Feeling like it’s a drain to get out of bed this winter? Then you’d be absolutely right. While even the most beautiful of winter days is still pretty uninviting to leave a warm bed for, the reasons run deeper. Recent studies reveal that the reason you feel sleepier in winter is precisely: because you are. In winter, we tend to sleep less, and with a poorer quality than in the other seasons. We are obsessed with your sleep – so here are our top kip tips this winter.
We’re so obsessed with your sleep, we’d watch you like this if we could
1. Rug up, but be sure to allow your body to cool down
I’m going to tell it to you straight – some of your problems are your own fault. While it is true that keeping warm in winter is super important for comfort, health and sleep, it can also cause sleep disturbance if you’re keeping yourself too warm. Your body uses a small drop in body temperature to signal that it is ready to drift off, but with modern conveniences, this can be hard to achieve if you are heating the room and your bed. Have a warm shower before bed, or keep your room at around 18-22 degrees to give yourself the best chance of good rest. Keeping your bed or bedroom too warm has also been associated with causing nightmares, another issue that gets in the way of good rest. Make sure that you keep your electric blanket or heating on just warm enough to stop you from feeling chilly, and have breathable manchester and pyjamas.
A couple of extra blankets can help, but don’t overdo it.
2. Relax muscles and reduce stress
One of the issues that can reduce sleep quality and quantity is stress. Winter time can add a multitude of stresses to an already packed schedule – coughs & colds in the family, bigger bills, and end of financial year. This means that your already stressed out body is under even more pressure. Try to remember to put stress-busting activities in your schedule to aid your mental health and sleep. Try a muscle relaxation technique in bed before you drift off – feeling cold, on top of being stressed, means that you’re likely constricting/clenching your muscles – leading to inability to sleep, stress and soreness.
3. Avoid alcohol
Alcohol is extremely tempting in times of cooler weather. Despite what we’ve seen in the movies, with St Bernards charging up to snow-drift stuck climbers with a cask of brandy, alcohol is not good for you in winter. While you might feel a little warmer after a nip or two, alcohol actually lowers your core temperature. It allows your blood vessels to dilate, meaning that more body heat is lost through your skin than usual. Alcohol also leads to disrupted sleep, even when you feel it might make it easier to sleep at first. This sleep will likely be poorer quality and shorter than it otherwise should have been. Avoid the extra nightcap and go with a herbal tea instead.
Switch out the late night nightcaps for a nice hot drink with milk! Keep warm, get sleepier (the tryptophan in the milk helps you sleep) and pretend it’s Christmas all at once. Win!
4. Keep up exercise and avoid too much comfort food/caffeine
I know how easy it is to just want to curl up in front of the fire (meaning: TV), but exercise is as important in winter as it is in summer. It helps you to sleep better at night, and defends your body from winter nasties by boosting your mood and immune system. Time outdoors is important, as you still need the vitamin D that your body craves, but its harder to come by.
Heavy foods and caffeine laden drinks before bed are also a winter staple. However, ditch some of the comfort foods for these sleep boosting snacks, or eat them earlier in the day. Make sure you pay attention to what is in those drinks too, while coffee is the obvious culprit – many lovely teas and hot chocolates are high in caffeine, and will keep you up.
While these tips may be hard to stick to, we know that you will wake up feeling better this winter if you give them a shot. Tell us on Facebook – what are your best winter sleep tips?
At Beds for Backs, we are so obsessed with your sleep, that we designed a one-of-a-kind world exclusive customisable ergonomic bed that ensures you get your best rest. View our range for more details on this revolution in the sleep industry.