As the weather and seasons change you may find that the quality and quantity of your sleep does too. Disruptions like allergies, temperature and daylight savings begin to affect your rest. Temperature is a year long issue when it comes to comfort. Too hot and you toss and turn. Too cold and you’ll miss out on settling into a deep sleep.
With winter here you may feel the urge to hibernate, fight it! Studies have proven that too much sleep can be harmful to the body. You may even find you’ve got a case of the winter blues. This is because the lack of natural light during winter months can induce seasonal affective disorder (SAD). SAD is characterised by lack of energy, feeling moody and depressive episodes that occur during times of seasonal change.
As much as you’d like to, it’s recommended that you avoid running the heating through the night in the wintertime. This is because air that is too dry or too warm will dry out the body’s mucous membranes and make the body more susceptible to illnesses such as the cold or flu. The Sleep Health Foundation states that the ideal sleeping temperature is around 17 to 19 degrees Celsius, depending somewhat on personal preference, clothing, and bedding. Research shows that cooler air supports the body’s natural deep sleep process. But it’s a fine line. When air is too cold, it will negatively affect melatonin production and cause the body’s sleep cycle to be disrupted.
Factors like daylight savings also affect how well we rest. When daylight savings comes to a close, you may find your sleeping patterns have shifted. This is because melatonin, which regulates the body’s sleep-wake cycles, is produced in greater quantities in the body resulting in that sluggish, tired feeling.
To ensure you stay well rested through the seasons, try to stick to a routine to ensure continuity so your body clock doesn’t get too confused. For example, rising and going to bed at the same time or eating lighter meals before bed to help you establish routines. Mindset is key when it comes to a fitful sleep brought on by weather changes. We suggest staying calm and relaxed, perhaps try meditation or reading to achieve that ‘dozy’ state where you may move gently between sleep and wakefulness. Deep breathing exercises can also help get you into the right mindset for bedtime.