Rain: The Natural Remedy for a Better Rest (Credit: Verywell Mind, Health, Live Science, Daily Mail)
DISCUSSION: Take a moment to recall falling asleep on a rainy night. Did you feel frightened and uneasy or relaxed and clear-headed? If you fall under the second category of relaxed and clear-headed, you’re not alone! So, the question becomes ‘why have so many people found it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep when it’s raining outside?’ As you can imagine, there is some really cool science behind the answer.
Image: A woman sleeping peacefully
Well, it all stems from autonomic nervous system(ANS) activity. Also known as the fight-or-flight instinct or threat-activated vigilance system, ANS is a protective mechanism in the brain that determines whether not a situation is dangerous and requires you to go into defense mode. In turn, it helps determine when the fear response is appropriate. Now, imagine you’re about to fall asleep and you are startled by a loud, abrupt noise like a siren. The vigilance system will cause your brain to interpret that sound as a threat which yields increased heart rate, causes you to become tense, and makes it harder to fall asleep. Contrarily, the sound of rain is perceived as a calming non-threat and therefore assists in the sleeping process.
There is additional research from Pennsylvania State University that further explains this process. Specifically, it found that you are more susceptible to wake-up from sudden noises out of your control than from sounds that gradually increase in volume. Since rain water gradually varies in volume and blocks out noises the brain considers threats, it relaxes your fight instincts and allows your brain to focus more on sleep.
Whether you suffer from insomnia or are just having a hard time falling asleep on a given night, remember that the rain has a natural restorative effect on your psyche, and may be the solution to sleeping through the night. As we end April, expect to see more springtime showers. Here’s to a good night’s rest!
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© 2018 Weather Forecaster Amber Liggett
DISCUSSION: Through the course of both the Spring-time and Summer-time months, there is a threat for a combination of severe weather event outbreaks and/or tropical cyclone events. Having said that, along with the threat of severe weather events and/or tropical cyclone events, comes an inherent threat associated with the natural dangers associated with such atmospheric phenomena. The threat of severe storms and tropical cyclones alone can often intimidate many people into a state where they are left feeling helpless and not knowing what to do during any period of time leading up to such an event. Thus, many people will often talk to mental health professionals about such issues or work to seek out someone or some resource which could help alleviate the headaches tied to worrying about such threats.
However, in thinking about such issues, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Weather Service (NWS) has created a platform to help people that contend with issues pertaining to storm anxiety and provides suggestions for people who suffer from such fears. It is worth noting that a fear of storms and the natural danger tied to them is a completely natural part of life as severe weather can produce some of the greatest natural threats to life and property that exist on Earth. Thus, the link to this resource provided by the NOAA NWS which is attached above provides some great tips and pointers for dealing with this terrible problems with plagues many people all over the world every day.
To learn more about other interesting issues pertaining to social science application to weather and climate, be sure to click here!
© 2018 Meteorologist Jordan Rabinowitz