It’s not uncommon for people to have trouble falling asleep in winter. Between the temperature change, the holiday festivities, and all of the other things vying for your mind’s attention, it’s difficult to get to sleep and stay asleep. But rest is important when you want to tackle a big day, so it’s extra crucial during winter. Check out these useful tips below to see how you could be improving your nightly sleep this winter season!
Regulate Your Room’s Temperature
If your room is too cold at night, chances are you’re going to have a hard time getting to bed and an even harder time waking up in the morning. On the other hand, a room that’s too hot will likely also keep someone from sleeping well. In fact, overly-hot rooms can result in you waking up in the middle of the night due to discomfort. Try keeping your room’s temperature set to something relatively low, and then piling on blankets and bundling up in bed. This way, you can shed garments if you get too hot, or add more if you get too cold. A great bonus is that you’ll also save money on heating!
Check Your Mattress Firmness
Having a good mattress is of crucial importance to your nightly slumber, but what constitutes as “good” can differ pretty strongly from person to person. You shouldn’t take it as law that a firm or soft bed is definitely the best, and instead try them out yourself to see which one your body adapts to better. Both types of bed serve their own purpose and both can improve your sleep, so long as you’re using what works for you.
Monitor Water Intake
You should be drinking frequently throughout the day, and being dehydrated can definitely make it harder for you to get to sleep. On the other hand, if you drink too close to your bedtime, you could find yourself having interrupted sleep because you keep needing to get up to use the restroom. Try to avoid drinking water an hour or two before bed, but make sure you get your daily glasses in during the time before then.
Avoid Heavy Meals Before Bed
Likewise, heavy meals can interrupt your sleep. If you eat a big meal right before bed, the digestive process could keep you awake. You may suffer from stomach pains, cramps, bloating, or gas. In general, something light is okay to eat if you’re feeling particularly hungry. Full meals or large snacks should be avoided, however.
Electronics can pack a double whammy when it comes to negatively impacting your sleep. Not only does the mental activity brought on by surfing the internet or checking your social media keep your brain locked in “awake and engaged” mode, but the light isn’t good for you, either. Screen lighting has a blue tint to it that mimics sunlight. This essentially fools your body into thinking that it’s actually daytime, and it can interfere with your melatonin production. Experts suggest that you should stop using all electronic devices at least an hour before bedtime, but preferably even more. This includes phones, televisions, computers, tablets, and even handheld game systems.
Turn Down The Lights
During the festive winter season, most people have a lot of lights up in their homes. But even small, colored garland lights can interrupt your sleep patterns. If you need to have outdoor lights, try to keep them away from bedroom windows. If you can’t avoid that, cover your windows with an extra layer of fabric or blackout curtains to keep the light outside. Naturally, all lights indoors should be kept off as well, which can also help you save on your electric bill during the expensive winter season!
Keep Noise Minimal
This one can be a little tricky to manage. During the holidays, people tend to gather together and parties might happen in your area. What can you do if your neighbors are being a little too loud? Wearing noise-canceling headphones can help you out a lot. Try not to play any soft music, which can wake you up after you start drifting off. Earplugs offer the same noise cancellation at a fraction of the cost. And of course, if things really get too rowdy or last for too many days in a row, filing a noise complaint isn’t out of line.
Try Wearing Socks
This is another great tip for temperature regulation! Most of your heat escapes either from your head or your feet, so keeping one or both covered is a great way to retain your warmth. While some people don’t like wearing socks to bed, it can actually make a big difference when it comes to your comfort in winter. This is especially great for people who tend to kick their sheets off, waking up frequently throughout the night because they become cold. The best part is, if you get overheated, you can simply take your socks off and it’ll allow for an immediate cool-down!
Change Your Sheets
This fills two purposes. One, dirty sheets do contribute to poor sleep, even if you might not think so. The build-up of dead skin, oils, potential pet hair or dander and dust can aggravate your allergies. It can also break you out if you have more sensitive skin, or even cause difficulties breathing if the build-up is bad enough.
Two, it’s a smart idea to have separate sets of sheets for the winter and summer seasons. In summer, thin and breathable sheets will help keep you cool while wicking away any sweat. In winter, warm flannel sheets will help you retain your heat and keep you from waking up chilled.
Replace Your Pillows
Like a mattress, a good pillow is somewhat subjective. Pillows come in all shapes, sizes, and firmness. Make sure you check the stuffing as well to ensure that you aren’t putting anything under your head that you might be allergic to, like feathers. Check out memory foam pillows for extra support. Stacking pillows can also help you with your sleep, and some professionals suggest that sleeping on two pillows stacked together instead of just one can reduce morning post-nasal drip.
Give these tips and tricks a try this winter season! You may find your sleep improving, leaving you with more energy during the day to get all of your holiday shopping and preparation finished.
Guest post, anonymous