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How Winter Can Affect Your Sleep

How The Winter Season Affects Your Sleep

Tara Youngblood · Dec 15, 2020
How Winter Can Affect Your Sleep

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 holidays, this time of year can wreak havoc on our sleep patterns and the quality of our sleep. Whether you’re traveling for the holidays, 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 holidays, 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, the holidays are something most look forward to year-round. More often than not, foods that are associated with the holidays 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 Light

Between 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 Season

With 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.

Temperature Control

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 60 - 67 degrees Fahrenheit, 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, 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 55 - 110 degrees Fahrenheit, 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. 

About the Author

Tara Youngblood

Tara Youngblood

Tara Youngblood is ChiliSleep’s co-founder and CEO. An accomplished scientist, author, and speaker, Tara’s unique ideas are revolutionizing the future of sleep health by making sleep easy, approachable, and drug-free.
Learn more about Tara.

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