Cold Weather Sleeping Tips

While Americans report sleeping longer in winter due to more hours of darkness, some factors can contribute to sleep trouble during the colder months. 

David Klose, in a July 7 blog post for Savvy Sleeper, offered the following eight tips to improve winter sleep.

1. Make your bed warm and inviting. Add more comforters and blankets to your bed, but make sure the additions feel breathable, he wrote. Natural fabrics are good choices for layering on warmth.

2. Warm up your body before going to sleep. Wear warm pajamas and dress in layers to trap body heat (and to remove if you get too hot). Bring your internal temperature up by taking a shower, doing some light stretches or drinking some caffeine-free tea or hot water with lemon and honey before bed.

3. Keep your immune system strong. With cooler weather come cold and flu bugs. One way to fight them off is to be well-rested. If you do come down with a cold, prioritize rest so your body can fight it off.

4. Humidify dry air. Dry air, in addition to leading to dry, itchy skin and staticky clothes, also can contribute to snoring, coughing, bloody noses and muscle cramps. To get more moisture in the air, use a humidifier or hang wet clothes to dry, put pots of water or wet towels on radiators, or leave bowls of water around the house.

5. Check your mattress support. Obviously, having a quality mattress is an essential component for restorative sleep, no matter what the season, Klose said.

6. Get enough light. Try to spend some time outside every day or at least sit near a sunny window. Shorter days make getting enough light a priority.

7. Warm your house. Keeping your home snug doesn’t have to come with a huge electric bill. Consider investing in a programmable thermostat, find and repair the source of cool drafts, use your stove or oven to cook dinner, and use space heaters in homes with open floor plans.

8. Get enough exercise and eat healthily. Keeping a regular exercise routine and eating a well-balanced diet will help you sleep better at night, he said.

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