With the arrival of cooler days and fewer hours of sunlight, making a few changes to your sleeping habits and activities is necessary to help you sleep better.
As the days get shorter and temperatures drop, you may feel more tired than usual. Seasonal changes can affect your sleep patterns and make your sleep less restful.
Transition to longer nights and shorter days
Light helps regulate the circadian rhythm, which is your body's internal biological clock. Light exposure is important in telling your body when to be awake and when to be asleep. When darkness sets in, it tells your body to increase its production of melatonin, a hormone that makes you feel sleepy. In the morning, light prevents the production of melatonin, which helps you feel awake and energized.
As fall arrives, it gets darker earlier, and the nights are longer. With fewer hours of sunlight, it's harder for your body to tell day from night. These changes in light exposure alter the natural signals your body receives to produce melatonin, which can affect your overall sleep and make you feel more tired during the day.
Adapting your sleep routine to the change in season to keep you well-rested
Get more sun exposure. Sunlight can positively impact your sleep-wake cycle, especially when you are exposed to it in the morning. Sunlight helps inhibit melatonin production, making you feel more awake and alert. It also causes higher levels of serotonin in the brain. Known as the "happy hormone." Make the most of the morning sun and open the blinds in your room as soon as you wake up to let the light in. It can also be helpful to get some fresh air early in the day.
Establish a bedtime routine. When the season changes, it's a good time to set up a bedtime routine, which involves doing the same activities each night before falling asleep. This helps your brain and body recognize that it's time to sleep. Examples include taking a warm bath or shower, doing gentle yoga stretches or reading a chapter of a good book. Try as much as possible to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, even on weekends.
Keep a cool room. While it's tempting to crawl under a warm comforter or blanket, being too warm at night can keep your body from sleeping well.
Get some exercise. Finding the motivation to exercise when the weather changes can be hard. However, physical activity can help you sleep better and boost your energy levels if you're experiencing fatigue due to the change in season.