When the sun is out, it’s natural for us to be more energized. But when the skies are grey and cloudy, we suddenly find ourselves feeling tired and lethargic. So why does gloomy weather make us so tired? And why do we just want to curl up on a rainy day? There are several factors that contribute to this phenomenon.
Read also: Can the weather make you tired?
Why gloomy or cloudy weather makes you tired:
1. Lack of sunlight
First of all, the most obvious factor is the lack of natural light. Sunlight provides us with vitamin D which is essential for our bodies to function optimally. When the skies are dark and cloudy there is significantly less ultraviolet light getting through to us and therefore less vitamin D production. This can have far-reaching effects on our energy levels as well as our overall health.
2. Affect on circadian rhythm
The lack of sunlight also affects our circadian rhythm or body clock. The circadian rhythm is affected by light exposure in the morning which tells our bodies when it’s time to wake up and start producing hormones such as cortisol and serotonin which help us feel alert and energized throughout the day. When it’s gloomy outside, the dim light tells our body to produce melatonin instead which makes us feel sleepy instead.
Hormones also play an important role in feeling tired in gloomy weather. Hormones such as cortisol, adrenaline and dopamine are essential for maintaining energy levels throughout the day but they can be easily disrupted by changes in weather such as having low-pressure systems or high humidity levels due to storms or rain. These conditions can interfere with hormone production resulting in feelings of lethargy and fatigue.
Similarly, less sunlight can mean that your serotonin production is diminished. Serotonin is an essential hormone that helps to regulate mood and energy, so when it’s low you may find yourself feeling unmotivated and exhausted.
Lack of sleep can also have a complex effect on our hormones so poor sleep cycles can lead to worse sleep hormones and poorer sleep. Hormones can also help to explain why laughing makes us tired and why some people feel tired when they are angry.
Humidity can also contribute to feeling tired during gloomy weather because higher levels of water vapor in the air make it harder for oxygen molecules to move around freely which means less oxygen reaches our lungs making us feel tired more quickly than usual.
High humidity makes it difficult to cool our bodies by sweating, which can result in fatigue and exhaustion due to overheating. Low humidity has a similar effect due to dry air exacerbating dehydration, which can lead to lethargy and general malaise.
5. Atmospheric pressure
Shifts in atmospheric pressure can also make us feel more fatigued than usual during periods of cloudy weather. Changes in barometric pressure can cause headaches or even leave you feeling dizzy or disoriented—all of which are known contributors to exhaustion and low energy levels over time. Plus, certain seasonal affective disorders like “winter blues” can make people feel extra tired during winter months when there is less daylight available overall.
6. Seasonal affective disorder
All these factors taken together can lead to something called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). This condition is more than just ‘rainy day blues’. Sufferers of SAD experience feelings of depression during times of prolonged low sunlight or gray weather patterns – symptoms range from mild fatigue all the way up to severe anxiety and depression. It can be especially debilitating for those living at higher latitudes where winter months bring extended periods without much sunshine at all.
Read also: Why does rain make me tired?
How to feel more awake on cloudy days
If you find yourself struggling to wake up on a cloudy day there are several things you can do to help wake yourself up and feel a bit better.
1. Get Outside
Even though the sun isn’t shining, try to get outside for some fresh air. A few minutes of outdoor time can help clear your head and invigorate your body. If possible, try exercising outdoors or just going for a walk around the block. The change of scenery will help shake off the drowsiness and get you energized again. Also, getting as much natural light as possible will help your natural hormones, raise serotonin and regulate your sleep cycle.
2. Try a sun lamp or sun light alarm clock
Sun lamps are specifically designed to give off bright uv light that mimics the sun’s rays. Spending a few minutes in front of one each morning is a form of light therapy that can help jumpstart your day and give you an energy boost.
You can also get alarm clocks that mimic a sun rise. These will gradually brighten and give off a soft light in the morning, which can help wake you up without feeling as jarring as a regular alarm. These are especially useful if you find you have difficulty waking up on gloomy or rainy days.
3. Eat Healthily
Eating healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins can give your body the energy boost it needs when you feel sluggish due to lack of sunlight. This isn’t an excuse to eat unhealthy food like chips and ice cream – they won’t really give you any long-term energy boosts!
4. Take Breaks
Don’t underestimate the power of taking periodic breaks throughout the day in order to stay alert and energized on cloudy days. During these breaks, take a few minutes to enjoy something that brings you joy – reading a book, listening to music or even meditating – anything that helps you relax and recharge your batteries! This will also stop you from feeling bored and tired.
5. Get Moving
Exercise is one of the best ways to get your energy levels up and combat fatigue. Whether it’s going for a walk outside or doing an at-home workout, try to move your body for 15-30 minutes each day. This will help boost your endorphins and improve your overall mood! Movement also helps guard from you getting tired from lack of exercise.
6. Get enough sleep
If you feel drowsy often then you may simply not be getting enough sleep. Try to fall asleep and wake up at the same time each day, and get at least 7 hours sleep per night.
Conclusion: Why does gloomy weather make you tired?
At the end of the day, gloomy weather can have an effect on our energy levels. Being aware of how your body reacts to changes in light exposure, hormone production and circadian rhythms can help you identify when you may need to take extra precautions to ensure your energy levels are maintained. Taking regular breaks, eating a balanced diet and getting enough sleep can all help ward off fatigue on cloudy days. Additionally, seeking professional help if you’re feeling persistently depressed or anxious due to seasonal affective disorder is always recommended. Understanding the mechanisms involved in why gloomy weather makes us tired and taking simple measures to manage fatigue can help bring a little brightness back into our days, while we wait for sunny days to return!