How Weather Affects Your Sleep
East Coast weather is wildly unpredictable this time of year. The first day of Spring has come and gone, but in some parts of the country (maybe yours?), there is still snow on the ground. While a snow day sounds like an excellent excuse for a nap, you may wonder – is it the cozy fire that’s making you sleepy, or is it something more?
Can Weather Affect Your Sleep Quality?
Many factors can affect sleep quality, but one that you may rarely think about is the outside environment. There is evidence that changes in temperature, barometric pressure, humidity and more can affect your sleep – often for the worse.
Environmental Factors Affecting Your Sleep
During seasonal changes or temporary weather shifts, a drop in barometric pressure can cause pain levels to increase in people with joint and nerve issues. An increase in pain can make getting comfortable before bedtime a struggle, causing poor sleep quality.
These weather changes also mean less exposure to sunlight, which can cause the body to produce more melatonin – the hormone that promotes sleep. Storms and seasonal changes can also wreak havoc on your Vitamin D and serotonin levels, which affect mood, appetite, and sleep. This can cause an increase in daytime drowsiness and leave you feeling tired earlier or later than your normal schedule.
Temperature can also affect your ability to sleep. A SleepRate survey found that 80% of people preferred sleeping in cooler weather, which makes sense since body temperature naturally drops as bedtime draws near. In the winter (or in the East Coast’s case, spring) months, cooler temperatures in the household are likely because of the cooler outside air. This fosters the deep sleep process, helping you achieve a quality night’s sleep.
Tips for a Good Night’s Sleep
Here are a few tips on how to keep your sleep high-quality and consistent during seasonal changes and temporary weather shifts:
Use a humidifier.
During cold weather and winter months, your skin gets dry and your lips get chapped. Keeping a humidifier in the bedroom will add moisture to your skin and the air. Humidifiers can also soothe sinuses, prevent nose bleeds, relieve itching and more.
Find your ideal sleeping temperature.
Each person has a skin temperature that is perfect for sleep, so find yours. One of the keys to a good night’s sleep is temperature regulation. Set your thermostat to a comfortable temperature for you and cuddle up until your body is ready for sleep.
Keeping your head cool is also beneficial to a quality night’s sleep. You can regulate your body temperature by using a cooling pillow.
Stick to a regulated sleep-wake schedule.
If you have a routine sleep-wake schedule, this will help maintain your body’s natural circadian rhythm (internal body clock). If you do this, then your body will emit the proper hormones you need to wake up and feel refreshed. Consider using a gradual waking alarm as well, to help wake in your lightest sleep stage. This will keep your REM sleep in check, assuring a more restful sleep.
Turn off your electronics.
Blue light from electronics suppresses melatonin production, which can mess with your sleep. This combined with seasonal changes can really throw your body’s natural circadian rhythms out of whack.
Each night, when you start feeling yourself getting sleepy, begin to wind down your nightly activities. Turn off your electronic devices such as phones and laptops, because they can make it harder to sleep. These devices stimulate your brain, increase your alertness, delay your internal body clock and can adversely affect your sleep. Unplug for a better night’s sleep.
Sleep on a comfortable mattress.
Is your mattress as comfortable and supportive as it could be? If you know your mattress is not giving you the support you need for your specific sleep style, maybe it is time to buy a new one. At Mattress Warehouse, bedMATCH™ — a diagnostic sleep system—will help you find the perfect bed.
Cool Weather Calls for Cool Pillows
When the weather outside is changing, regulating your body temperatures can be tough. But Mattress Warehouse can help you get a full night of restful and restorative sleep by adding a comfortable, high-quality cooling pillow to your sleep environment. Visit your local Mattress Warehouse today to shop cooling pillows from top brands like TEMPUR-Pedic, BedGear, Serta and more.
- Mattress Warehouse