Come December, and we all wish we could just hibernate through the winter!
Here’s why most people struggle sleeping this season and also a few quick tips for what you can do about it.
Whether we like it or not, changing seasons impact our sleep. And now that winter is here, we’ve got some new sleep challenges to face. Here’s a quick guide on some of the factors that can disrupt our precious sleep in the winter and what we can do to survive the season.
WHAT WE EAT, IMPACTS HOW WE SLEEP.
Yep. We’ve said it before, and we’re saying it again. Let’s face it, ’tis the season to be jolly, and boy! do we go all out with all the late nights, and junk food eating. And while hot chocolate with marshmallows is BAE in this season, it’s not really doing much for your sleep. Changes in our eating habits during this season, like having meals later than normal or consuming extra caffeine throughout the day just to power through the day, can hamper your sleep with heartburn, indigestion, and even insomnia.
CENTUARY TIP:To avoid sleep trouble like insomnia and heartburn, be mindful of what you eat, and when you eat it. Try limiting caffeine, alcohol or heavy meals to the early evening.
JUST CHILL CHILL
The low temperatures outside drive us inside, where we immediately bundle up in our comforters/quilts and sweaters (who isn’t guilty of this?!)– which is fine when we’re awake. But when we sleep, our body temperature naturally falls. And being too warm, disrupts our sleep pattern.
CENTUARY TIP: This might sound crazy, but bundle up and then turn on your AC and set it to a temperate of 22 to 23°C. This will keep the temperature controlled, so you’re cozy and warm when your head hits the pillow, but cool as a snowman once you’re asleep.
THE DREADED DRY SPELL
Oh! It’s not what you think. What we mean is is that cold air is drier air. Dry air translates to chapped lips, itchy skin, scratchy throats, and dry noses. Best case scenario: these uncomfortable conditions will annoy you when you’re in bed trying to get to sleep, but worst case scenario, they leave you vulnerable to colds and infections. And we all know how hard it is to get restful sleep when we’re sick.
CENTUARY TIP: Consider investing in a humidifier – this will keep your nasal passages moist. Drink a lot of fluids. Take warm, (not hot) showers, and apply lotion right after you dry off to lock in moisture for your skin.
Melatonin, the sleep-promoting hormone, is produced by our brain in response to darkness. Gloomier days, earlier sunsets, longer nights and the temptation to stay indoors in the winter, triggers melatonin release throughout the day, and usually has us feeling groggy and fatigued by mid-day. This also implies that we may feel more awake at night because we never felt the distinct, intense release of melatonin that we feel in warmer seasons when sunny days turn to dark nights.
CENTUARY TIP: Regulate your melatonin and also your internal clock by making sure you’re getting ample exposure to sunlight even during the winter. Go stand by the window or in the balcony in the morning. Take a walk outside after lunch. Here are a few more tips to help you sleep better in the winter:
- Set a routine.
- Set the room temperature to be cool and comfortable, but not too dry.
- Turn off electronic equipment an hour or two before going to bed.
- Get moving or get some exercise every day.
- Try to relax before going to sleep.
- Get some light exposure every day.
- Try not to eat three to four hours before going to bed.