Sleeping Well in Summer

Sleeping Well in Summer

Long days, busy social lives, and hot weather can all make summer a difficult season to get a good night’s sleep. In fact, short-term insomnia due to external factors can be fairly common at this time of year.1 Summer nights can be full of tossing and turning in bed, being too warm to relax, and too awake to sleep. However, you don’t have to struggle to get a good sleep during the hot season. Read our article below for ideas as to how you can enjoy sleeping well in summer.

Why Is Sleep Affected in Summer?

When summer comes, the sun is out early in the day, and late in the evening. While these bright evenings can mean that you have more time to go exploring, they can actually make sleeping well in summer a challenge. This is because your circadian rhythm is directly influenced by sunlight. The circadian rhythm, or inner body clock, decides when you’re sleeping or awake by controlling the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone. Melatonin is produced when it’s dark outside and is held back when the sun is out. This is why you sleep during the night and are awake during the day. So, when the sun is out for longer into the evening during the summer, the production of melatonin is delayed. This means that you still feel alert rather than tired in the evening. Your body thinks you should still be up and about, so it’s impossible to fall asleep as long as the sky outside is not dark. However, we’ve got good news: you can fix this.

Below, you’ll find some handy tips for sleeping well in summer.

1) Limit Your Exposure to Sunlight at Night-time

The extended hours of sunlight can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, we want to enjoy the longer evenings before being cooped up during the autumn. On the other hand, being out and about in the evening can make getting a good sleep a challenge. This is especially tricky when you have to get up early in the morning. However, you can trick your body into thinking it’s time to wind down by limiting your exposure to sunlight. Draw the curtains to make the indoors darker – our blockout curtains have a 90 – 95% blockout, so you can help the production of melatonin to make yourself feel sleepy. Read more about the benefits of these curtains here. If you have to go outside, wear sunglasses so that you don’t get a boost in alertness from the sunlight.

2) Have A Healthy Sleeping Environment

Your bedroom should be dark, cool, and quiet – this is the best sleeping environment for the best sleep. Make your room dark by investing in blockout curtains. Curtains that are designed to block out light are the best defence against early rises. Not only will they keep your room dark to easily fall asleep, but they’ll also help you stay asleep until your alarm goes off. When sunlight slips into your bedroom in the morning, it can disrupt your body’s production of melatonin and wake you up. No one wants to wake up before their alarm goes off!

Also, make sure you’re not overheating during the night. Your bedding and pyjamas should be light linens as they’re more breathable and will make you sweat less. During the day, we open our windows to keep ourselves from getting too warm. However, this isn’t ideal during the night, as bedrooms should be quiet, and any outside noises could disturb your sleep. Instead, check your bedding. Have a lower tog duvet, and consider investing in cooling pillows or mattress protectors. These are designed with thermo-regulating fabric that removes excess heat, and then releases it if your body temperature begins to drop. This way, you’ll be kept at a steady, comfortable temperature for a peaceful snooze. Have a look at our cooling pillows here, or find our cooling mattress protectors here.

Think about having a fan in the bedroom, too. The DCH6031 Ceramic Cool Air Heater from DeLonghi features a cool blow setting that’s ideal for hot summer nights. This heater is also extremely quiet, so you won’t have to worry about any noise pollution while you try to sleep. Read about its many other benefits here.

If you do live in a noisy area, our blockout curtains are also noise-reducing. By keeping external noises at bay, you can sleep soundly.

3) Take Time to Relax

Summer can be the busiest season as it’s when people socialise more. However, don’t forget to set aside some time for you to relax. Spending an hour winding down before going to bed is a great way to tell your body that it’s time to think about going to sleep. Read a book, listen to relaxing music, or have a soothing bath. Staying away from your phone, tablet, laptop, or even your TV will also help you relax. The blue light that’s emitted from these screens will disrupt the production of melatonin. You’ve already got sunlight keeping you awake – you don’t need technology keeping you up, too. Read more about how technology affects your sleep here.

Sleeping Well in Summer

Long days, busy social lives, and hot weather can all make summer a difficult season to get a good night’s sleep. In fact, short-term insomnia due to external factors can be fairly common at this time of...

