Winter is the season of hibernation, long nights, cozy blankets, cuddles, date nights to escape the cold, and snuggling up by the fire. With all the nesting and cuffing, you'd think people would sleep more in the winter. However, while this season can improve a healthy sleep routine for some, the opposite can also be true. For many people, cold weather presents unique challenges, such as excessive tossing and turning, feelings of lethargy, and a disrupted sleep schedule.
Do you sleep better in the cold, or are you one of those who has trouble sleeping in the winter? In any case, we're here to provide a wide range of the finest beddings to ensure a restful, luxurious night's sleep. Continue reading to learn how to get a good night's sleep during the dreaded winter months.
Why You're Struggling to Sleep in Winter
Humans are hardwired to wake up at sunrise and fall asleep at sunset. When the sun rises, and light starts coming through the windows, our bodies use that as a cue to wake up. When it gets dark, a sleep-inducing hormone known as melatonin is produced, and our bodies take it as a cue to wind down and get ready for rest/sleep. The inner workings of our bodies will begin to shut down, thus allowing the body to recharge after all the day's activities. It's not your conscience or the time you go to bed that tells you to fall asleep; rather, it's your internal clock, also known as the circadian rhythm.
In winter, days are shorter while nights are longer. There's little to no light, which means the sky is darkening earlier, and there's more melatonin production. In turn, this prepares the body for rest, leaving you a little more tired long before bedtime. Since the sun rises later in the mornings, the body continues to sleep since it senses no light. It goes without saying that winter can disrupt the natural bodily rhythms that help you sleep and wake up every day.
Aside from sunlight exposure, our daytime activity levels also affect how long and well we sleep. Research has found that having an active lifestyle can improve the quality of sleep you get every night. Unfortunately, many people are less likely to engage in activities during the cold winter months. Additionally, the winter holiday season encourages too much eating, affecting quality of sleep. This is often followed by a period of winter blues when most people feel down and even attempt to hibernate, hence no physical activity.
How to Get Better Sleep Quality in Winter
While some people only need an extra blanket to sleep well in winter, others struggle when the days are shorter, and the temperatures plummet. Here are a few simple tips to help you avoid winter insomnia:
Get Out In The Sun
If you live in a northern area, where daylight may be in short supply during the winter months, you can end up seeing far less sunlight than you expect. Sometimes, you may go into work before the sun is up, and head home at the end of the day after the sun is down--and even if you have some daylight to work with, you may find yourself rushing to fill your day, with little time to take on those tasks.
If you want to get better winter sleep, however, make spending some time in the sun a priority. Try to spend some time outside in the morning. Take a brisk walk at lunch. Getting adequate sunlight can help your internal clock remain better regulated, even through the longest nights of the year.
Regular exercise is an evergreen tip for quality sleep. It helps to release stress, reduce the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), strengthen your circadian rhythms, maintain a healthy weight, and improve overall health, all of which directly impact your ability to get a good night's rest. It's even better if you can exercise outdoors while you soak up some natural light. It's going to take a bit of extra motivation to exercise during the cold winter months, but your body will thank you for it.
Watch What You Eat
It might be tempting to eat more comfort foods or snacks during cold winter nights. But this will only lead to overeating and weight gain, both of which make it difficult to get quality sleep. Ensure you're eating a healthy diet and avoid heavy meals before bedtime. While you're at it, avoid nightcaps as well. Alcohol may act as a sedative, but as it leaves the body, it has the opposite effect of stimulating. You also don't want to disrupt your sleep with regular trips to the bathroom.
Use A Humidifier
Winter weather typically comes with dry air, not to mention heaters tend to suck moisture out of the air. This can irritate your nose and throat and trigger dry, itchy skin, both of which can make it generally uncomfortable and affect sleeping in winter. A humidifier can help keep things moist. You can also add essential oils that promote sleep, such as chamomile.
Set Your Thermostat Properly
During the winter, it can be tempting to heat up the house as much as possible: a roaring fire in the fireplace, the thermostat cranked up, or even a small heater in your bedroom to help keep things warm overnight. Unfortunately, those habits may be causing more harm than good. Have you ever considered the key question, "What is the best temperature for sleep in winter?" It turns out, the best temperature for sleep--regardless of the season--is around 65 degrees Fahrenheit. If you're cranking the thermostat up before you go to bed, you could be setting yourself up for a restless night.
Do you sleep better in the cold? The answer might just be yes--and with good reason. During the winter, you don't have to worry about wasting energy to bring your indoor air temperature down.
Prevent Cold and Flu
Nothing disrupts sleep like a sore throat, stuffy nose, and coughing all the time. And these symptoms can be hard to avoid in winter as cold, and flu tends to get into full swing during this time. Try your best to prevent cold and flu by:
- Getting a flu shot
- Washing your hands regularly
- Taking plenty of vitamin C
Should you get sick, pay attention to your over-the-counter medications, as some contain stimulant ingredients that might also encourage winter insomnia.
Upgrade Your Bedding
A comfortable environment is vital to having a good night's sleep. And one way to achieve said comfort is with the right bedding. Layer your bed with high-quality sheets, a blanket, and a duvet/comforter. Ensure they are made of breathable fabric such as cotton, bamboo, and linen. The materials also act as natural insulators, thus trapping the heat to keep you warm on cold winter nights.
Key Takeaways for Optimal Winter Sleep
We can't overstate the importance of sleep for our physical and mental health. Does cold weather make you sleepy, or are you among the many who have to work a bit harder to ensure they're getting a good night's sleep during winter? From this text, the key things to pay attention to include exposure to light, temperature, activity level, overall health, and your sleeping environment. If some new bedding is what you need to sleep better this winter, Beckham Hotel Collection has you covered. Check out our collection of sheets, comforters, pillows, and pillow cases to help you create a bed that's a haven for quality sleep this winter.