At this time of year if you’re anything like me , you may feel like you don’t want to get out of bed in the morning and feel tired all day long. You get up and go to work in the dark and arrive home in the dark. You feel tired but unable to get to sleep. If you’re finding it difficult to rest here are five tips on how to sleep well this winter:
Let in the Sunlight
In order to improve your sleep you need to make changes to your daytime routine as well as nighttime. Try to let in some sunlight as early in the day as you can. One of the reasons we struggle to get up during the winter months is because we have to force our bodies to get up before daylight. If you arrive at work when it s still dark, try to take an outdoors break or task after sunrise. Try to get outdoors at lunchtime by having an alfresco lunch or post lunch stroll. Exercising during the day will also help your body get to sleep at nighttime.
During the winter months, our bodies crave hot comfort food to keep us warm. Soups and stews full of hearty vegetables are soothing and full of energy but try them without the starchy potatoes, bread and dumplings.
2. Create a Cosy Sleep Environment
Spend some time making sure your bedroom is designed for the perfect sleep. During the winter months hang good quality lined curtains to keep out any drafts and make sure you’ve set the heater timer. A comfortable bed is essential for a good night’s sleep. Invest in a new good quality natural mattress, breathable bed-sheets and supportive pillows. The Ely Mattress is a handmade natural mattress which contours perfectly to each body type. The good news is they’re an environmentally friendly company. Not only will they recycle your old mattress (and keep it from landfill) but because it’s natural most of the components of the Ely mattress are biodegradable. Ely mattress offer a 30 day trial and interest free installment payment options. Another top tip if you’re struggling to sleep is to change your bedclothes- it’s so soothing to get into fresh sheets at night!
3. Winding Down in the Evenings
I’m a big pusher of winding down time in the evenings. Even if I come home late from after school clubs, work or social events, I need time to wind down before going straight to bed. Experts are always reminding us to avoid screen time for at least an hour before bedtime. The blue light from your phone is an artificial color that mimics daylight. This can be great during the day since it can make you feel more alert, but it’s just the opposite of what you need at night when you’re settling down to sleep. In addition to that, just checking your phone at night can trigger a response that prolongs falling sleep, which consequently delays REM sleep. If you’re currently using your phone as an alarm clock, STOP, and invest in a radio alarm clock so your bedroom can be a (blue) screen free environment.
If you have any worries keeping you awake, write them down in the early evening rather than just before you go to bed. This will alllow you to feel you’re dealing with them and stop you from worrying at night when you can’t do anything about them anyway.
4. Set a Bedtime Routine
Establishing a pre-bedtime routine can help you fall asleep at night and stay sleeping until the following morning. One of the best habits to set is to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even during weekends. This isn’t always possible though due to work and extra curricular activity schedules. However, by having a solid pre- bedtime routine, when you begin your routine each evening you’re reminding your body that it’s time to get ready to sleep. Different things work for dfferent people but good habits to start are having a bath and then going to bed reading a good book or listening to music. As long as your chosen activity is relaxing, it will reinforce the idea that it’s time for your body to settle down and go to sleep.
5. Cosy in Bed
Being cosy in bed really helps me to sleep well. During the winter, pop a hot water bottle under the covers before bedtime so by the time you get into bed it feels warm and cosy. Some people find a lavender pillow under the pillow helps too. Turn the heating off overnight as it’s not needed while you’re warm under the covers but set it to come on before you wake up if you struggle to get up on those colder mornings!
Most importantly, we all need to remember that sleep is vital for our physical and mental health. Make it a priority to improve your sleep habits and night and you’ll find you enjoy your days more!
What helps you sleep well during winter?