Spring Cleaning for a Healthier Mind and a Healthier Sleep

Spring is synonymous with a fresh start after the cold and dreary winter evenings. There’s no better time to brush off the cobwebs and freshen up – and we always look ahead to spring cleaning. When we think of spring cleaning, we imagine ourselves organising the...

Sleeping Well in Spring

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...

Get A Good Sleep When the Clocks Change

In spring, the clocks go forward one hour. In the autumn, the clocks go back an hour. Not only can this affect how much daylight we get, but it can also interfere with our sleep. Read below to find out why we change the clocks, and how you can continue to sleep well....

Sleeping Well in Winter

Like any time of the year, winter can affect a healthy sleep routine. Short days and long nights make us eager for cosy, quiet, and restful evenings. For many people, winter evenings spent indoors with a blanket and cup of tea help us slow down and relax. However,...

Spring Cleaning for a Healthier Mind and a Healthier Sleep

Spring Cleaning for a Healthier Mind and a Healthier Sleep

Spring is synonymous with a fresh start after the cold and dreary winter evenings. There’s no better time to brush off the cobwebs and freshen up – and we always look ahead to spring cleaning. When we think of spring cleaning, we imagine ourselves organising the drawers and the cupboards, clearing out the closet, or tidying up the garden. However, a spring clean can be more than clearing out your home – it could be a great way to clear out your emotional space, too. Just as cleaning the house and getting rid of clutter can feel invigorating, spring cleaning your mind can take away the burden of stress and anxiety, helping you live better and sleep well. Below, you’ll find advice on spring cleaning for a healthy sleep.

Getting a good sleep is a great way to help get rid of emotional clutter. Find out how you can get a good sleep in the spring with our article, ‘Sleeping Well in Spring‘.

Dealing with A “Stress Mess”

We’ve all got cluttered homes – stacks of shoes, old clothes that wear dust, and cooking utensils that we always intend to use but never do. Just as you’ve got all this stuff cluttering your physical space, you’ll have stress that clutters your emotional and psychological space. Stress isn’t just a reaction to something big and sudden, like a serious health problem or dealing with a death in the family. Instead, stress can be experienced in everyday moments that can put pressure on us. Your boss piles more work on an already heavy to-do list, something stops working in your home and it can’t be fixed within a week, or your child is sick and you can’t find someone to look after them while you go to work. This “stress mess” clogs up your mental space with anxiety, worry, depression, irritability, and anger – to name a few. With all these harmful emotions, you could possibly start to think negatively, be pessimistic, or cynical.1

The stress mess isn’t just not feeling great – it can actually be quite harmful for your health. Stress hormones, like cortisol and adrenaline, are dumped into your body. This will increase your heartbeat and raise your blood pressure.2​ This could harm the quality of your sleep, as you need to be relaxed to fall asleep. If you’re worked up due to stress, you won’t fall asleep easily. Plus, these hormones could also cause the liver to dump glucose into your blood stream, and this could increase the risk of diabetes.3​ You can read more about diabetes in our article here.

Sleep Apnoea and Health

Stress can also make you eat more, eat too quickly, or eat foods that are high in sugar or fat. These all result in weight gain. While we all indulge in comfort eating now and again, it’s still important to be mindful of what you eat as weight gain could lead to sleep apnoea. This extra weight might put pressure on your throat and interrupt your breathing while you sleep. This’ll wake you up. While your breathing will resume normally and you’ll go back to sleep without knowing you were awake at all, this could happen up to hundreds of times in one night. These frequent awakenings will weaken the quality of your sleep, leading to daytime fatigue and further frustrations and irritability. Find out more about sleep apnoea in our article here.

Not only will this contribute to poor sleep quality, but poor health, too. If you’re not healthy, you’ll struggle to get a good sleep even more. Read about the connection between health and the quality of your sleep in our topic, Health and Sleep.

With all these harmful consequences of stress, it’s important that you de-clutter your headspace. Stress can keep you awake when you need to go to sleep, and you’ll be even more frustrated during the day. Therefore, spring cleaning your home and mind is a great way to help yourself get a good sleep.

Spring Cleaning Your Mind for a Better Sleep

You throw out old shoes and donate clothes that no longer fit to the charity shop, but how do you clean out your mental space? We’ve gathered some tips for spring cleaning for a healthy sleep.

