3 tips to maximise sleep during winter

Sleeping well directly affects your mental and physical health. Lack of sleep can take a serious toll on your daytime energy, productivity, emotional balance, and even your weight. 

Habits and lifestyle choices that are unhealthy, leave you tossing and turning at night and can affect our mood, brain and heart health, immune system, creativity, vitality, and weight.

Follow these 3 tips to maximise your sleep during winter, boost your health, and improve how you think and feel each day.

Tip 1: Light affects your sleep pattern

Make sure you turn off the main lights in your bedroom, use a few lamps or dimmer switch instead before bedtime. Ban all electronic devices from your bedroom. Your body needs to learn that dimming lights, brings drowsiness and darkness means sleep. Avoid bright screens 1 – 2 hours before bedtime.

Get into a routine of going to bed at the same time each night. This helps set your body’s internal clock and will optimise your sleep quality. Choose a bed time when you feel tired, and don’t go beyond this. If you’re getting enough sleep, you should wake up naturally, without an alarm.

Tip 2: Stay warm, not hot

In winter you may be tempted to pile on the blankets and layer-up, turn up the heater and switch on the electric blanket. We need to stay warm, but not over heat, or your body will miss the slight temperature drop that occurs, and that signals sleep.

Your body temperature starts to drop a few degrees, when you fall asleep. This subtle temperature drop, allows your body to divert some of the energy it uses, to maintain your waking temperature, to better power the important repetitive tasks it performs at night.

Tip 3: Avoid winter comfort foods

Lack of sunlight in winter, can causes you to crave stodgy and sweet foods. Stodgy and sweets foods cause an aroused state, and can disrupt the natural process of sleep.

Exposure to sunshine, naturally manufacture vitamin D, and in turn boosts your serotonin levels. A major driving force behind carbohydrate and sugar cravings, is a low level of vitamin D, which affect seratonin levels in the brain.