What causes sleep disturbance in winter and how can it be dealt with?

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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

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

reduced immunity

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.

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mountains, winter, landscape

    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.

By Yraa

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