1. It no longer fits

Emotions like resentment, anger, or bitterness are like clothes that no longer fit, are worn out, and outdated. Throw them out. You have no more use for them, but you’ve been hanging onto them. They aren’t useful, so they need to go. Think of the negative emotions as an ugly coat that’s got holes and stains. Throw it into the closest bin bag – just as you need to make room for a new coat, you need to make room for new, happier emotions.

2. You haven’t worn it in years

There are emotions that lurk in the shadows of your mind, forgotten. And then, they’ll jump out and bite you. It’s usually some old childhood grudge. Maybe you’re the youngest child so everyone always saw you as the baby and didn’t let you make decisions. Your response was a tantrum or slamming doors. Now, you get angry when you’re left out of meetings at work, or maybe your opinion isn’t asked about where to meet up with friends. To stop yourself from getting worked up over these situations, it’s time to let go of that grudge and move on. Letting go of old grudges will be like a breath of fresh air – you’re only holding yourself back, after all.

3. Straighten out your priorities

Ask yourself, “what’s important to me?” Is it self-care, support from your family and friends? Maybe it’s making sure that you have time to read every day, or another hobby that you like? Spending time with your dog, or going for a jog every morning? Taking the time to answer this question can help to reduce decision fatigue, taking away the mental clutter that comes with trying to decide where to place your time and energy. This is especially true when you work all day – the evening should be when you catch up on you.

4. Sweep away self-criticism

It’s easier said than done – but it can be done. If you catch yourself using negative words about yourself, stop! Replace the negativity with positive, encouraging language, like “I’m doing my best”. Life is about progress, not perfection. Nobody is perfect, and people who are continuously striving for perfection could be missing out on some happiness.

5. Focus on your physical health

A big part of sustaining your mental health is maintaining your physical health. With brighter mornings, spring is a great time to vow to clean up your exercise routine. It doesn’t have to be a vigorous workout at the gym – even a 20-minute walk in the morning could help to boost your mood and get you ready for the day ahead. Just make sure that you aren’t exercising too close to bedtime – the earlier the better. Plus, exercising outdoors during the day will help your circadian rhythm as you’ll get more sunlight. This’ll help your inner body clock adjust to the new season so that you can enjoy a good sleep. Read more about your circadian rhythm here.

6. Brush away the dust

Deep spring cleaning can be therapeutic. Weekly or bi-weekly cleaning around the house may seem like enough, but you probably don’t clean out the clutter or get rid of those cobwebs hiding in the corners. Open the windows and switch on the vacuum – cleaning out all the dust and cobwebs will help you breathe better at night for a better sleep. This is especially true if you suffer from allergies.

7. Clear the nightstand of tech

If you leave your phone next to your bed, it’s time to find somewhere else for it to spend the night. If you get a text at 1 a.m., this could wake you up. If you check your phone, the blue light that’s emitted from the screen could disrupt your circadian rhythm, your inner clock that decides when you’re sleepy or awake. This will make it harder for you to go back to sleep. The best way to help yourself snooze all night long would be to leave your phone out of the room. However, this may not be possible – maybe you use your phone as an alarm clock. If you can’t leave your phone in another room, make sure it’s on silent mode or check if it’s got a ‘Do Not Disturb’ feature. This setting prevents any texts, calls, or notifications from sounding during the hours you set, and is a great way to make sure your phone doesn’t wake you up. Read more about technology’s effect on your sleep here.

8. Check your bedding and bed

While you probably already wash your bedlinens on a regular basis, don’t forget about washing bulky comforters or your duvet cover. While you’re at it, throw your pillows into a hot water cycle, and clean and rotate your mattress. By doing this in the spring, you could kill any dust mites that have survived the winter. With no dust mites, you won’t be itchy or sneezing, and you can look forward to a good, healthy sleep.

9. De-clutter your bedroom

Making sure that your bedroom is in order is a great way to help yourself de-stress and sleep better. If you’re always looking at a mess in your room while you’re getting into bed, this can trigger stress. This is the last thing you want when you’re trying to fall asleep. A tidy room will put your mind at ease and is more conducive to sleep. Clear any dirty laundry off the floor and leave it in a washing basket instead. You could even rearrange the furniture if your room doesn’t feel comforting or relaxing. Keep your nightstand, closet, and dresser organised, and remove piles of books, magazines, or mail from around your bed. You don’t have to be completely minimalist – some books and soothing scents are fine to keep in arm’s reach. Just make sure that you get rid of visual chaos – less chaos, less stress, better sleep.

