Well, winter is certainly well upon us now, with some parts of the country experiencing some pretty cold temperatures. One of the strange phenomena in life is that despite the great feeling of being snuggled up in a warm bed many people don’t sleep as well in winter as they do in summer.
There are a few reasons for this and if you know why sleep differs from summer to winter it helps to solve your winter sleep problems. Here then is our ABC of beating the winter sleep blues…
A – is for Activity
One of the primary reasons people get better sleep in summer is because exercise and constant activity are really good to induce tiredness and a willingness to sleep more. According to the National Sleep Foundation, as little as 10 minutes of aerobic exercises, such as walking or cycling, can dramatically improve the quality of your sleep.
The problem is that in Winter people (particularly those whose exercise regimes are usually outdoors) tend to exercise less. Shorter and colder days often mean that outdoor exercise time, something that enhances sleep, is reduced.
Winter sleep tip – Keep your body as active as in summer – indulge in more indoor activities like gym, action cricket, squash and many others. For those who love music why not do a little ‘Dancercise’ which combines dance with great exercise – there’s no more fun way to keep fit. Even use a couple of light weights while you dance for a good body toning all around.
Secondly, try to maintain a good healthy diet. Go for some healthy veggie soups instead of fatty fast foods and try not to overeat – especially close to bedtime! Also – don’t overdo the coffee – another winter sleep mistake!
B – is for Bedtime
Another problem regarding the shorter days we have in winter and that general feeling of drowsiness we can experience sitting in front of a heater or warm fire in the evening is that we often tend to upset our sleep cycles.
As research has shown, and as one sleep expert put it “Changing sunrise and sunset times can have an effect on melatonin levels and the time you start to feel sleepy at night.”
Winter sleep tip – Try not to go to bed earlier than you usually do. This will often cause you to wake earlier and upset your sleep cycle. Set the alarm to get you up and running at the same time too – just have warm pyjamas and a gown nearby to get up as usual and not lie in as you may be tempted to do.
Also in summer or winter, you should try to keep the light in the room as constant as possible. This can be done in summer using dark curtains and in winter by having lighting that switches on with your alarm.
C – is for Cold
Probably one of the most significant factors that make summer and winter sleep differ is temperature change. There is an advantage in winter to having colder temperatures, as we sleep better when our body temperatures are reduced.
This is backed up by research too – A 2015 study from UCLA’s Jerry Seigel looked at the sleep of people across the world and found that ‘’sleep duration may be linked to ambient temperature more than sunrise and sunset.”
The problem is that we tend to compromise too much for the cold by sleeping with heating, very warm bedding and/or extra warm clothing – or all of the above!
Winter sleep tip – Don’t overdo the heating in your room at night. Your body prefers a little cold when sleeping – and also try to keep a little fresh air coming into the room too if you can.
D – is for Don’t
Yes, there is a ‘D’ too! It is for Don’t forget that winter or summer you definitely sleep better on a Truform mattress. Designed to be comfortable, supporting and long-lasting, a Truform mattress can give you and your family many seasons of great sleep.