Barometric Pressure and Human Biology
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Barometric Pressure and Human Biology

Even though it isn't established as scientific fact there is considerable data to confirm that a bio-weather relationship exists in humans.

Studies have shown that there exists connection between the ability to sleep well and the weather. This seems to be related to barometric pressure. Low barometric pressure causes the body to get less oxygen and can cause sleepiness. High pressure seems to work opposite. The practical effect of this is that many people get sleepy during rain storms as a result of the low barometric pressure that produces the storm.

Another connection between the human body and changes in barometric pressure is the achy joints experienced by some arthritic victims. Many folks report the ability to predict changes in the weather because of aches and pains in their joints. My personal experience is that whenever there is a significant change in either direction I suffer from both insomnia and joint pain. I guess this makes me a walking weatherman.


Science offers conflicting reports on the connection to weather and biology. However, even though it has not been well studied there is considerable data to confirm that a bio-weather relationship does exist. Barometric pressure is real. That air does have weight is a scientifically proven, observable fact. It is also true that all forms of physical pressure are detectable by humans using the sense of touch. In other words, yes, humans can detect pressure. Although gradual changes in atmospheric pressure are typically undetectable, severe changes in barometric pressure are easier to detect

What causes joint pain when it is reported? Possibly the answer is connected to the fluid and gasses in our joints. As the atmospheric pressure drops, these fluids and gasses expand. When fluids and gasses in the joint expand, they cause pressure against the nerves around those joints that are affected. This is translated into pain by the brain.

At this point all we can do is speculate and it would be great to have more research in the form of scientific studies to find out the truth about the relationship between barometric pressure and human biology. I suffer from a condition called sleep apnea and I use a machine called a CPAP to provide constant air pressure when I sleep. This keeps my airway open and prevents me from having stoppage of airflow. In other words, without the machine I stop breathing several times throughout the night. My point is that this represents another connection between air pressure and the biology of sleep (at least for those who have apnea).


Considering many people claim they can tell when a storm is coming is very true. A lowering barometer has been proven to increase joint pain, and a lowering barometer means that a storm front is getting close to your location.

Not only does a falling barometer causes joint pain to increase, a 2007 study from Tufts University found that for every 10 degree drop in temperature causes an incremental increase in arthritic pain. Wet weather, which of course occurs during bad weather, also increases joint pain. I have noticed my knees do start to hurt as the barometer starts to fall.

In conclusion and speaking only for myself, I am convinced that my body can and does detect changes in barometric pressure. Ask yourself if you feel the same.

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Comments (6)
Ranked #1 in Sleep

excellent I tweeted

Ranked #31 in Sleep

My daughter is very sensitive to barometric changes. Most people think she's nuts when she complains. I'm going to send her the link to this article.

Ranked #52 in Sleep

voted up...

is human being still evolving? this article made me think about it. xxx

Good article. Since we're all just a bunch of chemicals, it makes perfect sense to me. You must keep very late hours, Londis – like me.

Ranked #38 in Sleep

Something new I have not so far come across.Quite useful too.Thanks.