Hit the snooze button on sleep problems

Winter might be synonymous with hibernation, but not everyone’s guaranteed a good night’s sleep. As we go into winter, the days get shorter and the nights get longer and, you'd think that you'd then want to sleep a lot more or at least find it easier to sleep, but this is not always the case.

If you find that you’re struggling to nod off or wake up feeling tired, implement these change of season sleep solutions to improve your pillow time.

Light affects your sleep

Morning light stimulates our bodies to feel awake and artificial light does the same thing. This is a problem because, in winter, we tend to come home to a gloomy house, so we set all the lights ablaze and keep it that way until bedtime. There's just no tapering off.

The link between sleep and light isn’t just psychological. Melatonin, the hormone that tells you when it's time to go to sleep, is stimulated from early evening onward by the gradual dimming of daylight. If there's no fading of the light, this affects our body's ability to synthesise it.

Sleep solution:

Dim the lights or turn off the main lights around you, leaving only a few lamps on before bedtime.

Ban all electronics from your bedroom. By doing this, your body learns that dimming means drowsiness and darkness means sleep.

Turn the light from a digital alarm clock away from you.

It’s crucial to become more aware of how light can affect your sleep pattern.

Turn down the heat

In winter, we tend to snuggle up under the warm, fluffy blankets and crank up the heater up to maximum. While it’s important to feel cozy – if you’re bundled up in too many layers or have a heater set to blast, you’re not going to experience the slight temperature drop that signals sleep.

When you fall asleep, your body temperature starts to drop a few degrees below it's normal "wakeful" temperature of 37 degrees Celsius. Researchers believe that this subtle temperature dip allows your body to divert some of the energy it uses to maintain your waking temperature to better power the important reparative tasks it performs at night.

Sleep solution:

Don’t go overboard with the blankets. Rather use only what you need to feel comfortable as opposed to toasty.

Don’t discount the magical power of socks! Heating up your feet causes vasodilation (the opening of your veins) which reduces the time it takes to fall asleep.

Find the right balance. Use only what you need to feel comfortable as opposed to toasty.

Not so sweet dreams

Many people think that cold, wet weather causes a desire for all things stodgy and sweet but it’s actually the lack of sunlight. As humans, we need sun exposure to naturally manufacture vitamin D which, in turn, boosts our serotonin levels. If our vitamin D levels are low, our serotonin levels are low, which then results in carb and sugar cravings.

Studies have found that those who eat sugar are a lot more likely to experience a sleep pattern disrupted by arousals – little intrusions that don’t actually wake you up but pull you from the deep sleep your body needs to a lighter, much less restorative sleep stage.

The result is that you wake up, having slept through the night, but can't understand why you still feel tired.

Sleep solution:

This one’s easy to say, but often hard to do – “say no to sugar”. At the end of the day, sugar, no matter how delicious, is bad for us. It ages us, it causes disease and even interferes with our sleep.

If you’ve got excess weight to lose, consider embarking on our Renewal Institute Diet (the RID) – their most successful diet to date. The low GI (glycaemic index) eating plan enhanced by supplements and hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) injections and stabilising sugar levels, resulting in a loss of up to 6 kgs in women and, up to 8 kgs in men within one month.

Going on a low GI is one of the best things you can do for your health.

Sleep well, all the time

If these sleep solutions don't improve your sleep, make an appointment with one of the doctors at Sleep Renewal forhelp you get more of the restorative sleep you need to wake up feeling great, regardless of the season.


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
#LeadSA - Help a Girl, Help A Girl empowering young women in Cape Town

#LeadSA - Help a Girl, Help A Girl empowering young women in Cape Town

Help a girl, Help a girl is a local NPO providing mentoring and training programmes to girls from underprivileged backgrounds.

Weekend mindfulness workshops to help children overcome isolation and anxiety

Weekend mindfulness workshops to help children overcome isolation and anxiety

Zain Johnson gets the details of the upcoming event from the founding partners of Connected Kids.

Smooth operator - How to avoid getting caught out by telesales agents

Smooth operator - How to avoid getting caught out by telesales agents

Consumer journalist Wendy Knowler shares her advice on how best to deal with the calls.

Spider veins? Here's how to get rid of them

Did you know? Spider veins don't only occur in older woman, young adults and even teens can develop them too.

How to get a handle on the health of your veins

How to get a handle on the health of your veins

Certain vein conditions are not limited to any specific age group and can be influenced both by genetics and lifestyle choices.

Battling with acne: Here’s 7 tips to help you ‘Axe the Acne’ for good

Battling with acne: Here’s 7 tips to help you ‘Axe the Acne’ for good

Need help getting rid of acne and the scars that it leaves behind? Read this.

Popular articles
'We’re the first female impersonators to walk the red carpet at Parliament'

'We’re the first female impersonators to walk the red carpet at Parliament'

"The Constitution protects us, but not society. We’re delighted to be here as guests of the DA," said The Trolley Dollies.

A wet, white and windy weekend forecast for the Western Cape

A wet, white and windy weekend forecast for the Western Cape

City departments are on standby, following a weather warning issued by the South African Weather Service.

UN Kashoggi murder report: 'Most gruesome thing we've heard in modern history'

UN Kashoggi murder report: 'Most gruesome thing we've heard in modern history'

Independent Newspapers' Shannon Ebrahim on the report which calls for criminal investigation into Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince.

As Zuma's legal debts mount, could the former Number 1 be entitled to legal aid?

As Zuma's legal debts mount, could the former Number 1 be entitled to legal aid?

The former president told reporters last month that he was so broke he'd been forced to sell his clothes to raise legal fees.

[WATCH] Detective stops press conference to pounce on a man running past

[WATCH] Detective stops press conference to pounce on a man running past

Khabazela shares tweets and Facebook posts that have gone viral.

[WATCH] A group of men load impala carcass in taxi at Kruger National Park

[WATCH] A group of men load impala carcass in taxi at Kruger National Park

Khabazela shares tweets and Facebook posts that have gone viral.

[VIDEO] DA's Van Damme accuses family of racism, V&A Waterfront apologises

[VIDEO] DA's Van Damme accuses family of racism, V&A Waterfront apologises

The Democratic Alliance MP claims she was subjected to a racist tirade at Cape Town's V&A Waterfront and wants action taken.

Investigation underway into cause of Cape Town hotel fire

Investigation underway into cause of Cape Town hotel fire

Staff and guests at Durbanville's Ruslamere hotel were evacuated while firefighters battled the blaze on Tuesday morning.