When it’s cold outside, it may seem easy to get cozy and drift off to sleep, however external factors such as temperature, noise and light can affect your sleep more than you would expect. With temperatures usually at their lowest in the early hours of the morning, many people find that they are sometimes too cold and uncomfortable to be able to get a good night’s sleep.
When temperatures are cool, this facilitates deep sleep. In contrast, warm temperatures are generally a cause of restless sleep. Our body temperature drops when it’s bed time, it takes a slight dip and stays lower until we wake in the morning.
Winter days are shorter and the weather often keeps people indoors. The dark nights can be good for an early bedtime, but they also dramatically reduce the amount of sunlight exposure for many people, which can affect melatonin levels and circadian rhythms. Ultimately this change in daylight can affect your regular sleep/wake schedule and cause sleepless nights.
Cold winter air typically contains less moisture and humidity than in other seasons. Using heaters to warm the room temperature also contributes to indoor dryness, which can dry out mucous membranes and skin. When your nose dries out, this can force you to open your mouth at night to breath, leading to snoring and affecting how well you (and your partner) sleep.
Cold & Flu
During winter our immune systems are run down and we are more prone to sickness which affects your quality of sleep. Rather than breathing through your nose, which is most natural, congested sinuses force you to open your mouth which can be uncomfortable and can lead to snoring and disrupt normal sleep patterns. Fevers, body aches, coughs and other symptoms also make sleeping a struggle.
Tips to Improve your Winter Sleep
- Sleep in a dark bedroom.
- Stay hydrated to alleviate dry skin.
- Get as much sunlight and Vitamin D as you can in the shortened day hours.
- Avoid alcohol before bed.
- Have a couple layers of blankets on your bed to accommodate changes in temperature.
- Stay warm through exercising in winter will help keep the circulation running to keep the body warm. However, it is best to avoid exercising directly before bed.
- Keep hands and feet warm with socks or a warm water bottle.
- Use breathable bedding or climate-control accessories.
Your mattress could also be a factor if you are waking up hot, through lack of ventilation or any aches and pains. We offer bed fit specialist appointments in-store. Reach out to your local Sleepy’s store today to find your sleep health.