Winter is dangerous not only with frequent colds and a decrease in immunity. During this period, many people begin to have problems sleeping, and there are quite a few reasons for this.
Violation of biological rhythms and sleep hygiene
Many people complain that in winter it is more difficult for them to fall asleep, sleep becomes disturbing, superficial. And even a full 7–8 hours of sleep at night does not give a feeling of good rest.
It’s no secret that daylight hours are shorter in winter. We spend a lot of time under artificial lighting. All this leads to a violation of biological rhythms. As a result, the production of the sleep hormone melatonin decreases. This is often the cause of insomnia.
In addition, the problem of stuffiness in the room is often common in winter. Double-glazed windows practically do not let in fresh air; in frosty weather, the rooms are ventilated less often. Due to centralized heating, the air in the rooms becomes dry. All this is not conducive to healthy sound sleep.
Sedentary lifestyle and dietary changes
Cold weather and short daylight hours do not predispose to long walks in the fresh air. In winter, our lifestyle changes, it becomes less active than in summer. Physically, a person gets tired less, so it may be difficult to fall asleep.
Nutrition is also of great importance. In the cold season, our diet changes. In winter, there are fewer vegetables and fruits, so food becomes heavier. In addition, on long winter evenings, we are more often at home. The likelihood of late dinners and snacks increases, which leads to the launch of late digestion.
We must not forget about the winter holidays. During the New Year holidays, with their obligatory feasts, it is difficult to adhere to proper nutrition. And overeating has never contributed to healthy sound sleep.
Stress at work
For many people, December and January is the period when at work you need to prepare and submit basic reports, sum up the year. All this leads to the fact that people begin to experience almost constant stress.
Work becomes several times more, there is not enough time. You have to either stay late, or take work “at home”. If a person worked intensively during the day, in the evening it will be quite difficult for him to relax and fall asleep quickly. In addition, when working in the evenings, many cheer themselves up with coffee or tea. These drinks are known to be stimulating and can cause sleep disturbances.
Even if the work is not related to annual reports, anyway, before the New Year, many of us are trying to pay off old debts, finish unfinished business.
Reduced immunity in winter often leads to colds. Poor health, stuffy nose, temperature lead to the fact that sleep is disturbed. Even after recovery, it takes about 7–10 days for the body to fully recover.
If a person has reduced immunity, his general well-being may worsen even without SARS. Often in winter, people complain of weakness, general malaise, lethargy. All this can lead to the lack of a good night’s rest.
Wanting to support immunity, many take herbal immunostimulants in winter — tinctures of Eleutherococcus or Echinacea. Such drugs have a stimulating effect, their overdose can lead to insomnia. Therefore, they must be taken strictly according to the instructions.
In winter, not only adults, but also children get sick. Not every mother will be able to sleep peacefully, knowing that her baby has a temperature. Worrying about relatives also does not contribute to sound sleep.
What can be done
In order to solve the problem of poor sleep in the winter, you need to follow a few rules.
In winter, you need to walk as much as possible. A slight frost should not become a hindrance to outdoor activities. In addition, this is the only time of the year when there is an opportunity to ski and skate from the heart. For parents, this is a good opportunity to spend interesting and active time with their children. Sledding and snowman making will not only give a lot of positive emotions, but will also contribute to a good night’s sleep. In the case when there is still no opportunity to walk, it is recommended to do stretching exercises before going to bed in the evening.
Sleep hygiene needs to be taken care of. Before going to bed, the bedroom must be ventilated. Fresh air helps you fall asleep quickly. One of the reasons why sleep is disturbed is the dry air in the room. A special humidifier will help to cope with this problem. If it is not possible to purchase this device, you can hang a damp sheet on the battery at night.
You need to sleep in the dark. Gadgets accompany us throughout the day. And many people like to read a book from a tablet or phone before going to bed. In the radiation from smartphone screens, there is a lot of blue color with a wavelength of 450–480 nanometers, which significantly suppresses the production of the sleep hormone melatonin. The same applies to the flickering TV screen, under the quiet noise of which many people like to fall asleep. For a good sound sleep, complete silence and darkness are necessary.
You need to pay attention to your diet. Despite the absence of seasonal vegetables, they should still be included in the diet. No need to overload the body with heavy food. In addition, dairy products, nuts, bananas and dates should be included in the diet. These products contain the essential amino acid tryptophan, which is necessary for the synthesis of melatonin. Dinner should not be too late. Experts recommend sitting at the table no later than 2–3 hours before bedtime.
If possible, try to avoid stressful situations. Despite the hard work at the end of the year, you should try to distribute your time so that there is time for rest. If necessary, you can drink herbal sedatives. More serious drugs should be prescribed by a doctor.
It is necessary to strengthen the immune system in advance. In order to get sick less in winter and suffer from poor health, you need to think about the body’s defenses even in the summer. Proper nutrition and hardening procedures will help to avoid colds in the cold season.
Attentive attitude to your condition and a healthy lifestyle will help to avoid many problems associated with sleep disturbance in the winter.