Now that it’s winter many assume that the colder weather is more conducive to getting a good night’s sleep. We are mammals after all and the urge to hibernate in the colder months is real, but just because you’re resting more; opting for nights in with Netflix rather than sunset drinks and late al fresco dinners, doesn’t mean the quality of your rest is the best.
Things that could affect quality sleep in the winter
- Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a type of depression related to seasonal changes, can affect some individuals during the winter months and potentially disrupt their sleep.
- The lack of sunlight and shorter daylight hours can also impact the body's circadian rhythm and make it more difficult for some people to fall asleep or wake up naturally. This is thanks to Vitamin D exposure which has an effect on melatonin release.
- Dry indoor air, increased exposure to artificial heating, and the potential for respiratory issues due to cold and flu can affect sleep quality for some individuals.
- A more sedentary lifestyle, where exercise is less due to the cold or being sick.
- An old mattress can make you colder at night, thereby impacting your sleep. With years of dead skin cell build up the temperature regulation capabilities of a mattress can be affected.
What you can do to get better sleep when the mercury drops
- Prioritise your mental and physical health. In the colder months, we often get lax with keeping up our physical fitness and health. We don’t feel as motivated to exercise, especially outside yet exercising regularly is one of the best ways to combat seasonal affective disorder. If it’s too cold to get outside to exercise, sign up for an online training program from the comfort of home. You could also get motivated by having an exercise buddy, to encourage each other to get physical, even if it is at the local gym or yoga studio.
- Remember that your body uses a lot of energy to keep warm when it’s cold. Spice up your favourite dishes with herbs and spices that warm you from the inside out and encourage circulation, whilst also incorporating fresh fruit and veg. Ditch the hot chocolate for warm chai and oat milk, and the bread and butter pudding for hearty apple and cinnamon oat crumble.
- If you live in a place where natural sunlight is affected by the winter climate, speak to your healthcare professional about supplementing with Vit D. It’s essential for the circadian rhythm, which primes the body and brain for sleep.
- Boost your immunity to ward off winter colds and flu. Respiratory illnesses can greatly affect sleep. This could be as simple as upping your consumption of Vit C and Zinc rich foods or if supplementing, chat to your health care professional about which ones to take and in what dosages.
- Instead of relying on a heat-pump to warm up your bedroom, which can dry the air out, rather opt for a wheat bag or electric blanket. And of course, layer up the duvet’s if needed. There’s also a lot of evidence to support the fact that a cooler sleep environment is better for good quality sleep, even in winter.
If your mattress is older than 10 years you may want to consider getting a new one like a Comfi, which has been intentionally designed to regulate body temperature, no matter the weather. Our beds are made with 100% New Zealand made wool, which is breathable and draws heat away from the body when the weather is warm and conversely toasts you up when the mercury is low.
Winter time, is a great opportunity to reset and recharge. It’s like mother nature has said, ‘here’s some shorter days and longer nights so you can catch up on all the sleep you missed in summer.’ Here at Comfi, we take it seriously.
We’re open 7 days a week for in-person or online consultations to help you make the best choice in mattress. Click here to book one.
If you suspect you’re struggling with Seasonal Affective Disorder or any mental health issues that are affecting your sleep, please chat to your healthcare provider.