How To Sleep Better In The Winter
Cold weather and dark mornings can have serious effects on your winter sleep schedule and mental wellbeing. We know that with the reduced daylight hours comes the urge to spend more time in bed, and while it may be tempting to crawl back under the covers, this can result in having a poor night's sleep.
With issues from a bedroom that isn’t the right temperature to not receiving enough light exposure during the day — as well as constantly resisting the urge to curl up for a "quick" nap — getting the right amount of sleep during the winter months can be more challenging for everyone.
In this blog post, the team here at DUSK have collated their knowledge and selected their top tips to help you sleep better this winter.
Up Your Light Exposure
With fewer hours of daylight, there can be huge effects on a person’s sleep-cycle. The lack of sunlight means your body produces more melatonin, a hormone that makes you feel tired. This can make it more difficult for you to wake up in the morning, you may feel more sleepy in the evenings or even find it extremely difficult to fall asleep at night.
To help avoid those winter blues and tired drawn out days, we recommend getting outdoors soon after the sun rises. Get wrapped up and go for a crisp winter morning walk — take a cup of coffee in a reusable cup for the added warmth and of course, a hit of caffeine! Alternatively, sit by the window for the first few hours in the morning and enjoy sunlight as you eat your breakfast and drink your cup of tea.
Resist The Urge To Nap
After lack of light exposure comes the increased urge to take a nap during the day or after work. Although this may seem a great idea at the time, chances are it will in fact make you feel more sluggish. On top of this, it will most likely make falling asleep that evening even harder.
To avoid napping, we recommend removing the temptation. For example, instead of cosying up for a film day in bed where the temptation is higher to fall asleep, choose your favorite cosy throw and put Netflix on in the living room instead.
Get Your Daily Exercise In
We know that with the weather turning chillier by the day, getting out and about for exercise gets even less appealing as the months draw closer to winter. However, making a promise to yourself that you will squeeze in just 30 minutes of exercise every day could help you achieve a better night’s sleep during the winter.
Heading out for a walk on your lunch break will not only increase your light exposure, but it’s also a relaxing way to get your daily exercise in. Alternatively, opt for a workout in the comfort of your own home. There are many classes you can follow online that are suitable for anyone, from mind-zening yoga to more intense HIIT workouts designed to get your heart pumping.
Avoid Overheating Your Home
The optimum temperature for sleeping is around 17-19 degrees celsius. However, when it’s cold outside, there is the temptation to turn up the thermostat higher for a cosy and warm home. Remember that heat rises, so if your bedroom is on the first floor, it is likely to be warmer than the rest of your home.
If you find yourself feeling restless during the night, we recommend turning your heating down a little. Instead, choose a premium higher tog duvet that will not only help keep you warm throughout the winter, but will provide maximum breathability.
Choose The Right Bedding
From duvets and pillows to bed linen and throws, choosing the right winter bedding can be a daunting task but one that’s extremely important when it comes to getting a good night’s rest. During the winter, we suggest choosing a higher tog duvet, as this will keep you warm without having to spend a fortune on your heating bill!
A 13.5 tog goose down duvet will keep you cosy throughout the coldest months, while an all seasons duvet can be adapted from season to season, with a 4.5 tog and 9 tog duvet that can be used separately or fastened together. Take a look at our blog for more tips when choosing bedding, including more ways to stay warm in bed this winter.
Eat The Right Food
With the festive season fast approaching and Christmas movie marathons becoming a more regular occurrence, there is more temptation than ever to overeat and indulge on some of your favorite foods. While we all begin to have more cravings for carbs, sugars and those wholesome large warm winter meals, overeating (especially just before bed) can cause numerous issues with falling, and ultimately staying asleep.
We recommend that you avoid eating for a few hours before you climb into bed. Obviously, the odd movie night filled with your favourite snacks won’t cause any harm — phew! But for the most part, aim to keep snacking on your favourite foods for late afternoon or early evening.
Limit Screen Exposure Before Bed
It might be tempting to watch TV in bed or sit and scroll through social media, especially if you’re having trouble falling asleep. However, this can cause issues with your quality of sleep, as the blue light emitted by your electronics interferes with your body’s natural production of melatonin. Using electronic devices for long periods during the day can also impact your sleep — another reason to stop screen time over your lunch break and get some fresh air.
The DUSK team suggests creating your own bedtime routine that will help you wind down before drifting off to sleep. Try not to use electronics for at least an hour before you go to bed and instead, delve into a book, listen to a podcast or even write in a journal to help your body relax and feel ready for sleep.
Will you be changing any of your bedtime habits for a better night’s sleep this winter? We’d love to hear your winter routine! Let us know on Facebook or Instagram. And for more top tips, check out our advice on the DUSK blog.