why is it that the sound of rain for some people or even a good old fashion thunderstorm is what the doctor ordered for a good nights sleep? That is how it’s always been for me. Give me a long night of soaking rains or the sounds of thunder in the distance and I sleep like a charm.
For a logical point of view, I went searching and found this answer given just a few years ago on a discussion board on Yahoo by a login named Betsy:
“High levels of humidity lowered scores on concentration while increasing reports of sleepiness.”
I would suspect the barometric pressure also plays a role. The sound of rain is known to enhance the ability to sleep (hence all the “ambient rain” downloads advertised as sleep aids).
Studies (conducted on airmen/flight crews) show that decreased barometric pressure induces the tendency/desire to sleep (Effects of Mild Hypobaric Hypoxia on Oxygen Saturation During Sleep). As barometric pressure is reduced, the air around us carries less oxygen. Our body needs oxygen in order to work and operate at peak effeciency. Reducing the amount of oxygen in our blood reduces the bodies ability to do work. Reduction in available oxygen (induced by reduction in atmospheric pressure) brings about ‘symptoms’ associated with sleepiness.
That sounds so convincing and I’m sure we all would agree that when a rainy day comes around, we tend to take a nap or lay on the sofa and watch a film. We do this to avoid getting wet, perhaps, or because of the above scientific reason. Maybe we really have no choice but to sleep! I’m all for sleep as you are well aware of and I try to get as much of it as I can.
Try as I do, night after night I usually fail. Then there is the family gene pool that has also caused me sleepless nights. I recently found out that my grandmother suffered from severe headaches right before a low pressure system would come into her area, as I do. So right before the great rain we both loved so much, we get tremendous headaches that almost take the pleasure out of getting the great night sleep in the first place.
I know you are saying, hey get a CD and listen to some rain. Here are the problems with that:
A. Headphones are great, but when I fall asleep and roll over and they stab me in the ears, I’m back at stage one and wide awake.
B. I can’t listen to it out loud. God forbid I wake the sleeping giant next to me who has his CPAP on whooshing in the wind so he can breathe all night.
C. I can’t dream about the rain just being there…for whatever reason, I can’t begin a dream about rain.
So I wait for those few nights where we actually get lots of good rain and crave and watch the weather channel for a glimpse of what could be a storm. When they hit, I’m in heaven. One of those should come into our area tomorrow. Though the storms have come leaving destruction in its path, we hope to be spared and maybe only the rain will prevail.
After one Board Meeting, a Manufacturers Webinar and a jaunt to get the oldest child to work, I will be headed directly to the couch for a nap, well needed and deserved. If you wake me, I will hurt you. If I’m very lucky, the nap will last until Friday morning at 5 am, when I have to arise to watch a beautiful wedding on television. Its funny. It is supposed to rain there on that day. A good thing. I hear its very lucky.
- Training With Team Sleep (runkeeper.com)
- Another 4 Conditions for a Better Night’s Sleep. (sleepoptionsmattress.wordpress.com)
- Inspired (laneymcmann.wordpress.com)