Many relaxation recordings feature the sounds of rain to establish a feeling of calm before bed. Dark rainy mornings make us burrow deeper under the covers. Overcast skies sap all our energy. But does rainy weather actually help us sleep better? According to the University of Rochester Sleep Laboratory in New York, the answer is no. People tend to sleep better when it’s nice outside. The reasons for this are twofold.
While a soothing steady rainfall soundtrack may qualify as white noise to help us drift off to dream land, actual rain is often accompanied by the sounds of howling wind, booming thunder and flashes of lightning, all of which can disrupt our sleep. Not only can sudden loud noises jolt us awake in the middle of the night but storms can trigger strong emotions such as stress and anxiety. In fact, 10 percent of the US population is said to suffer from astraphobia, an overwhelming fear of thunder and lightning. Even if you aren’t bothered by the stormy weather, others in the household may require extra attention. Children may become frightened and need to be soothed while pets may become restless and vocalize their distress in the middle of the night. Sleep suffers as a result.
Rainy days also disrupt our melatonin and serotonin production. Melatonin is the neurotransmitter that tells our bodies when it’s time to go to sleep. Serotonin is the neurotransmitter that tells our brains it’s time to rise and shine. Sunshine cues us as to which of these we should be producing at any given time. Without the sun, our internal clock has a harder time differentiating what time it is and exactly what our bodies should be doing. During these grey days, serotonin production can become diminished, leading to low energy, and excess melatonin can be produced, leaving us feeling groggy and lethargic.
Inclement weather can also prevent us from getting fresh air, enjoying outdoor exercise, and absorbing vitamin D from the sun, all of which can influence sleep. So, until the forecast calls for fairer skies, keep yourself sleeping well with a delicious chocolatey sleep aid. Sleep Squares contain small amounts of 5-htp (a precursor to serotonin) and Vitamin D as well as other natural active ingredients to help you weather the storm. Click here for our 14 night free trial.