For most, long gone are the warm spring and summer days - the winter season is now upon us. As it greets us with colder weather, a time change and even the Christmas holidays, this time of year can wreak havoc on our sleep patterns and the quality of our sleep. Whether you’re traveling for the holiday break, staying in or just patiently waiting for summer to arrive, it’s important to understand how this time of year can affect how you snooze, and it doesn’t necessarily have to do with cold weather.
Lack of Exercise
Numerous studies show that moderate exercise can lead to a better night’s sleep. However, we tend to feel more sluggish during this time of year, making it more difficult to want to exercise. Regardless, it’s important to make that extra effort to get to the gym a few times a week or go for evening walks. This will, in turn, help you fall asleep at the right time as well as sleep better at night.
Change in Eating Habits
With the Christmas break, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of the season. From visiting with loved ones near and far to enjoying the delicious food, Christmas is something most look forward to year-round. More often than not, foods that are associated with Christmas are chock-full of sugar, dense carbohydrates, and fattening ingredients. Not only can these foods affect your appetite and metabolism, but they can also interfere with the balance of a hormone called leptin, which is known to influence our sleep cycle. To add insult to injury, a disrupted sleep cycle can also influence your appetite, causing you to eat more “holiday-dense” foods or food in general.
Lack of LightBetween daylight savings time and the time surrounding the winter solstice, the days are shorter and the nights are longer for those in the Northern Hemisphere. With the sun setting around 5 PM in the winter months (in comparison to an average of 7 PM or later in the summer months) we’re spending more time in the dark during this time of year. This can have a variety of repercussions, including depression and a disrupted sleep cycle. This may affect things like your appetite and desire to exercise, and may even cause excessive napping or oversleeping on the weekends.
Cold & Flu SeasonWith colder weather often comes a weakened immune system, making you more susceptible to illnesses like the flu or the common cold. While many viruses can cause the common cold, the bug most often blamed for the common cold, also known as the rhinovirus, thrives in cold weather. When you’re sick, not only do you not feel well, but your sleep patterns are severely disrupted. This can cause you to sleep at times you normally wouldn’t. Additionally, when you’re sleeping with the cold or flu virus not only is your quality of sleep poor, but you also feel poorly - yet another thing that can affect how you sleep.
At ChiliSleep, we’re always focused on helping you find your best rest and your best sleep temperature. In the past, we’ve discussed the variety of health benefits you receive from sleeping at cooler temperatures, so one would assume that sleeping during the winter months would be ideal, right? Wrong. While most sleep better at a temperature range of 16 - 19 degrees Celsius, there is such a thing as being “too cold”.
Alternatively, when it’s cold outside, people have a tendency to warm their homes to the point that it’s “too warm” to get a great night’s sleep. Fortunately, our cooling bed system, the Cube was created for predicaments like this. Regardless of how hot or cold your bedroom is, the Cube allows you to directly control your sleep temperature from 13 - 43 degrees Celsius, letting you to get your best night’s rest all year, despite your room temperature.
During the winter months, it’s important to understand how your sleep is affected by this time of year so that you’re more prepared and remain well rested. Whether you try to watch what you eat, head to gym, support your immune system or regulate your sleep temperature, as long as you understand how to combat the obstacles presented by the winter months, you should be able to rest easier.