Winter is the season known for
hibernation, yet these months have a frustrating way of keeping us
awake at night.


woman at desk sleeping


 As the days become shorter our sleep cycles
become broken, so a good night's sleep is vital. The less daylight
hours we get affects our sleep as light impacts the pituitary,
which secretes the sleep hormone, melatonin. 


 People sleep on average 40 minutes less between
October and February than they do in summer. However, getting the
recommended eight hours of sleep a night is still possible in
winter, by sticking to a strict sleeping routine. 


 Our sleep expert, Dr Nerina Ramlakhan says: "In
the winter months we all feel as though sleep is needed more than
ever and we spend a lot of time in the dark which can make us feel
more sleepy.


 She added: "Getting your sleeping environment
right combined with improving our general sleep habits will
considerably improve your winter sleep." 


 She, has created a list of top tips to help us
ro look forward to climbing into bed at the end of a cold winters
day: 


 -Avoid oversleeping. The shorter and darker
days can make you feel as though you need more sleep, but this
doesn't necessarily mean we do.  On the winter weekends it can
be tempting to lie in but don't over indulge, as it will affect
your regular sleep pattern. 


 -Stay active to combat winter fatigue,
exercising later in the afternoon can help to fight early night
tiredness and improve your sleep.


-Use a hot water bottle if your feet get cold as it
can be harder to get to sleep if hands and feet are cold.


-Keep the room ventilated as this assists the air
flow. If the room is too hot it can be harder to get to sleep. Try
leaving doors open between the different rooms so that air can
circulate freely.  


-Avoid overheating at night by wearing loose cotton
clothing which is breathable, keeping you cooler under your winter
duvet. 


-To avoid keeping the windows open during the night,
open them during the day instead to aerate the room. 


-Layer up on bedding when going to sleep as it is
easier to discard layers during the night than hunt for an extra
blanket in the dark. 


For more sleep tips from our sleep expert, Dr Nerina
visit our Sleep Toolkit here.