This is why the changing season could be affecting your sleep
The change of season can make us feel all sorts of groggy – and if you’ve noticed that you haven’t been sleeping well since fall started arriving, you’re probably not imagining it. must have been
According to GP Dr Hina Patel, our sleep can really be affected by the seasons, and our sleep cycles are changing as we head into winter. There is less light exposure in the evening – and that means our body produces more melatonin (the sleep hormone), which induces us to feel tired,” explains Patel.
“With less sunlight, there are fewer opportunities for the body to make vitamin D,” she adds. “Low levels of vitamin D are associated with decreased immunity, fatigue, joint and muscle pain, and mood swings.”
Charlie Morley, dreaming teacher and author of Wake to Sleep (charliemorley.com), notes that “it’s the time we want to go to sleep and wake up. [linked to] Our serotonin levels and melatonin”. Around this time of year, “our serotonin is first decreasing because it’s dark, and then our internal desire to sleep changes and when we wake up we Feel less young.”
So if your body’s natural reaction to the change in seasons seems to be one of restlessness, what can we do to make this fall even more restful and revitalizing?
It’s important to get outside and make the most of daylight, Morley says. “Exposure to natural light is really good for turning on your serotonin receptors. If you feel awake, get outside and move your body,” he suggests. “Even on a cloudy day the light you get is good for you and better than staying inside.”
Keep your bedroom cool
When it gets colder, you might want to wrap yourself in extra blankets to create the warmest sleeping space possible. But as Morley explains: “You always want a slightly cooler bedroom, the ideal conditions for sleep are quite cool. Don’t overheat your room because it’s getting colder.”
According to the Sleep Foundation, the best bedroom temperature for restful sleep is around 18.3 degrees Celsius. “This can vary by a few degrees from person to person, but most people keep their bedrooms too warm, which can significantly disrupt sleep,” says Morley.
Take care of your gut
Curling up with a warm bowl of casserole is one of the joys of fall and winter. But an unhappy gut can be bad news for sleep, so it’s important to keep an eye out if you suffer from digestive issues.
Dr Patel says: “When the weather is cold we tend to crave more solid food, and this can affect our digestion, especially if the food is high in fat and calories. can cause symptoms, such as constipation and heartburn that hinder our ability to get a good night’s sleep.”
Take vitamin D supplements.
Vitamin D was the most important vitamin during the pandemic, but it’s just as important now, especially as the nights draw in and our bodies don’t have enough sunlight to replenish it (that’s why daily Vitamin D supplements are recommended. colder months). And as Morley notes, getting enough “vitamin D” can actually help you sleep better.
Allow yourself more sleep.
Tiredness is not a weakness, and if you feel like you need more sleep, it’s probably because you do. So consider whether it’s worth adjusting your bedtime routine, and make sure you’re getting a solid seven to eight hours.
“Give yourself access to more sleep,” says Morley. “We think we can get to five or six hours but that will affect your health, especially in the colder months. And don’t be afraid to take a nap – as long as six hours before bed and 90 minutes. Don’t be too much.