When the seasons change and it starts to get colder, it can really throw out the balance in our bodies, making it harder to go about our day to day lives. During winter when the weather gets colder, it can also be harder for some people to get a good night’s rest due to several different factors. Thankfully there are things that you can do to make it easier on yourself to sleep better each night in winter and some changes can be easier to implement than you would have thought.
Get out and be active
If you want to get a good night’s sleep during the colder months you need to get out and be active every day. Firstly, it has been proven that people who get out and exercise more often are more likely to get a better night’s sleep than those who don’t. It doesn’t matter what sort of exercise you get during the day, either so even if you only have time to exercise in the evening, you will still be more likely to sleep well than when you don’t exercise. Also, you need to make more of an effort to get out and about in the morning during the winter months because it will allow you to get the vitamin D that you need from the sun. Vitamin D is one of many things that our body needs to get the right amount of sleep each night, and it can also help us to get a better quality of sleep. It is common for people to experience a vitamin D deficiency during winter, especially in the colder places of the world, so it is important to know the signs to look for. If you are feeling very tired or unwell and your muscles and bones feel extra stiff, you should speak to your doctor about a vitamin D deficiency so that you can take the medication you need to feel better, and to sleep better at night.
Make your bed comfortable
In order to sleep well at any time of the year, you need to make sure that your bed is nice and comfortable so that it is easy for you to get to sleep each night. Investing in a good pair of sheets that breathe well, and a big fluffy doona will help you to feel comfortable in bed each night when you are trying to sleep and make it easier for you to nod off. You also need to think about your mattress as well. Having a bad or old mattress can really affect your quality of sleep because you won’t be getting the support that you need when you sleep, which can cause a number of problems later down the road. Websites like Sleepify allow you to compare new mattresses before you buy them and give you the information that you need to make an informed decision about the mattress that you should buy. These days there are so many different mattresses out there on the market so you will need to compare a few different types before you find the best mattress to suit your needs.
Change up the temperature
It is natural to feel cold in wintertime and think that you need to rug up a lot when it is time for bed, but this is not always the case. A lot of people find that they actually sleep better in winter due to the coldness in their bedrooms. It is also proven that most people find it easier to sleep in rooms that are 16°C – 20°C, which is not very warm in the scheme of things. That being said, you shouldn’t be sleeping in boxer shorts or a nightgown in winter either, so you need to find a happy medium in order to sleep well during winter. If you are feeling especially cold one night and you are struggling to sleep with the current temperature in your bedroom, you should put on another blanket before you reach for the thermostat or add an electric blanket. If you do this, it will be a lot easier for you to get some sleep, because your body’s thermostat will find it easier to regulate itself when there are no outside influences like a heater.
Don’t sleep in the day
If you’ve had a bad night’s sleep or not enough sleep at night it can be tempting to have a nap during the day when you feel exhausted. And having a nap from time to time will not stuff up your sleep schedule long term, but making a habit of it can cause you to lose sleep each night. Napping after 3 pm can really affect the amount of sleep that you get each night because it can stop you from getting to sleep easily later on in the evening. Also, when you wake up from a nap during the day you may feel a bit groggy afterwards, which can make it even harder for you to get going that you would have thought. This is because when you nap, you wake up during a different stage in the sleep cycle, which is often deeper at the start. So waking up from a deeper sleep is harder on your body and in turn, makes it harder for you to turn off once you try to go to sleep later on. If you feel the need to nap during the day, try doing something that will make you feel more energized like drinking a cold beverage or going for a short walk.
Try a humidifier
Feeling dried out in winter is very common because outside it can be very windy and cold, so you will need to use artificial heating to heat your house. The heat that is produced by heaters and air conditioners can really dry you out in the colder months, so using a humidifier can put the moisture back into the air, making it easier to breathe. Even if you have the humidifier on for a few hours a night before bed, you should notice a difference in the air when you go to sleep. If you are someone with sleep apnea who uses a CPAP therapy, you can benefit from using a humidifier in winter as well by attaching it to your CPAP machine. Most sleep apnea specialists like CPAP Direct will supply humidifier attachments for people who need them and they can really help you when you feel dried out from the constant air pressure each night that you use your CPAP mask and machine.
Buy a weighted blanket
If you are feeling extra stressed in winter and it is stopping you from getting the sleep that you need each night, you should invest in a weighted blanket. Weighted blankets are great for people who struggle to get to sleep because they can help to make you feel relaxed and less anxious when you are trying to sleep. The blankets are designed to put a bit more pressure on your body than other blankets, but just enough so that you don’t feel constricted or weighed down too much. They can also stop you from tossing and turning and waking up as much each night, which is great for people who get up multiple times a night. It is also great for people who experience chronic pain because it provides the light pressure that they need to relax each night, so it can benefit a lot of people who can’t sleep while keeping you warm and comfortable.
There are many things that you can do to make it easier for you to sleep during the cooler months of the year. The key is to figure out what is causing you to lose sleep each night and then make adjustments to your lifestyle based on any problems that you may have. Sometimes it can be hard to determine what is causing you to lose sleep, so you may need to speak to a doctor, who can give you tips about how to proceed in future. Remember that it can be hard for everyone to get a good sleep from time to time, but if you are having trouble sleeping for a while, don’t put up with it for too long.