Good quality sleep is something that we all need so that our bodies and minds can function to keep us happy and healthy. There are various factors that can have an impact on the quality, or amount of sleep that we get – and in the winter, the list increases. Factors like the cold weather, the dry air, and the general lack of motivation to exercise may mean that our sleep suffers. But don’t worry! There are ways that you can try to keep to a routine even when the weather is cold. Below, we’ll look at 5 tips and tricks for sleeping this winter.
It’s not just the drop in temperature that can affect our sleep schedules, the type of mattress that we sleep on can have a huge impact – so if you think it’s about time you invested in a new mattress to help improve your sleep, there is a huge range to choose from, whether you’re looking for a mattress made in USA, the most modern mattress, or something a little more traditional.
- Keep up with regular exercise
In the winter months, it can be difficult to stick to your exercise routine. It’s cold and it’s dark, so your motivation is bound to suffer – but try and do what you can to get some exercise. It’s no surprise that getting your movement in and increasing your heart rate will help you sleep – it tires out both your brain and your body, making for a more restful sleep. But it’s not just that, wrapping up warm and heading outside for a brisk walk, run or cycle means that your body will be exposed to natural light. This is important so that you can get your dose of vitamin D, but it also allows your body to stay in its natural sleeping pattern, which is called your circadian rhythm. Head outside for around 15 minutes or more each day to give your body a nudge in the right direction when it comes to knowing when it’s time to sleep.
- Try to reduce napping
When it’s dark, and your motivation has taken a bit of a nosedive, the urge to nap can increase in the winter. Napping during the day can lead to the inability to sleep when you get into bed at night, so if you’re a regular napper, it may be worth considering whether this is stopping you from falling asleep at night. Everyone is different, and some people need a nap to get them through the day – if this sounds like you, make sure that you try and keep your naps short, as a quick snooze during the day probably won’t have too much of a detrimental impact on the way you sleep at night. Generally, the longer you nap during the day, the more your appetite for sleep at night decreases. It may be difficult to stay awake during the dull depths of winter but do your best! You could see a huge improvement in your sleeping pattern.
- Use a humidifier
During the winter, the dry air can cause issues when it comes to getting to sleep. If you regularly wake up with a sore throat, dry nose, or chapped lips, this could be an indication that dry air is causing you issues. Also, you may not realise it, but dry air increases your chances of suffering from a cold – and we all know how difficult it is to sleep with a stuffed nose and an irritating cough! To eliminate the chance of these problems keeping you up at night, a humidifier can help to add moisture to the air, so you can sleep soundly, minus the scratchy throat and cracked sore lips.
- Try a new tea
Hot drinks are a must in winter, they can help us to feel warm and cosy, but did you know that various teas can have a positive effect on the way we sleep? If you’re a tea lover or need a relaxing hot drink to help you drift off, there is a huge range of teas that you can implement into your routine. Some of the most popular to try are chamomile tea, which is said to relax the nervous system and calm the body and mind, lavender tea which we all know is an essential ingredient for those that struggle to drift off, and lemon balm tea which is said to reduce anxiety. So, if you struggle to sleep in the winter, one of these soothing hot teas before bed could be just the thing!
- Focus on temperature
The temperate of your sleeping environment plays a huge role in the quality of sleep that you’ll get. Whilst in the winter it can be tempting to crank the thermostat up, sleeping in a temperature that is too warm is difficult, you will likely become agitated, and your sleep will be disrupted. We tend to get a better sleep when we are colder, but make sure you’re not too cold! Experts recommend sleeping at around 65 degrees to keep you most comfortable. This is, of course, a personal preference but making sure your environment is not too hot or too cold puts you in a better position to get better quality sleep.