Imagine that you are so wound up or exhausted that you can’t sleep at all. You toss back and forth, count sheep, check your phone, and drink water. However, all your efforts are in vain. And now it’s starting to rain outside. You listen to its lulling rustle… and you don’t notice how your eyes close and you fall asleep peacefully. Is it magic or just a physical phenomenon? In fact, it’s both together! Let’s figure out why the sound of rain gives us a calm and peaceful sleep.
Why Is the Sound of Rain Relaxing and Soothing?
The sound of rain often causes an inexplicable feeling of calm, peace, and comfort. But wait! Why the inexplicable? In fact, this impact is explainable, and experts are willing to share their research on the causes of the magic spell of water falling from the sky.
The fact is that such a reaction to the natural noise of the water is inherent in us genetically. It’s not only rain but also sea waves, waterfalls, and rushing rivers that produce soothing sounds. The key characteristics of all these sounds are steadiness and predictability. That is why we are so calm when we are near water or hear it. Our nervous system perceives these sound characteristics as the absence of threats. Thanks to this, it goes into a state of rest and gives a signal to relax your mind and body.
The magic of rainfall is also explicable from the point of view of physics. Its frequency is in the range between 0 and 20 kHz. Scientists recognize that this is the most comfortable parameter for the human ear. Besides, such frequency and monotony create a masking veil for any other extraneous sounds.
Have you probably noticed that the noise from cars and nearby structures becomes almost inaudible on rainy nights and even days? This is also a special property of rain, associated with its soft murmur.
What Do Scientists Call the Rain Noise?
Experts confirm the positive impact of the sound of falling rain on our nervous system. Perhaps this is what could explain the beautiful terms they give to this phenomenon.
For example, marine biologist Wallace Nichols considers the noise of rain to be part of the so-called “blue mind”. By this concept, he means the state of calmness, relaxation, and self-immersion that occurs to us every time we are near water. Besides the whisper of rain, the sound of sea waves, a mountain river, or a waterfall can also immerse us in the “blue mind”.
Physicists classify rain noise as “white noise,” which has a uniform spectral density. This means that it sounds smooth and quiet, without exerting any excessive auditory pressure on the ear. However, some experts still attribute the sound of rain to “pink noise,” because it is less dense and often has a certain unobtrusive rhythm. However, let’s leave all this for expert discussions and focus on the main thing: the sound of rain is pleasant for us and useful for our sleep, no matter what color noise it makes.
How Does Rain Affect Our Sleep?
The steady and rhythmic tapping of rain on windowsills, roofs, leaves, and grass is a kind of psychotherapeutic mechanism that has the following effect on us when falling asleep:
- Steady and dense noise drowns out other sounds and sounds predictable enough.
- Our brain does not receive new and harsh sounds for processing and analysis and drifts into a state of rest.
- Heavy and tense thoughts go away, the body relaxes, and the hotbeds of tension that prevented you from falling asleep disappear.
- Relaxation of the nervous system opens up opportunities for rest, and you fall asleep.
There is also another side to this medal. Falling asleep to the sound of rain is really nice, but how difficult it is to wake up in rainy weather! This is still associated with a relaxing effect when the brain does not immediately find an impetus to get out of a state of rest. Here, you may need music that helps you concentrate and tune in to productive work or study. Try Lo-Fi music and enjoy increased concentration and success throughout your work day.
Can Rain Scare or Cause Alarm?
The natural noise of the flowing water will never bother anybody. Even a heavy downpour and drumming flow will not be a problem thanks to the comfortable frequency range, which we discussed above. However, sudden and loud sounds against such a background can be frightening, so a thunderstorm is unlikely to have a calming effect.
How Can I Listen to The Sound of Rain Before Going to Bed?
Of course, the weather is not always ready to please on a rainy night. However, why wait for favors from nature? A lot of mobile apps are at your disposal today. Besides, you can upload such tracks from the Internet to your playlist as well. There are a lot of resources, and you can start with the Relaxing Panda YouTube channel, where there are many soothing sets for a serene sleep.
To Sum It Up
The sound of rain is called a “whisper” or “heavenly lullaby” for a reason. It really looks as if nature itself takes care of our serene rest. Add the rustle of rain jets to your playlist for a stress-free night’s sleep! Now it will take you no more than 20 minutes to leave for the kingdom of Morpheus and get a well-deserved and blissful rest.