The temperature is starting to drop outside and many of us will be excited for the festive period beginning… Wrapping up warm, Christmas parties and toasty nights in. However, with the changing of seasons can come a lull in our energy levels. Longer nights and colder days can be demotivating, so Kally Sleep have put together some sleep advice and top tips for helping with tiredness during winter and feeling great all year round.
You know winter has arrived when you get to work as it begins to get light, and step out of the office to an already dark evening. This can play havoc with our sleep cycles and mood.
Beating the winter blues with sunshine:
When it is dark your body produces more melatonin which causes sleepiness, this is great after a long summer’s day. However, you might find yourself fighting tiredness during winter months without the natural wake up call provided by sunlight. A fantastic way to combat this is by optimising the amount of natural light you can get during the day and there are plenty of little changes you can make to help this.
When you wake up, pull back the curtains as soon as you can. Though light may be minimal as you are getting ready, the day will be slowly brightening. Even this small increase in brightness will help you adjust to being out of bed before the sun is completely up, relieving the winter tiredness.
If you arrive at work in the dark, it can be hard to feel that the day has started. Find opportunities to expose yourself to light where possible, even if it means getting a little chilly. Brave the winter air and take a short lunchtime stroll, allowing your body to take in the day – Be sure to wrap up warm! If stepping out in cold weather sounds like a nightmare or the rain is holding you hostage indoors, work near a window. This increase in light will be a mood-booster even on the dimmest days and is a really simple way of getting that vitamin D.
Mood lighting for a good night’s sleep
In peak winter, the sun will set as early as around 3.50pm, well before most of us are ready to sleep. The use of unnatural light and screens can send our bodies into confusion about when we are supposed to be getting tired. Without the gradual dimming that prepares us for a good night’s rest, the man-made change from light to dark can be too abrupt for us to doze off. If you have a dimmer light, adjust this throughout the evening and you might find yourself feeling a little sleepier in the softer light just before bed helping to reduce the tiredness during winter.
Don’t have an adjustable dimmer light? Fake this by going from a main light to a bedside lamp or smaller light throughout the evening. As you settle before bed, go right down to candlelight if possible. Not only will you have tricked your body into a natural dimming / sleeping association, many people find candlelight to be incredibly relaxing, especially if you choose one with a calming scent.
Eating your way to energised
Comfort food and the cold go hand in hand. As temperatures drop, cravings for wholesome hot food rise, from larger portions to festive coffees and hot chocolates. It is natural to have a bigger appetite in the colder months, particularly with so many celebratory meals and social events towards the end of the year.
But eating late at night is a bad idea for your sleep any time of year, and when heavier foods are on the menu it is easy to overeat and be kept awake. Furthermore, that pre-bed cup of tea or hot chocolate might warm you up, but careful of the caffeine it may come with. Moving your main meal to lunchtime may reduce your late-night cravings, and if you need to warm up before hopping into bed, swap your hot beverage of choice of chamomile or green tea. This will have you relaxed and ready to get great quality sleep.
Staying healthy and active all year round
One of the best ways to stay energised is to continue to take regular exercise, even if your motivation might be snuggling up on the sofa. It is important to keep active despite the cold as this contributes to deeper sleep at night and a refreshed start to the day.
Whilst winter work-outs are vital for keeping our mood high, we do need to be cautious. Lowered temperatures cause tightening in muscles, making strains and tears much more common. Cold-induced numbness and shivering can unbalance us, making twists and falls harder to avoid. Warming up before exercise and getting great recovery is vital.
As we are far more injury prone in cold weather, those night-time hours are key for recovery. Your sleep posture can be a huge source of strain, limiting the work your body does while you sleep to heal you. Our Kally Pillow is a great tool for post-workout recovery as it aligns vital joints, promoting comfort and allowing you to recover without risking further stress on muscles. Not only will the ergonomic shape of the body pillow promote healthy sleep, it is incredibly comfortable, allowing for the deep and cosy sleep your body craves after a winter’s day.
Struggling with SAD?
If you are one of the thousands of people who suffers from SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder, you will know how hard it is getting energised throughout the cold winter months resulting in:
Symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder can include:
- Depression and low moods
- Constant tiredness during winter, but difficulty sleeping
- Anxiety and inability to focus
Where seasonal changes impact mental health, you can feel hopeless; lying in bed for long hours without feeling at all replenished is a problem for many sufferers of this Winter Depression. Ensuring that every hour asleep is great quality will help reduce the wasted hours drifting in bed. When you are getting great sleep, you are more likely to feel refreshed come morning and energised throughout the day. This can have a positive impact on the irritability, anxiety and changes in mood as those who sleep better are reported to feeling more stable throughout the day.
Sleeping with the Kally Pillow promotes a deep sleep, whilst keeping you at the perfect temperature using a breathable jersey outer. If you struggle to get comfortable, getting too hot and cold and never quite settling down, the Kally pillow will support you in drifting off.
We hope these Kally tips help to bust the winter blues and help you feel great all year round. For more information on our Kally Pillow