How to sleep well during the winter months
Don't let the winter weather prevent you from getting a good night's sleep!
Whilst we often feel more tired during the winter months, especially after the clocks have changed we don't actually need more sleep in the winter.
The main reason for increased feelings of tiredness are linked to the reduced daylight from gloomy winter weather. Less sunlight means that your brain produces more of the hormone melatonin, which regulates the body's sleep-wake cycles. More melatonin makes you sleepy.
OUR 5 TOP TIPS FOR SLEEPING WELL WHEN IT GETS COLDER:
- Don't overheat your bedroom
- Keep exercising
- Don't cold comfort eat
- Avoid weekend hibernating
- Get more light
1. DON'T OVERHEAT YOUR BEDROOM
You may think that you need to crank up the heat overnight to stay warm but actually your body temperature needs to slightly decrease before you can fall asleep. Make sure your bedroom stays a cosy 18°C. You'll save some money on your heating bills too!
2. KEEP EXERCISING
It is harder to find the motivation to exercise once it's colder but exercise really does help increase the quality of your sleep and so you shouldn't neglect to stay active during the winter months. Join a class or the gym if you want to stay inside or take a brisk walk outside during your lunch break. You'll definitely feel much less groggy and tired in the mornings.
3. DON'T COLD COMFORT EAT
It's always tempting to eat more warm and comforting food when it's cold and dark outside but there's no need to increase your food intake during the winter! If you want to tuck into stews, curries, etc, try to avoid eating them close to bedtime so that your body isn't still working hard to digest your evening meal when it should be settling down to sleep.
4. AVOID WEEKEND HIBERNATING
A cosy weekend morning curled up in your scooms duvet having a bit of extra sleep does sound like bliss but it can play havoc with your sleep. You can't catch up on the sleep that you've missed in the week and if you have irregular sleep patterns at the weekend it will affect how well you sleep during the week ahead. Try to get up at the same time every morning even if you get to sleep later than you should.
5. GET MORE LIGHT
Try to get as much exposure to nature light during the day. You can also try using a light-box when you wake up to help kick-start your circadian rhythm.
And of course, make sure that you have a great duvet!
TOP FAQS FOR SLEEPING WELL IN WINTER
Do you need more sleep in the winter?
No, there's no biological need for getting more sleep in the winter.
How can I sleep better in the winter?
Don't overheat your bedroom, keep exercising, avoid comfort eating, don't over sleep at the weekend and invest in good quality bedding.
What temperature should my bedroom be in the winter?
Make sure your bedroom stays at around 18°C. This is the optimum temperature for a great night's sleep, not any hotter. So turn the heating down and save some money on your heating bills!