Sleeping Well in Summer

Long days, busy social lives, and hot weather can all make summer a difficult season to get a good night’s sleep. In fact, short-term insomnia due to external factors can be fairly common at this time of...

Spring Cleaning for a Healthier Mind and a Healthier Sleep

Spring is synonymous with a fresh start after the cold and dreary winter evenings. There’s no better time to brush off the cobwebs and freshen up – and we always look ahead to spring cleaning. When we think of spring cleaning, we imagine ourselves organising the...

Sleeping Well in Spring

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...

Get A Good Sleep When the Clocks Change

In spring, the clocks go forward one hour. In the autumn, the clocks go back an hour. Not only can this affect how much daylight we get, but it can also interfere with our sleep. Read below to find out why we change the clocks, and how you can continue to sleep well....

Sleeping Well in Winter

Like any time of the year, winter can affect a healthy sleep routine. Short days and long nights make us eager for cosy, quiet, and restful evenings. For many people, winter evenings spent indoors with a blanket and cup of tea help us slow down and relax. However,...

Sleeping Well in Autumn

As daylight hours become shorter, sleeping well in autumn can be a challenge. The season of pumpkin lattés, cosy sweaters, and falling leaves can mean months of poor sleep for some people. While autumn’s cool nights provide a nice bedtime break from summer’s hot...

Sleeping Well in Spring

Sleeping Well in Spring

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. Find out more about your circadian rhythm here.

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 the DCH6031 Ceramic Cool Air Heater by DeLonghi. This heater features a cool air blower that’ll keep the room at a comfortable temperature. Read more about its benefits here.

If you’ve got a pet allergy, this could be irritated further in the spring. If you have a pet, and you let them sleep in your room during the night, the TotalClean PetPlus Air Purifier from HoMedics will help you both sleep well. This air purifier tackles and destroys up to 99.97% of airborne allergens, pollen, mould, spores, dust, smoke, and germs. This’ll let both you and your pet enjoy clean, healthy air while you sleep peacefully. Read about its other benefits here.

Anti-allergy bedding is another great way to help yourself sleep well in spring, as it’ll prevent allergens from harming your sleep quality. Browse our anti-allergy bedding here.

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. Browse our selection of blackout curtains from Tyrone Textiles here. 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. Our curtains from Tyrone Textiles will make sure that you get a quiet room for the best sleep. By reducing outside noise, these curtains will reduce stress to improve the quality of your sleep – find out more about how they’ll help you here. 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.

Keep Cool

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. Have a look at our selection here. 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. Read more about its benefits here. 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. Browse our selection of climate control mattress protectors here for full-body coverage, or have a look at our pillow protectors here.

Sleeping Well in Summer

Long days, busy social lives, and hot weather can all make summer a difficult season to get a good night’s sleep. In fact, short-term insomnia due to external factors can be fairly common at this time of...

Spring Cleaning for a Healthier Mind and a Healthier Sleep

Spring is synonymous with a fresh start after the cold and dreary winter evenings. There’s no better time to brush off the cobwebs and freshen up – and we always look ahead to spring cleaning. When we think of spring cleaning, we imagine ourselves organising the...

Sleeping Well in Spring

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...

Get A Good Sleep When the Clocks Change

In spring, the clocks go forward one hour. In the autumn, the clocks go back an hour. Not only can this affect how much daylight we get, but it can also interfere with our sleep. Read below to find out why we change the clocks, and how you can continue to sleep well....

Sleeping Well in Winter

Like any time of the year, winter can affect a healthy sleep routine. Short days and long nights make us eager for cosy, quiet, and restful evenings. For many people, winter evenings spent indoors with a blanket and cup of tea help us slow down and relax. However,...

Sleeping Well in Autumn

As daylight hours become shorter, sleeping well in autumn can be a challenge. The season of pumpkin lattés, cosy sweaters, and falling leaves can mean months of poor sleep for some people. While autumn’s cool nights provide a nice bedtime break from summer’s hot...

