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When it comes to winter, the cool weather affects far more than just the temperature. Many of us find that, when winter comes along, we struggle with the longer nights and shorter days, which leave us feeling sluggish and tired during the winter months. Getting out of bed in the mornings can be a real struggle, especially if you’re leaving for work and getting home when it is dark. Our sleep cycles can be completely disrupted, so if you’re struggling with the change in temperature and dark mornings, here are 4 tips to help you get a better night’s sleep.
1. Let In Natural Sunlight
When the days become shorter, your sleep cycle is likely to be disrupted. Due to a lack of sunlight, your brain will produce more of the hormone melatonin, which makes you feel more sleepy. When you wake up, open your curtains or blinds so that once it begins to get lighter, your home gets as much natural light as possible. You should also try and spend some of your day outdoors, whether you go on a walk during your lunch hour or just spend some time sitting by the window. By exposing yourself to natural light through the day, you will sleep much better in the evenings and find it easier to switch off.
2. Learn To Relax
If you are feeling under pressure in your day to day life, or are going through a particularly stressful time, then you will likely feel much more tired or struggle to drift off in the evening due to worries or overthinking. Whilst there is no quick-fix cure for stress, there are some simple things you can do to alleviate symptoms and have a better nights sleep.
Things such as meditation and yoga are popular go-to’s, but other stress relievers include cooking and even stroking a pet. Doing some stress-busting activities before going to sleep will help you to drift off much easier and will, hopefully, help you to have a deeper night’s sleep.
3. Switch Your Room Around
Your room and its layout play quite a big role in how well you sleep. If you have an untidy, cluttered room, then subconsciously this will have an effect on your sleeping pattern, or if your room is particularly drafty, then you’ll struggle to get comfortable in the evenings. Having a switch around is a great way to keep things interesting and make sure you are maximising any available space.
Make sure your bed is in the right position and not too close to the radiator or window, so that your temperature isn’t being disrupted. If your room is particularly cold, then avoid adding furniture and accessories which make this worse, such as wooden floors or metal bed frames. Instead look at other furniture choices and material, such as cane furniture or fluffy rugs, to make the room more comfortable.
4. Choose The Right Shower Time and Temperature
When the weather is particularly cold, many of us seek comfort in having hot baths or showers before we go to bed. Whilst we might feel better for doing this, there is actually a specific science behind it. Whilst having an evening bath or shower can help you to drift off, the main trick is not to have it too late or just before you get into bed. Your body temperature plays a big part in regulating the circadian rhythm, which alerts the body when we should feel sleepy or alert. When your body is cooling down, it signals that it is time to sleep, so by interrupting this process by having a bath or shower before you hop into bed will make it harder to go to sleep. Instead, try to lower the temperature of your bath or shower, so that your body cools down slower and relaxes more, or have it in the early evening so that you can wind down.