Why Does Rain Make You Sleepy?

If the sound of a rainstorm makes you want to drift off to dreamland, then keep reading to find out why!

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Woman getting sleepy while it's raining outside

It’s a question that has puzzled people for centuries: why does rain make you sleepy? Some say the sound of the rain lulls you to sleep, while others believe that the weather directly affects our energy levels. But what does the science say? Some suggest that barometric pressure changes make us drowsy, while others believe the lack of sunlight contributes to our fatigue. 

So, what is the real reason behind this phenomenon? Does rain help you sleep? Low air pressure caused by rainy weather may contribute to tiredness. We may also feel fatigued because of the humidity in the air, making it harder to cool down. Rainfall and cloudy weather can lower serotonin levels, a neurotransmitter associated with mood and energy. To sum it up, there are several bodily changes that occur during rainstorms that can have an impact on energy levels and promote sleep.

We’ll explore each of these theories and others in more detail in the sections below. So, if you’re looking for scientifically backed answers to the question, “Why does rain make me sleepy?” keep reading.

Low Air Pressure

Why does rain make you sleepy? One reason could be the low air pressure. When the barometric pressure decreases, it can cause a drop in oxygen levels in our blood, leading to headaches, fatigue, and sleepiness. When the air pressure decreases, our bodies lose water vapor more quickly, causing us to feel tired and sluggish.

Another possibility is that lower air pressure can affect our respiratory system. The air pressure outside is lower than the pressure inside our lungs. This difference can make it harder for us to breathe, which can lead to fatigue because the body isn’t intaking as much oxygen.

The lower air pressure can also lead to dehydration. When the air pressure decreases, our bodies lose water vapor more quickly, making us feel lethargic. Think about how you feel after a long flight and the impact of jet lag. The low pressure in the cabin requires you to drink more water to maintain fluid levels, but if you don’t, you feel exhausted. The same principle applies to a low pressure front rolling through.


When it rains, the air outside is more humid than usual, causing our bodies to work harder to regulate our internal temperature. This increased effort can lead to exhaustion.

Sweating is how our bodies keep cool, but when the air is saturated with water, it’s harder for that sweat to evaporate and do its job. We feel hotter, and our bodies must work harder to keep us cool. That extra effort can make us feel tired.

Another reason humidity can make us sleepy is that it can affect our breathing. When the air is humid, the airways in our lungs can become congested and inflamed, leading to increased fatigue, especially for people with asthma or other respiratory conditions.

Low Serotonin Levels

Rain may also affect our energy levels by affecting our serotonin levels. Serotonin is a chemical in our brains that helps regulate mood and energy. When levels are low, we may feel tired or sluggish. If you’ve wondered why you tend to get sleepy when it rains, this may be a contributing factor.

When it rains, our bodies produce more of the hormone melatonin due to the decreased light levels caused by the cloudy, overcast weather. Melatonin makes us feel sleepy. During a rainstorm, lower serotonin levels and increased melatonin production may make us especially tired.

Lack of Sunlight

Sunlight helps our bodies produce vitamin D and affects our circadian rhythm. Both are essential for energy levels and our overall well-being.

Sunlight helps our bodies produce vitamin D, essential for several bodily functions. Vitamin D can: 

  • Boost our immune system
  • Help produce hormones that regulate our mood

Fatigue is one symptom of vitamin D deficiency, so when it’s cloudy out, we may not be getting enough sunlight to produce this vital vitamin.

Our circadian rhythm, the 24-hour cycle that tells our bodies when to sleep and wake, also relies on sunlight. When it’s dark outside, our bodies produce more of the hormone melatonin, which makes us feel sleepy. So, if you’re wondering, “Why am I so tired when it rains?” a lack of sunlight may be one reason.

Frequently Asked Questions

These common questions about “Why does the rain make you sleepy?” may give you some additional insights.

Why Does the Sound of Rain Make You Sleepy?

The sound of rain has a calming effect that can ease anxiety and help you relax. It is often associated with relaxation and serenity, which can cause some people to feel drowsy when they hear it. 

Rainfall can also help mask other noises that may keep you awake, such as traffic or loud neighbors, and acts as a natural source of white noise.

Does Weather Affect Energy Levels?

While several factors can play into why someone might feel more tired on a rainy day, one of the most likely explanations is changes in barometric pressure.

Barometric pressure is the weight of the atmosphere pressing down on us. When it drops, as it does before a storm, that can lead to feelings of fatigue.

Another potential reason rain makes us tired has to do with our circadian rhythms. Our bodies follow the patterns of daylight and darkness; when it’s darker outside, we naturally produce more of the sleep hormone melatonin.

Does Rain Help You Sleep?

The combination of cool weather and wet conditions creates the perfect atmosphere for inducing sleep. When it’s cloudy outside, our melatonin levels rise as our body prepares for bed. 

Rain is often associated with relaxation because listening to it can be soothing. It can also help to lower your body temperature, which is conducive to falling asleep.

The Bottom Line

Bad weather, such as rain, can lead to lower air pressure, affecting our energy levels. During a rainstorm, the humidity can make us feel hot and tired, and the lack of sunlight can cause low vitamin D levels, which can cause fatigue and exhaustion. Serotonin levels dip because the clouds hide the sun, which blocks the neurotransmitter production in our bodies. 

There’s no denying that rain has a way of making us feel sleepy. So, if you have difficulty staying awake on a rainy day, you now have a better understanding of does rain help you sleep.

What do you think about the science behind “Why does rain make you sleepy?” Let us know in the comments below.

Nate Devore
Nate Devore
For over 15 years Nate has been obsessed with solving his own personal and difficult health challenges related to sleep, energy, and fatigue. As one of our sleep experts at sleeping.com, Nate is passionate about helping you get the best night’s sleep possible.

Medical Disclaimer: The content on this page should not be taken as medical advice or used as a recommendation for any specific treatment. Always consult your doctor before making any decisions.

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