Get A Good Sleep When the Clocks Change

Get A Good Sleep When the Clocks Change

In spring, the clocks go forward one hour. In the autumn, the clocks go back an hour. Not only can this affect how much daylight we get, but it can also interfere with our sleep. Read below to find out why we change the clocks, and how you can continue to sleep well. The clocks change, but your sleep quality doesn’t have to.

Why Do We Have Daylight Saving Time?

Edwardian builder William Willett introduced the idea of Daylight Saving Time, or British Summer Time, in 1907. A lover of the outdoors, Willett noticed that, during the summer, people were still asleep after the sun had risen. He wanted people to stop wasting these valuable daylight hours. In Willet’s time, the clocks were set to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). This meant that it was light by 3 a.m. and dark at 9 p.m. during the summer.1

Willett published a pamphlet called “The Waste of Daylight”. The pamphlet was designed to get people out of bed earlier in the day by changing the clocks. He argued that this would improve everyone’s health and happiness, and that it would also save the country £2.5 million. And then, in the autumn, the clocks should be returned to GMT.2

In 1916, the UK introduced Daylight Saving Time. With the clocks moved forward, people could now enjoy the perks of summer with more time to spend in the daylight. However, sleep can be affected when the clocks change – whether it’s forward or back.3

How Is Your Sleep Affected When the Clocks Go Forward?

When the clocks spring forward, they can bring many positives – better weather, long summer nights, and lighter mornings. However, there is a negative, too: we lose one hour of sleep. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but it makes a big difference. It can be surprisingly challenging and waking up on Monday morning is even harder than it normally is. Moving the clocks in either direction can reset your circadian rhythm – an inner body clock that decides when we’re alert, and when we’re sleepy. When the clocks change, our internal body clock becomes out on sync with our normal sleep-wake cycle. This means that you could be awake when you’d rather be sleeping, or vice versa. Read more about the circadian rhythm here.

Also, with spring comes more daylight. Light affects your body’s production of melatonin, the sleep hormone. The more light there is, the less melatonin is produced. This means that you won’t feel as tired in the evening, which can make it hard to get to sleep at night.

The good news is that you can adapt to the new cycle. Within a day, you should feel fine, as our bodies are generally good at adjusting to one-hour changes. Some people will feel little effect from the clocks changing, but some may notice that they haven’t had a good sleep.4

If you have a good sleep pattern established and go to bed slightly earlier the night before the clock goes forward, then you’ll likely wake up feeling refreshed as normal. However, if you’re already sleeping less than you should, then you could feel irritable, moody, and tired when you wake up. You’ll also likely be sleepy during the day and may find it hard to concentrate.

How Can You Sleep Well When the Clocks Go Forward?

Adjust your bedtime routine. Move your bedtime forward a little bit, even it’s just by ten minutes or so, in the days approaching the clocks going forward. This way, you won’t really have lost any sleep when the clocks change on Sunday.

Go outdoors. During the day, you should go outside and get some fresh air. This is especially important if you feel tired during the day, as the sunlight will help to reset your circadian rhythm. This is because the circadian rhythm is influenced by light, which is why you’re awake during the day and asleep at night.

Limit your alcohol and caffeine intake. These stimulants will keep you alert when you want to be sleepy. This means that your sleep quality will be damaged as you won’t get the full sleep you need.

Get some exercise. Exercising is a great way to help yourself sleep well – especially outdoors, if possible. The exposure to sunlight will help your circadian rhythm to adapt to the new day/ night cycle, while exercising will help you to feel tired in the evening. However, make sure you don’t exercise too close to bedtime, as this could keep you alert when you want to go to sleep. You can read more about how exercise helps improve your sleep in our article, ‘Five Ways Exercise Helps You Sleep’.

Have a healthy sleeping environment. Make sure that your bedroom is cool, quiet, dark, and clutter-free. Also, check that your mattress and pillows are comfortable.

Avoid looking at screens. Keeping away from the TV, phone, computer, or laptop for about an hour before you go to bed is a great way to help yourself relax in order to get a good sleep. Read a book instead, have a soothing bath, or create another relaxing bedtime routine.

How Is Your Sleep Affected When the Clocks Go Back?

