As we head towards winter and the days become shorter, our sleep cycles can become disrupted.
Which is why sleep expert, Ori Leslau from Kally Sleep has revealed the nation’s top five winter sleep problems and how to solve them:
1. Feeling more tired than usual and struggling to get a consistent good night’s sleep “The lack of natural light in the winter suppresses the release of melatonin (the hormone that tells your body to sleep) and impacts our ability to rest up properly.
So there’s a good chance you may feel sleepy all day but then struggle to drop off at night when there is no significant darkening signal to let your body know it’s time to sleep.
Try to keep your home as light and bright as possible, spend time outside and increase your melatonin levels through melatonin-rich foods like walnuts, tomatoes and rice.
2. Too hot or too cold at night “Having the heating on during the night can mean you become too hot and wake up feeling sweaty. When we sleep our body acclimates to the room temperature, and if our body temperature lowers a little in a cooler room we tend to sleep better.
A cool 16-18° is an ideal temperature in a bedroom, temperatures over 24°C are likely to cause restlessness. A cold room of about 12°C or less will make it difficult to drop off, so sleep with layers that you can add or remove as your temperature changes during the night.
3. Insomnia and hypersomnia “Many people suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD) during the winter months. Symptoms include fatigue, depression, social withdrawal and sleep issues such as insomnia and hypersomnia.
There are several ways to help alleviate symptoms such as getting fresh air, light therapy, exercise and spending time outdoors, especially within the first 2 hours of waking up. If symptoms worsen please speak to a medical professional and do not attempt to self-medicate.
4. Acid Reflux “In the winter we tend to eat more to stay warm, often consuming hot, fatty or rich comfort foods, however this can cause acid reflux, especially around bedtime. It may be difficult to completely avoid fatty-rich food (especially around the festive period).
So, try to finish eating 4-5 hours before bedtime to ensure food is digested properly, or sleep with a wedge pillow to elevate the chest and prevent acid leaking up out of the stomach.
5. Snoring “In the winter, the cold air is much dryer, which takes away any moisture from the nose. We then end up breathing with our mouth open which leads to snoring and waking up with a dry mouth.
To keep the air moist and stop snoring you can invest in a room humidifier.”
You can learn more about how to create a good sleep environment here: https://www.kallysleep.com/