I’m a pharmacist – that’s why the weather change disturbs your sleep

BEING Brit, you get used to packing an umbrella everywhere, especially when “we want it to be nice outside”.

This anniversary weekend has been one hot fire for Brits to bask in as we celebrate our monarch.

If you live in the UK you are used to changing temperatures


If you live in the UK you are used to changing temperaturesPhoto credit: Getty

But stormy weather is expected today and tomorrow when the four-day weekend bonanza ends.

An expert has now warned that this change in the weather could actually be affecting your health.

Parvinder Sagoo, pharmacist and health advisor for Simply Meds Online, said the constant temperature swings could cause headaches and trouble sleeping.

The guru explained that dramatic weather changes make us feel lethargic, irritable, hot and headaches, which in turn can lead to disturbed and uncomfortable sleep.

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“You might think that experiencing lethargy should mean we sleep better when we’re more tired, but in fact it has the opposite effect, and often when we’re feeling lethargic during the day we may find that our nighttime sleep is affected is.

“This is also because if a person takes more time to relax or nap during the day due to the weather, this will also affect their sleep as they don’t feel tired or feel like they need to rest,” said he.

Parvinder said this could also be called “weather whiplash.”

This term summarizes the physical and psychological symptoms that people experience when the weather changes rapidly and drastically.

He said high humidity caused by rainy weather makes the temperature appear warmer than it actually is.

“Not only that, we also experience ‘weather headaches,’ which are medically known as barometric pressure headaches,” he said.

People who regularly suffer from headaches may find that they increase or get worse as the weather changes, Parvinder added.

Gloomy, gray skies, high humidity and suddenly rising temperatures, as well as recurring storms would often cause headaches and pressure.

“That’s because the pressure changes that cause this gloomy weather can trigger both chemical and electrical changes in the brain, which then irritate nerves and lead to headaches.

“These types of headaches are known as barometric pressure headaches and occur after the barometric pressure has dropped.

“They are similar to a normal headache or migraine, but there may be other symptoms, such as nausea and vomiting, and increased sensitivity to light.

“You may also feel generally lethargic, tired, and unmotivated, which likely further contributes to headaches, a foggy mind, and dull headaches and earaches,” he said.


Of course, we can’t change the weather, but there are things we can do to reduce our symptoms caused by it, Parvinder said.

“I would recommend drinking plenty of water throughout the day as the weather changes to stay hydrated and taking frequent breaks from your phone or computer screen to avoid eye strain and further sensitivity.”

He added that improved posture is important and if you work at a desk, try to sit up straight and take regular breaks to walk around.

You can also:

  • Take a hot bath or shower to relax tight muscles
  • Place a heating pad or ice pack on your head for 5 minutes several times a day
  • massage your head
  • go into the fresh air
  • wear dark sunglasses.

Parvinder added that general exercise can also help relieve pain or pressure.

But if these don’t work, migraine medication is also an option.

“You should see your GP if you have headaches that are persistent and severe and if they are interfering with your daily life,” he said.

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Sarah Y. Kim

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