Just as summer’s extra light influences your circadian rhythm, the decrease in the amount of daylight in autumn can interfere with it, too. As light affects the release of melatonin, less light exposure means that more melatonin is produced. This’ll make you feel sluggish or more tired than usual. You don’t necessarily need more sleep during autumn or winter – you just feel more tired. Getting up in the morning is harder as the mornings are dark, and our circadian rhythm is used to telling us to sleep when it’s dark. So, when the clocks go back to GMT, we’re back to square one: adjusting to a new sleep-wake cycle when we just want to sleep. When the clocks go back, you get an extra hour of sleep. Yet, if you haven’t already got a good sleep pattern established, you may not feel the benefits of this.

How Can You Sleep Well When the Clocks Go Back?

Let the sun shine. It’s easy to flick on the lights in the morning to help yourself wake up, but sunlight is even better. Less sunlight not only increases your levels of melatonin, but it can also lower your levels of vitamin D, which can leave you feeling fatigued. Get sunlight on your face as soon as possible. This is easier said than done when the mornings are dark during autumn and winter, so go for a walk in the afternoon if you can. In the evenings, dim the indoor lights to let your body know that it’s time to relax.

Keep the heat down. While it’s tempting to turn up the heat or put on an open fire to fend off autumn’s crisp chill, it’s actually better to have your house – or at least the bedroom – cool. By keeping your room at the ideal temperature of 16 °C – 18°C, you’ll keep yourself at a steady, comfortable temperature for a peaceful snooze.

Exercise regularly. Motivating yourself to exercise in the dark and cold autumn is a challenge, but you’ll feel refreshed after even thirty minutes of exercising. Exercising outdoors will help you get as much sunlight on your face as possible. This’ll help your circadian rhythm to adjust to the new day/ night cycle, while the exercise itself will help you to feel tired in the evening. However, don’t exercise too close to bedtime.

Avoid technology. Keep away from your phone, TV, computer, or tablet about an hour before you go to sleep. This’ll help your body to understand that it’s time to relax. Read a book instead, have a soothing bath, or create another relaxing bedtime routine.

Keep a regular bedtime routine. Go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning. This includes weekends – no lie ins! Having a regular bedtime routine will make sure you get the recommended eight hours of sleep each night. If you get the sleep you need, getting up in the morning won’t be as hard.

Sleeping Well in Summer

Long days, busy social lives, and hot weather can all make summer a difficult season to get a good night’s sleep. In fact, short-term insomnia due to external factors can be fairly common at this time of...

Spring Cleaning for a Healthier Mind and a Healthier Sleep

Spring is synonymous with a fresh start after the cold and dreary winter evenings. There’s no better time to brush off the cobwebs and freshen up – and we always look ahead to spring cleaning. When we think of spring cleaning, we imagine ourselves organising the...

Sleeping Well in Spring

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...

Get A Good Sleep When the Clocks Change

In spring, the clocks go forward one hour. In the autumn, the clocks go back an hour. Not only can this affect how much daylight we get, but it can also interfere with our sleep. Read below to find out why we change the clocks, and how you can continue to sleep well....

Sleeping Well in Winter

Sleeping Well in Winter

Like any time of the year, winter can affect a healthy sleep routine. Short days and long nights make us eager for cosy, quiet, and restful evenings. For many people, winter evenings spent indoors with a blanket and cup of tea help us slow down and relax. However, sleeping well in winter can be a challenge for many – but it doesn’t have to be.

Why is Sleep Affected in Winter?

Your circadian rhythm, which regulates your body clock, is maintained by exposure to light. In winter, when days are shorter and evenings creep into afternoons, light is scarce, and your body clock can be thrown off. When your circadian rhythm is off course, you can be left feeling sluggish, low-energy, and tired – even after eight hours of sleep. Find out more about your circadian rhythm here.

Below, you’ll find some handy tips to sleeping well in winter.

Let The Sun Shine

It’s easy to flick on a light on the dark mornings, but a lack of sunlight means that your brain produces more of the hormone melatonin, which makes you sleepy. The best way to combat this is to open your blinds or curtains as soon as you get up in the morning, letting more sunlight into your home. It’s also a good idea to get outdoors in natural daylight as much as possible. This is easier said than done when you work in an office, so even taking a brief walk during your lunch break will fend off that afternoon sluggishness. Make sure that your work and home environments are as light and airy as possible.

Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Getting enough undisturbed sleep is vital for fighting off the winter blues. It’s tempting to go into hibernation mode when winter comes, but that sleepy feeling that you have doesn’t mean you should sleep for longer. If you sleep too much, chances are that you’ll feel even more sluggish during the day. Although you might find yourself needing an extra hour or two of sleep in the winter, we don’t actually need any more sleep in winter than we do in summer. Aim for the recommended seven to nine hours of shut-eye a night and try to go to bed and get up at the same time every day, including the weekends.

You should also make sure that your bedroom helps you feel relaxed and sleepy; clear the clutter, have comfortable and warm bedding, and turn off the TV. Keeping away from screens an hour before you go to sleep is a great way for sleeping well in winter.

Exercise Regularly

Exercise is probably the last thing you want to do when you’re feeling tired on dark, cold winter evenings. However, you might be surprised by how energetic you feel after doing some kind of physical activity every day. Exercising in the late afternoon may help to reduce early-evening fatigue, and it’ll also improve your sleep. Aim for the recommended hour of exercise per day.

If you’re not used to exercising regularly, try a beginner’s class at your local gym to find what you enjoy. You can also go for a walk with your furry friend, or try to gather a few friends for a game of indoor tennis.

If you struggle to find motivation for exercising in the colder, darker months, focus on the positives – you’ll feel more energetic, and you might also stave off winter weight gain!

You can read more about how exercise helps improve your sleep in our article, ‘Five Ways Exercise Helps You Sleep‘.

Relax

With the shorter days, we can feel the pressure to get so much done in so little time. This stress can contribute to your tiredness, as stress has been shown to make you feel fatigued.1 There’s no quick solution for stress, but there are some simple ways to reduce it. You can try meditation, yoga, breathing exercises, or mindfulness techniques, which you can read more about here. Exercise also helps you to reduce your stress levels, or even talking to a friend or family member will help. A problem shared is a problem halved, right?

Eat Right

Being overweight or underweight can affect your energy levels and leave you feeling sleepy, so make sure you eat a healthy, balanced diet. When winter comes, it’s tempting to fill up on pasta, potatoes, and bread. However, simply including fruit and vegetables in your comfort meals can give you more energy. Winter vegetables, like carrots, parsnips, and turnip, can be roasted, mashed, or made into soup for a comforting, warming winter meal that all the family can enjoy. Plus, classic stews and casseroles are great options if they’re made with lean meat and plenty of vegetables.

Your sweet tooth might go into overdrive during the winter but try to avoid foods high in sugar in the evenings, as they could give you a rush of energy.

Find the Cosy Temperature in Bed

When you’re sleeping, your internal temperature drops slightly. So, if you get too hot, your body will struggle to bring its temperature back down. This can wake you up, and you might struggle to get back to sleep. However, make sure that the temperature isn’t too low, as being cold can also interfere with your sleep. The ideal room temperature for night-time is around 16°C to 18°C, with the absolute maximum being 24°C.2 Keeping a steady temperature will help to ensure that you won’t wake in the middle of the night, letting you enjoy an undisturbed sleep.

While it’s normal for all of us to slow down over the winter months, your tiredness could be linked to a sleeping disorder. Sometimes a lack of energy and a feeling of lethargy can be a sign of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). You can read more about this in our topic here. If your tiredness is severe and you experience it all year round, you could have chronic fatigue syndrome.

If your tiredness is stopping you from going about your everyday life, it’s always important to visit your doctor to find out if there is an underlying cause.

Sleeping Well in Summer

Long days, busy social lives, and hot weather can all make summer a difficult season to get a good night’s sleep. In fact, short-term insomnia due to external factors can be fairly common at this time of...

Spring Cleaning for a Healthier Mind and a Healthier Sleep

Spring is synonymous with a fresh start after the cold and dreary winter evenings. There’s no better time to brush off the cobwebs and freshen up – and we always look ahead to spring cleaning. When we think of spring cleaning, we imagine ourselves organising the...

Sleeping Well in Spring

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...

Get A Good Sleep When the Clocks Change

In spring, the clocks go forward one hour. In the autumn, the clocks go back an hour. Not only can this affect how much daylight we get, but it can also interfere with our sleep. Read below to find out why we change the clocks, and how you can continue to sleep well....

