AUTUMN SLEEP TIPS
AUTUMN SLEEP TIPS
As Autumn draws closer, we see the end of long, light nights and hot, stuffy bedrooms. But although one set of sleep challenges are on their way out, the change to cooler weather may be the start of a new set.
Here’s The Sleep Council’s advice to make sure Autumn doesn’t leave you fatigued and frustrated:
Shorter days can mean less exposure to sunlight. This means lower levels of vitamin D, increased feelings of fatigue and disruption of the sleep/ wake cycle. Make sure to get plenty of sun on your face by opening the curtains as soon as you wake up and going for a morning walk.
While the crisp, chilly air can make it tempting to light the fire and crank up the heating, it’s actually best to keep the bedroom between 16 and 18 degrees Celsius. This is because the body struggles to bring its temperature back down when you get too hot, causing sleep disruption. Or if it’s too cold, the body will eventually wake you up – demanding extra layers of warmth and insulation!
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that alters melatonin levels, which play a role in the sleep/wake cycle and cause daytime sleepiness and oversleeping. It is thought to affect one in 15 people between September and April in the UK each year. To re-establish a normal sleep schedule, exercise regularly, limit the use of gadgets before bed and keep bedtime/waking times consistent – even at weekends. Getting as much natural daylight as possible is also key, as it suppresses melatonin levels and boosts serotonin production!
While it’s easy to stick to salads and lighter foods during warm Summer months, try to avoid the temptation to ‘comfort eat’ heavier meals as the temperatures drop – particularly close to bedtime. Too much food, too close to bedtime could cause you to wake-up from heartburn and indigestion.
Also, decide whether your bed is still comfortable and supportive. If your bed is seven years old or more, then a new one could definitely be on the cards.
For more information, visit www.sleepcouncil.org.uk