How The Cold Can Affect Your Sleep & What You Can Do About It

Winter is coming and if you’re a fan of the warm weather, there’s absolutely nothing that you can do to stop the seasons rolling around.  Something that we often associate with winter is the change in how we sleep. We think that people would sleep more and ‘hibernate’ during the cold,  dark nights, but that’s not the case!

The Lack of Sunlight 

With shorter days on the horizon, your sleep/wake cycles typically experience some sort of interference. Due to a reduction of sunlight in your life, not only do you receive less natural vitamin D, but it also means that your brain produces higher levels of melatonin, which we know is part of the process to make us feel tired and sleepy when bedtime nears.

Sunlight

  • The trick here is to open up your curtains/blinds the moment that you wake up in order to get more natural light entering your home or bedroom at the very least.
  • You should also look to get outside and enjoy natural light more than you might do in the lighter months too

Rack Up Some Quality Sleep 

Enjoying quality, sustained sleep is vital all-year-round, but it becomes particularly essential in the wintertime if you are to stave off feelings of being tired.

As a matter of fact, snoozing more than you should is actually medically proven to be bad for you.

Experts advise that an adult average sleep should be between seven and nine hours a night. Therefore, if you want to stay on track, ensure your bedroom space is able to aid you in feeling chilled out and drowsy.

The main things to consider are:

  • Have a tidy bedroom with zero clutter
  • Sleep with comfy, cosy and warm bedding
  • Switch off your phone, all smart devices and your TV two hours before bed

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Exercise Regularly 

The dark winter nights are actually a great excuse to get out and about. You might be feeling the cold too, so, by going out to do some exercise it will help with a range of things in your life from your mood to the standard of your sleep.

By taking part in exercise during the late afternoon, so after work for most people, it can assist in lowering the onset of early-evening fatigue, as well as boosting the worth of your sleep as we mentioned.

The NHS recommends just 150 minutes of exercise a week.

Why not use the winter months to give something new a try?

If you do a summer sport that’s normally enjoyed in the dry, why not find a new training regime to improve your strength and conditioning in the gym so that you can start the new season in better shape?

Get Your Diet Right 

Wintertime usually brings with it some added weight. You might be trying to keep yourself warm, but being overweight and underweight can have an impact on your energy levels which can result in some serious sleepy feelings.

Therefore, it’s paramount to keep on top of a wholesome, healthy, balanced diet.

The temptation to eat hearty, warming meals when it’s cold outside is very real but if you remember to include a wide selection of fruit and vegetables every day you will have more energy.

You can take your pick from a whole host of winter veg including:

  • Carrots
  • Parsnips
  • Swede
  • Leeks
  • Kale
  • Cabbage

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You can use a mixture of these, plus much more to create warming winter meals. You might also realise that you have a heightened craving for sweet things during winter. Do what you can to swerve foods that have a lot of sugar in them as this will give you a huge sugar rush and what goes up, must come down; and in this case, it’ll be with a bang!

You’ll end up having naps or feeling lethargic at the wrong time of day and not feel tired at night when you should be winding down for some good sleep, so think about what passes your lips and you’ll be fine!