Sleeping Well in Winter

Like any time of the year, winter can affect a healthy sleep routine. Short days and long nights make us eager for cosy, quiet, and restful evenings. For many people, winter evenings spent indoors with a blanket and cup of tea help us slow down and relax. However,...

Sleeping Well in Autumn

Sleeping Well in Autumn

As daylight hours become shorter, sleeping well in autumn can be a challenge. The season of pumpkin lattés, cosy sweaters, and falling leaves can mean months of poor sleep for some people. While autumn’s cool nights provide a nice bedtime break from summer’s hot evenings, a host of sleep problems can crop up during this time of year.

Why Is Sleep Affected in Autumn?

The decrease in the amount of daylight in the autumn influences the body’s sleep-wake cycle, or circadian rhythm. Light affects the release of melatonin, a hormone that regulates the circadian rhythm and makes you feel sleepy. Less light exposure means more melatonin, making you feel sluggish or more tired than usual. We don’t necessarily need more sleep during the autumn months, we just feel more tired. However, autumn doesn’t need to leave you fatigued and frustrated. Below, you’ll find three tips to sleeping well in autumn.

To find out more about your circadian rhythm, read our article here.

1. Enjoy Autumn’s Light

Less sunlight not only increases levels of melatonin, but it can also lower your levels of vitamin D, which can leave you feeling fatigued. Getting sunlight on your face in the morning can help you avoid this. Open the curtains as soon as you wake up and, if possible, go for a morning walk. In the evenings, do the opposite: dim the indoor lights to let your body know that it’s time to relax.

2. Keep the Heat Down

What’s more inviting than an open fire warming the house after spending the day in Autumn’s crisp chill? During this time of year, it’s tempting to light the fire or turn the heat up, but it’s actually better to keep your home – or, at least, the bedroom – cool. During the night, your internal temperature drops slightly. So, if you get too hot, your body will struggle to bring its temperature back down. This can wake you up, and you might struggle to get back to sleep. However, make sure that you don’t let the temperature drop too low, as being too cold can also interfere with your sleep. The ideal room temperature for night-time is around 16°C to 18°C, with the absolute maximum being 24°C.1

3. Keep a Good Mood

As melatonin levels are affected, the disruption of your sleep-wake cycle can cause daytime sleepiness and oversleeping, which can lower your mood. Some people can even experience Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a type of depression that sets in during autumn. Find out more about this in our topic here. For a good mood, and a better sleep, exercise regularly, and make sure that your bedroom is sleep-friendly. You can do this by keeping screens away from your bedtime – no TVs, phones, tablets, or laptops. Resist the urge to look at a screen for about an hour before you want to go to sleep, as this will let your body know that you’re getting ready to go to sleep. Also, keep your bedtime and waking time consistent, even during the weekends. Being consistent can help regulate your circadian rhythm, making it easier to fall asleep at night and wake up the next morning. Having a steady routine will give you a good quality of sleep, and a better mood for the day.

If your tiredness is stopping you from going about your everyday life, it’s always important to visit your doctor to find out if there is an underlying cause.

Sleeping Well in Summer

Long days, busy social lives, and hot weather can all make summer a difficult season to get a good night’s sleep. In fact, short-term insomnia due to external factors can be fairly common at this time of...

Spring Cleaning for a Healthier Mind and a Healthier Sleep

Spring is synonymous with a fresh start after the cold and dreary winter evenings. There’s no better time to brush off the cobwebs and freshen up – and we always look ahead to spring cleaning. When we think of spring cleaning, we imagine ourselves organising the...

Sleeping Well in Spring

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...

Get A Good Sleep When the Clocks Change

In spring, the clocks go forward one hour. In the autumn, the clocks go back an hour. Not only can this affect how much daylight we get, but it can also interfere with our sleep. Read below to find out why we change the clocks, and how you can continue to sleep well....

Sleeping Well in Winter

Like any time of the year, winter can affect a healthy sleep routine. Short days and long nights make us eager for cosy, quiet, and restful evenings. For many people, winter evenings spent indoors with a blanket and cup of tea help us slow down and relax. However,...

Sleeping Well in Autumn

As daylight hours become shorter, sleeping well in autumn can be a challenge. The season of pumpkin lattés, cosy sweaters, and falling leaves can mean months of poor sleep for some people. While autumn’s cool nights provide a nice bedtime break from summer’s hot...