We all know how important it is to get our 40 winks. But when the seasons start to change, and the cold weather sets in, it can be difficult to maintain a consistent bedtime routine. There are many different ways in which winter can affect our sleep health, and it’s important to be aware of these factors to ensure you’re taking the necessary steps to mitigate them. In this article, we offer our three top tips to help you sleep more soundly during the colder months, leaving you to enjoy all the benefits of a healthy sleeping routine.
Maintain your exercise regime
Completing our weekly quota of physical activity can seem like a daunting task when its wet and woolly outdoors. Even if you’re heading out to the gym, the short, chilly walk from the car can feel like a big effort and make the entire workout feel more like a chore.
However, research shows that exercise is important for a healthy sleep routine. Not only is physical activity an excellent stress reliever, helping to clear our minds, but it can help our bodies feel tired, improving the quality of our nightly slumber. You don’t have to do a daily marathon to feel the benefits, either – even moderate exercise can promote better sleep. So on those cold nights when you don’t feel like going to the gym, remind yourself of the importance of being active – your sleep cycle will thank you for it.
Get your setup right
One of the most important aspects of good sleep hygiene is creating an environment that’s conducive to a restful night. This will likely change throughout the year as temperatures rise and fall and the days become longer or shorter. Failing to reflect the changing of the seasons in your bedroom setup can disrupt your sleep patterns and make it harder to drift off to sleep.
Ensure you have plenty of layers on your bed to help keep your body at a comfortable temperature. Also, we’re more likely to be exposed to artificial light in the winter months when the nights begin earlier, but this added exposure can affect sleep quality. Especially when it comes to digital screens, having too much light in your bedroom can make it harder for your brain to switch off when it’s time to sleep, so consider reducing your artificial light intake and switch those device screens off at least an hour before bedtime.
Look after your health
Unfortunately, everyone becomes a little more vulnerable to catching coughs and colds during the winter months. When we are ill, sleeping becomes that much more difficult, and failing to get enough rest can make our symptoms worse. While some are unavoidable, there are lots of ways we can help to protect ourselves from contracting an illness.
Especially with Covid-19 still in circulation, it’s essential to always practise good hygiene habits. That includes washing your hands regularly, avoiding touching your mouth, nose and eyes, and staying away from others who are ill.
As we’ve explored, there are many different factors that can cause sleep disruption, especially when our bodies have to adjust to changing external conditions. With these top tips in mind, start prioritising your sleep health as the weather begins to change to give your mental and physical wellbeing a boost.
This article is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding your sleep health or any other medical condition.
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