3 Ways That Cold Weather Impacts Your Sleep
If you’ve been with me for a while, you know that I talk about the importance of sleep a lot.
Getting a solid 7-8 hours of sleep each night is key to maintaining good health.
But, saying something and actually doing it are two very different things, especially when it comes to sleep. You can’t just wish yourself into a good night’s sleep.
There are many reasons why you might not be sleeping well.
But if your sleeping troubles just started in the last few weeks, the culprit could be the change in season.
You see, sleep in winter is particularly difficult.
Because the elements are working against you.
For one, winter air is super dry.
And dry air can be harsh on the body.
It can rob your eyes, skin, and sinuses of essential moisture. Leaving you with itchy skin, burning eyes, chapped lips, and nasal misery that can keep you up for hours.
To battle winter’s dry air, be sure to drink plenty of water – even more than you typically do – to help keep your body hydrated and comfortable.
And if you have a humidifier, keep it running overnight to add some moisture to the air.
Winter is also cold.
And what do we do when it’s cold outside? We crank up the heat inside.
But our bodies sleep better in rooms with cooler temps. So all that hot air blasting makes it more difficult to fall asleep.
If you have a programmable thermostat, set it to a lower temperature at night to help you fall asleep faster. If manual, turn down the temp several minutes before heading to bed.
And skip sleeping in those ultra-warm fleece PJs. Instead, wear light, breathable fabrics like cotton.
You know what else winter is? Dark.
And with less sunlight each day, our bodies aren’t able to produce sufficient amounts of vitamin D, a key nutrient your body needs to sleep.
We just passed the darkest day of the year this week, so we should slowly start to see more daylight going forward.
But many parts of the country are still only getting 8-9 hours of daylight at this time of year.
To maximize sunlight exposure, try getting out shortly after the sun has risen. And consider supplementing with vitamin D to ensure your levels stay healthy.
Winter… and all its elements… can really conspire against your best sleep intentions.
But with a few modifications, you can set yourself up for a better night's sleep tonight. Sleep tight!