As winter approaches, we feel so sluggish and sleepy. When your alarm strikes in the morning and when it’s still dark and chill outside, makes it hard for us to get up from the bed and feel refreshed. The culprit is not us; it’s the outside temperature and light in winter months making us sleep longer. On top of that,compels you to have more slumber in the winter months. Do we need to sleep extra during winter? Experts say that it’s not our biological need, but an emotional and psychological factor that forces us to grab more slumber during winters. In this article, we will review some of the factors that drive to sleep more during winters:
Unlike summer nights with frequent tossing and turning that disrupts your sleep, winter is a blessing for many of us as it’s the season of long, cosy nights, snuggling up by the fireside under a blanket. Many of us enjoy the season of hibernation for no reason.
Chill Weather- The Culprit
Our body needs to cool down to get a good night’s sleep. In summer nights the temperature in the surroundings rises and causes tremendous tossing and turning in the night to get rid of the heat and catching up good sleep becomes challenging. So a colder environment is quite advantageous to get good sleep. Moreover, your outdoor routine is affected by a change in the weather and environmental conditions. The optimal temperature for sleeping is considered 180c this means that winter nights make us fall asleep faster than humid summer nights. But there may be some contraries to this. As in winter, to feel the warmth in the chill weather we usually put on the heaters and add extra duvets which can affect the cooling system of the body and make you struggle to fall asleep.
Exposure to Light
Exposure to light sends a message to our brain to stay awake and fall asleep. The biological clock and sleep-wake cycle share a well-established connection. When you are exposed to low-intensity light, the brain receives a signal to prepare our body to fall asleep, whereas exposure to bright light is associated with alertness. During winter the days are short and our exposure to light is less compared to other seasons. Therefore we tend to feel tired and sleepy as a result of signals received by the brain to synthesize the sleep hormone- melatonin by evening itself. The main problems with winter days are people don’t step out so much to seek the natural light. Even if you sit in artificial light throughout the day in the office, the intensity of this light is much less than artificial light.
Comfort of Food
Winter is the time we crave high-calorie foods and move out less frequently. We end up eating heavy meals to keep ourselves warm in the cold weather. This certainly results in weight gain and sluggish nature during winter months. So is our body’s response as curling up under the covers and sleeping for long hours. With an increased number of festivities and vacation during winters also increase the intake of food and hot drinks that results in weight gain and other physiological problems associated with sleep.
We are stressed out throughout the year and only holidays can relieve you from this stress. Even if your office set up offers a, keeping up with New Year resolutions will be stressful for some people. However, anything that you do to overcome this stress will be beneficial for your overall health and well-being. Unfortunately, some people will take this stress to bed and spoil the ability to get a good night’s sleep. It is advised to take self-care or a professional’s help to resolve this issue.
Here are some ways to Improve your Sleep during Winter Nights
To avoid feeling sleepy and stay energetic throughout the day here are some tips. Light and temperature are the 2 main factors that you need to work upon, the other ways are:
- Go out for a walk in the daylight – Go out for a brisk walk in the daylight regularly; be it foggy or rainy. This will help to get energized. This will help to harmonize your circadian rhythm. Using a lightbox in the morning to kick start your day is also a good idea.
- Resist the urge to take a nap during the day – Taking a nap in the daytime will adversely affect your sleep routine and fall asleep. Also, keep away all the electronic gadgets during bedtime. The blue lights from them will keep your brain alert and make it hard to fall asleep. Associate your bed only with sleeping. Any such activities that keep you awake should not be performed in the bedroom.
- Limit alcohol intake – It’s winter night and people usually tend to overindulge in boozing. Even though alcohol acts sedative, as the effect is released from the body it acts as a stimulant and you will find it difficult to stay asleep.
- Keep stress low – Stress that regulates your sleep should be managed with the help of meditation, yoga, and breathing exercises.
- Create a Sleep Haven: Make sure that the wooden bed and the mattress you sleep in are comfortable. Experts from Wakefit suggest giving more importance to creating a cosy and comfortable environment with extra duvets to keep you warm during the winters.
Now you know why you are sleeping more during winters and how you can improve your sleep in winters. Health and technology go hand in hand for the overall well-being of your health. Modern-day technology shall be utilized for the betterment of human life.