Insomnia is the most common type of sleep disorder affecting 10% to 30% of adults. Numerous different factors can cause the inability to sleep. Cold weather is one of them.
It may seem contradictory and strange to some, but the long, cozy winter nights can bring sleep troubles for many people. If you or a loved one struggles with winter insomnia, here are some useful tips for proper sleep and resting well this winter season.
Tips to Avoid and Treat Winter Insomnia
Some multiple factors and practices are known to help with winter insomnia. Here are some of the best-known ones:
- Keep Track of Your Caffeine Consumption
It’s common for people to consume more tea and/or coffee during cold weather to keep themselves warm and active, but it can seriously interfere with sleep. So, keep an eye on your caffeine intake and limit your consumption. Sleep experts recommend stopping caffeine intake at least six hours before bedtime.
- Get Enough Light
Reduced light exposure in the winter season can mess up our sleep-wake cycle by interfering with sleep hormone production. To avoid (significant) changes in melatonin production, make sure you get adequate sunlight during the day. Go for a morning walk, just after the sun comes out, or have your morning cup of Joe in front of a sunny window.
- Avoid Sleeping Longer and Taking Naps
It’s hard to get out of bed on winter mornings, and you may find yourself tempted to snuggle up in your cozy bed and catching some z’s. You should resist the urge because if you sleep longer or take a long nap or multiple naps during the day, you will ultimately have trouble falling asleep at night. A short one-hour nap is still considered beneficial, if it’s a habit you already have.
- Watch Out Your Alcohol Consumption during the Holiday Season
For many people, the winter season is all about getting together with your loved ones and staying up all night partying. This can mess up your sleep cycle in more ways than one. But, what we’re talking about here is alcohol consumption. Watch your alcohol intake and avoid the temptation to overindulge, particularly six hours before bed.
- Don’t Heat Up Your House Too Much
You may want to crank up the thermostat and make your home feel warm and cozy, but you should avoid overheating your house as it can make it harder to stay asleep throughout the night. You might wake up during the night feeling too warm or remain restless. Maintain a comfortable temperature that is neither too hot nor cold to sleep well through the night.
- Take a Warm Bath before Sleeping
This may feel like the hardest thing to do on a cold winter night, but warm baths are known to help relax the mind and body, making it easier to fall asleep.
These are some tips known to help beat winter insomnia and to promote better sleep during the cold season. Try these out if you struggle to fall or stay asleep during the cold weather. If the problem persists, consult a doctor to rule out any medical or health-related causes.