Ways the Winter Season Affects Your Sleep

Ways the Winter Season Affects Your Sleep-image

Cold air is here and is surging across the country and winter is almost here. With that comes the winter weather and shorter days too. With these changes going on in the environment such as less sunlight, colder air and holiday happenings it can have an impact on the sleep cycle. According to experts Sleep is the time your body uses to repair and rest themselves to be ready for the functions of the next day. For each person the amount of sleep varies, but most people need 7.5 hrs to 8 hrs of sleep. There are certain things that do impact your sleep during the colder months and here a few that can disrupt your normal sleep pattern.

Less Light

The amount of light during the day can affect the time and quality of your sleep. In winter the amount of daylight is more limited than other seasons which impacts your body’s cycles. Light actually directly impacts the pituitary gland which gives off   melatonin. Melatonin regulates are body’s sleep cycle. Lack of light causes the body to produce more of this chemical, which in turn makes the body feel more sluggish and tired. The lack of light during the winter months can also induce seasonal affective disorder or SAD. SAD can bring on full-fledged depressive episodes that take place during this time of the year.

Colder Temperature Equals Colder Air

The winter months are usually known to have an increase in utility bills as the heat is turned on and more electricity is used during this time. However with more heat it can hinder the sleep quality you get at night. When there is cold air it will negatively affect melatonin production and can cause the body’s sleep cycle to be thrown off. If the air is to dry or to warm the bodies mucus membranes can make your body more to germs or illnesses such as the flu or cold.

Eating Habits Change

The summer months bring forth natural sugars in the form of fruit, winter contributes to dense carbohydrates to the table. When the fall season starts through New Year’s Holidays the season is laden with sugary and fatty high calorie foods. These foods can play on your body’s hormone levels. Your appetite and metabolism which consist of the hormone leptin, can be influenced by these types of food. Foods like this can impact your body’s hormone levels. When the sleep cycle gets disrupted we can end up craving foods more and not know when we are ending up full feeling. If we were to continue to eat like this it may affect your sleep then and also cause possible weight gain.

So keep some of these changes in mind when the winter season months hit and you can prepare to be aware of some of the changes you may experience sleep wise. Stay warm doing these few months!


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