The sun’s shining, the birds are singing, and colourful flowers are blooming. Nature has woken up after winter, refreshed and ready for anything. So why, when the rest of the world is revitalised, aren’t you? Spring can be a hard time of the year for people to get a good sleep, but it doesn’t have to be. Below, you can read about why you might be struggling to sleep well in spring, and what you can do about it.
Why Does Spring Affect Your Sleep?
Towards the end of winter, we look forward to having boundless energy as we leave the dreary cold evenings and mornings behind. However, many people can struggle with substantial sleepiness as the seasons change. According to Natalie Dautovich, PhD., an environmental scholar with the National Sleep Foundation, much of this drowsiness can be a result of our bodies taking time to adjust our sleep-wake cycles to match the new season’s pattern.1 With timing often out of sync with Mother Nature while your body tries to adjust to the change of season, your circadian rhythm is disrupted. The circadian rhythm is your inner body clock that decides when you’re alert or sleepy. When your circadian rhythm is off course, you can be left feeling sluggish, low-energy, and tired – even after eight hours of sleep.
Below, you’ll find some ideas for how you can sleep well in spring.
Take Control of Your Allergies
Allergies can crop up at any time of the year, but pollen tends to be at its peak in spring. Allergies are not just annoying during the day – that stuffy nose, itchy throat, and those sore eyes could take a toll on your sleep, too. These symptoms could even raise your risk of Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA), a breathing disorder that harms the quality of your sleep. To limit your suffering from allergies, you should dust and vacuum as often as possible, and wash your bedding weekly in hot water. Keeping your windows closed will also help to keep the pollen at bay. However, this isn’t ideal when the days grow warmer, so you could consider investing in an air purifier.
If you’ve got a pet allergy, this could be irritated further in the spring. If you have a pet, try to avoid letting them sleep in your room during the night.
Dim the Light
Do you remember how hard it was to drag yourself out of bed on those dark winter mornings? Well, now the opposite is happening in spring: you’re waking up before you want to. This is because the sun is rising before you. Light suppresses your body’s production of melatonin, the hormone that makes you sleepy. So, when sunlight reaches into your room before your alarm goes off, you can wake up too early. No one wants to be awake before their alarm screams at them. So, to sleep on your own schedule, consider investing in blackout curtains. With 90 – 95% blackout, these curtains will create the perfect sleeping environment so that you can snooze soundly while the sun is up.
Quiet the Early Birds
Birdsong is lovely and sweet, but not when it’s waking you up in the early hours – and possibly keeping you awake. Relocating their nest may not be an option, so you could instead consider noise-reducing curtains. These will make sure that you get a quiet room for the best sleep. By reducing outside noise, these noise-reducing curtains will reduce stress to improve the quality of your sleep. The birds can greet the sun until their hearts are content, while you snooze soundly inside.
Watch When You Exercise
With spring’s brighter, longer days, we find ourselves becoming optimistic about what we can get done with the extra time. You may be inclined to add to your exercise routine. Maybe you’ll even tend to it later in the evening thanks to the additional daylight. However, exercising close to bedtime can affect the body’s slow-down process. You’ll be too worked up to relax by time you go to bed, and you’ll find that sleep doesn’t come easily. Instead, you could add exercise to your morning and afternoon, if possible – the earlier the better. Plus, exercising outdoors is a great way to help your circadian rhythm adjust to spring, as sunlight will make you feel alert in the earlier parts of the day. Therefore, by the evening, you’ll be feeling more tired and ready for a good sleep.
With spring comes warmer nights, and these can be a nightmare to sleep well with. However, sleeping well when spring warms us up isn’t impossible. Cool bedding can help you sleep when your room gets too warm. Cool pillows will regulate your body temperature while you sleep, keeping you from overheating so that you can sleep peacefully. You may also need to change your duvet to a lower tog so that you don’t get too warm during the night. The Breathe 4.5 Tog Duvet from The Fine Bedding Company will also regulate your temperature while you sleep. You could also consider climate controlling mattress and pillow protectors that will wick away any excess moisture, keeping you comfortable and sleeping well no matter how warm spring gets.