As the temperature continues to drop in Houston, winter sleep should be a breeze, right? Wrong. Quality sleep during the winter season can be just as difficult to obtain as it is during a hot, sticky summer. Avoid these cold weather mistakes suggested by The Huffington Post to keep sleeping soundly:
- Cranking up the heater: As we sleep, our body adjusts to the temperature of our room. By lowering the room temperature, we lower our body’s temperature causing us to sleep better. Although the exact room temperature is a matter of personal preference, optimal temperatures tend to range between 63-68 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Going too crazy with the A/C: Being too cold at night isn’t ideal for sleep either, it’s downright uncomfortable. Search for the perfect temperature and maintain it as you sleep.
- Avoiding the sun: The sun makes us feel alert and happier throughout the day, but during winter the lack of sunlight can become a problem. To help keep your wake-sleep cycle in check, get as much sunlight as you can when you first wake up or consider an artificial light machine. Limit exposure to blue light from electronics at least an hour before bedtime.
- Stuffing yourself with heavy meals: Your body has to work harder to digest those large meals, which in turn can keep you awake longer. Try finishing dinner 4 or 5 hours before bedtime. You can still have a light snack later on.
- Staying stationary: During winter, it’s easy for us to cut back on exercise because we may feel sluggish and it’s so cold. Exercise can increase deep sleep all year around if you stick to it. Try taking the stairs instead of an elevator or taking a brisk walk around the block for increased movement.
- Sleeping in on the weekends: This is a year-long struggle, but cold weather encourages this bad behavior even more. Too much sleep on Saturday and Sunday can create bad patterns for you during weekdays. Try to avoid changing your bedtime and wake time by more than an hour.
- Dry air: Dry, cold air can remove moisture from your nose, causing you to breathe through your mouth, which leads to snoring and bad sleeping patterns. Try using a humidifier or a little waterfall to keep the air in your room moist. Plus, the added white noise can be a bonus in helping you sleep.
- Cold And Flu Season: A stuffy nose leads to mouthing breathing, the culprit of snoring and a bad night of rest. Keep your head elevated, a nasal passage opening product, or SleepyTime tea with honey for better sleep.
There are always challenges to getting sleep and some nights are simply better than others. Keep track of what works for you as you evolve with the changing seasons.