Sleep is necessary to get rest and rejuvenate the body and mind. Unfortunately, the much-needed rest doesn’t come easy to everybody. Some people have to work harder, especially when the nights are longer in winter. Research shows that people sleep for about 25 minutes longer every night in winter than in spring.
When the temperatures fall, clocks slightly adjust, providing prolonged sleep hours. If you struggle through your shut-eye, enforce habits encouraging the elusive slumber. Lack of adequate sleep makes you exhausted and moody and, in the long run, can compromise your mental & physical health. Adopt the following tips to enable you to sleep well during winter.
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1. Don’t Nap
Adults need at least seven hours of sleep every day. It is tempting to take a nap during the day, but if you frequently get insomnia at night, it compromises your night rest. The napping takes away some of your sleep hours, and the body is likely to be alert when you need it to settle down.
Some people can get away with napping all day but if you already have sleep problems, steer clear of the habit. If your situation requires you to nap, e.g., if you work late into the night, keep the naps short. Have a day shut-eye of 10 to 20 minutes and save the rest for nighttime.
Also, try napping earlier in the afternoon (before 3 p.m.), to avoid worsening your insomnia. The duration and time of the nap rejuvenate you to cope with your demanding job schedule without compromising your rest time at night.
2. Keep a Regular Sleep Routine
A regular sleep routine trains your body on what to expect and to follow a synchronized schedule, including sleep. A lineup of activities a couple of hours before you retire to bed is a great way to settle down. The events should be relaxing, like reading, listening to soft music, yoga, etc.
As much as possible, ensure the events follow a specific timeline for the desired effect. In addition, check that your bed and beddings are comfortable to continue the soothing effect on your mind and body. Sometimes sleep disruption could be a result of an uncomfortable mattress.
Side sleepers can get a rough night if they do not get appropriate sleeping implements. If you rarely sleep on your back, look for the best mattress for side sleepers from a credible company. You may discover that it’s all you need to improve your sleep quality and quantity.
3. Wind Down Before Bed
Calming activities before retiring to bed soothe your mind and prepare your body for rest. Vigorous activities overstimulate you and prepare the body for more. Settling to sleep on the latter is a tall order because the brain has not registered rest yet but is preparing for more strenuous activities. Opt for dim lights, reading a book, etc., in place of loud music or watching TV.
A common unhealthy habit is too much phone screen time before retiring to bed. The devices have blue light, a part of the light spectrum most active in a sleep cycle. Too much exposure to light makes it challenging for many people to switch off their brains and sleep when they eventually get to bed.
Exercising burns off any excess energy before bed and fosters relaxation. However, ensure you exercise only after sleeping. Late-night vigorous activity raises the body temperature, and the heat makes it uncomfortable to fall asleep. Engage in the workout a couple of hours before sleeping to help drift off easier.
As your body cools down after an exercise session, it signals to the brain the time to wind down, and you get better sleep. In addition, regular exercise reduces the need for napping during the day. Napping is notorious for compromising night sleep. Another benefit of exercising associated with sleeping is keeping your weight in check, reducing the instances of obstructive sleep apnea.
5. Go Outside
Exposure to the fresh air outdoors fosters relaxation. Do not spend all your waking hours indoors, as you may be suppressing sleep. The outdoors enhances your mental health by keeping anxiety, depression, and overthinking at bay. Such are activities likely to keep you up at night. The confinement of the indoors closes off the mind, and you are likely to have negative thoughts if you do not go outside.
The outdoors is particularly advantageous in winter when daylight hours are limited. The body needs exposure to light to turn on the clock that tells it to sleep when there is no light. Natural light is the most effective in keeping the sleeping clock in check, so spending time indoors with all the artificial light will not help.
Sleep Well During Winter
Going through the winter season is no excuse to cut back on your sleep. Sleep is an essential ingredient that keeps you going, and you should get enough of it regardless of the seasons.
Identify what is keeping you awake if you have frequent insomnia attacks. The tips should help you to identify the problem and get a solution to be healthy.