Adjusting our sleeping habits for the different seasons can be difficult. The long evenings and warm nights of the summer months are very different to winter months, with their dark evenings and cold nights. Here are some tips to you sleep comfortably during the winter.
It’s important to keep the room temperature just right. Sleeping in a room that’s too warm, although cosy, can keep you awake at night. The same can be said for sleeping in a room that’s too cold, which also makes it difficult to fall asleep, and stay asleep. Maintaining a moderate room temperature can make all the difference. The ideal temperature for sleep is between 20-22°C. This is as body temperature drops during sleep and so a cooler room makes sleep more restful.
Lack of Sunlight:
Excessive cloud cover in winter can make daily life duller. When we don’t get enough sunlight during the winter, we tend to feel more lethargic during the day, and completing daily tasks can take a lot of effort. When it does get dark in the evening, the body may not feel ready for bed because it has been so tired during the day. To help reduce this, try to get out in the sunshine where possible (if there is a break in the clouds). Take a short walk on your lunch break to wake you up during the day. In the evenings, try to turn off televisions and laptops at least an hour before bed as the light from these works as a stimulant and makes falling asleep more difficult.
Oversleeping at the weekend:
Getting up in the mornings is even more difficult on a cold, dull morning, all you want to do is stay in bed all day. This is especially true on the weekends but try and keep to your regular sleeping pattern. Catching up on a little extra sleep at the weekend is a given, but oversleeping can only damage your weekday sleeping pattern. Try not to alter your sleeping pattern by more than an hour or two.
Research has found that people tend to consume more calories in the autumn and winter months than they do in spring and summer. The absence of light in the winter makes us want more food and to consume it quicker. However, the more food consumed at any one time, the harder the body has to work to digest it. This makes it difficult to fall asleep and therefore, it is recommended that we avoid heavy meals in the 4-5 hour period before bedtime.
During winter, the cold weather makes it difficult to motivate yourself to exercise. As has been previously mentioned, people feel more sluggish and tired throughout the day, causing physical activity levels to drop even further. This means we don’t burn up all our energy, which can affect our sleep quality and quantity. However, simple steps can be taken to increase activity, such as walking or cycling to work where possible, or taking a brisk walk in the evenings to help burn off excess energy. Keeping active during winter is important for physical and mental health.
We hope you’ve found some information to make the transition from summer to winter easier! For more professional sleep advice, stay tuned to our blog or like us on Facebook!