Have you been wondering why your routine seems to be out of sync lately? You don’t seem to be as spritely, jumping out of bed to get that gym session in before work, you’ve been craving Nonna's spaghetti bolognese more than usual and gained a few extra ‘winter kilos’?
Well, its official, winter is finally upon us which brings with it it's own challenges for healthy sleep and living.
As the days get shorter and nights longer (and colder) our bodies’ natural bio clock the circadian rhythm, which controls our sleep/wake cycle, is experiencing changes in response to the season.
As darkness sets in a little earlier, the sleep hormone, melatonin, produced by your body in preparation for sleep is also kicking in earlier and it’s affecting your circadian rhythm. Combine this with our modern world, our body is fighting with artificial light, blue light from our electronic devices, daylight savings, work schedules etc it’s no wonder our body clock can be a little put out.
Try not to give into it and go to bed earlier and stay in bed longer but stick to your normal sleep routine and avoid over sleeping to keep your circadian rhythm on track.
See the light
The wet gloomy days and being forced indoors can have an effect on our moods and for some this can be more serious, turning into winter depression or seasonal affective disorder (SAD). If you experience depression or SAD have a discussion with your doctor.
The production of our happy hormone, serotonin increases with sunlight so naturally it may be at its lowest during winter. If you can soak up the sun’s rays during the morning, even if its cold outside, you’ll help build up serotonin levels in the body but exposure to any bright light will help your body clock.
Food for thought
Eating foods high in carbohydrates are another way the body can produce serotonin, that’s why we feel happy and calm after chowing down on Nonna’s spaghetti, but don’t get addicted, this is how we put on those extra kilo’s during winter. Avoid eating, especially carb laden meals later in the evening, which sends the wrong messages to the brain and can impact your sleep patterns.
Work it out
It can be a struggle in the midst of winter but exercise is always great for healthy sleep and living, even a short workout in the morning can set your circadian rhythm in motion for the day. Try to stick to your routine but if you feel yourself wanting to snuggle into bed after dinner then a light workout or walk after eating might be all that’s needed to keep your bio clock on track.
Keep your cool
Finally, because its cold outside don’t over do the heat inside. The optimal temperature for sleep is around 18-20 degrees and as we enter into sleep our body begins to cool down by releasing heat through our hands and feet. Cold feet are a common cause of waking in winter so wear some bed socks if that helps but ensure your clothing and bedding is natural to assist with thermoregulation during sleep.
Check out our range of Protect-A-Bed® products designed to improve airflow and wick away moisture to avoid overheating and disrupting your sleep cycle.
Sleep Well, Live Well