We all feel a bit down when the cold winter weather creeps up on us, the days the shorter and we feel like we have less time to be productive throughout the day. Along with this and the diminishing sunlight, it’s hard to keep our body clock intact. When the sky darkens earlier in the evening our bodies automatically prepare for rest and recovery, resulting in feeling more tired than usual. On par with this, when the sun rises later in the mornings, the body continues to sleep because it senses no light streaming through the windows.
The science behind our circadian rhythms involves two neurotransmitters called serotonin and melatonin. Melatonin is produced when it is dark and we are asleep. Sleeping too much causes abnormal levels of melatonin. As a result, the lack of sunlight during winter makes our bodies want to sleep because of the high levels of melatonin in our bodies.
Serotonin is a hormone that affects our mood. In the summer months when there is plenty of sunlight, our bodies naturally produce more serotonin due to the Vitamin D that is made by our skin cells. When sunlight is in short supply, our serotonin levels automatically fall. This leads to our bodies having less energy and less positivity. Read more here.
To help you out of the winter slump, we have compiled a list of tips to help improve your body clock and sleep patterns to help you reclaim your amazing!
- Morning Sunlight
To avoid feeling fatigued and sluggish during the later afternoon, get some morning sunshine. Go for a morning walk, drink your coffee in the sunlight or get out of the office at lunch and sit in the sun. This will suppress the melatonin hormone that helps the body prepare for sleep. These small habitual changes will keep you buzzing for longer and improve your sleep quality. Read more here.
- Get Moving
Exercise improves sleep quality and although the cold weather, late sunrises, and early sunsets can make it more difficult to squeeze in a workout, getting that 30 minutes of movement a day will help expend extra energy during the day and drift off to sleep more easily at night. Read more here.
- Watch out for Overheating
The idea of getting cosy and curling up into a warm bed is very enticing when the weather is cold outside. Be mindful that you don’t overheat! Overheating affects your sleep, so turn down the heater and shed a layer of clothing before hopping into bed.
- Eat a Light Dinner
At the end of long work day a heavy dinner sounds like a great idea but all that food can make it harder for you to go to sleep. When you eat a heavy meal, your body has to work extra hard to digest it at night. It’s best to eat a light dinner and finish it at least 4 to 5 hours before you head off to sleep. Read more here.
- Routine, Routine, Routine
A sleep routine will keep your body clock in check. The body will get into a rhythm which will help not hinder your sleeping patterns and the impact of the winter sunrise and sunset will become less apparent. When sleep habits are maintained, sleep will progressively get better. Read more here.
Ensure you have the right sleeping oasis to help your new habits flourish. Visit your local Sleepy’s store for your personal mattress fitting today, and find your amazing!