The mornings are cold. The bird chirping, non-existent. And as for the sun, well, it’s conspicuous by its absence. This can mean only one thing – winter is upon us. With spring still months away, it’s no wonder we feel like pulling the blanket over our heads and grabbing a few more precious minutes of sleep. But worry not, because below you will find some tips to help prepare your bedroom for the winter and provide you with more refreshing, restorative sleep.
As Canadians, we’re not afraid of winter. Indeed, we embrace it! With winter come all the joys of the first snowfall, the excitement of the holidays, the feasts of celebration, and the hope of a new year.
The price we pay for these delights? Poorer sleep. If you feel like your usual 7 or 8 hours just aren’t as restful as they are during the summer, you’re certainly not alone. Fortunately, we have devised some strategies to battle that winter sleepiness and combat those factors which are disrupting your sleep. We’ll have you bouncing out of bed in no time.
Get Cozy, Fall Asleep Faster
Falling asleep quickly is the first step to better sleep. Many battle the initial chill of a cold bed by switching to cozy flannel-based sleepwear with a cotton-brushed surface which traps heat and acts as an insulator. Those seeking a more advanced option may wish to consider Mey’s sleepwear. This cutting-edge solution employs titanium-mineral fabric which claims to reflect far-infrared rays back into the body to achieve an improved energy balance.
Simple but effective, the hot water bottle is a time-tested method for fending off the cold. Simply place a bottle under your blanket 5-10 minutes before you plan on sleeping. Be warned though, that leaks can cause burns to the skin, so older adults and those with sensitive skin should be careful. Safer, but more expensive alternatives include heated mattress pads, electric blankets and heavier winter duvets. if you’re looking to benefit from both convection and electric heat simultaneously, water-based heating pads from Chili or NEAT come highly recommended.
Modify Your Bedtime Routine, Relieve Stress
Once asleep, you’ll want to stay asleep. As you may know though, sleep is as much a mental process as it is a physiological one, and stress can be a great inhibitor. One of the best ways to relieve stress is through physical exercise. Unfortunately, during the winter months, it can become more difficult to get outside and engage in physical activity. To combat this, you can reduce anxiety through more holistic methods, by simply placing a few drops of soothing lavender essential oil in your hot water bottle or on your pillow. Taking this a step further, you can now purchase mattresses and pillows which are already infused with lavender oils. Finally, for ultimate relaxation, try the deep-touch pressure therapy of a weighted blanket – the reassuring, cocooned feeling will have you dropping off in no time.
Not all sleep solutions need break the bank. You may wish to consider using the change in seasons as an opportunity to adjust your bedtime routine and minimize the use of digital devices immediately before you sleep. Those who just can’t separate themselves from their devices may want to try turning on airplane mode or using a meditation app such as Calm and Headspace. This can help still your mind in preparation for sleep.
Elevate Your Neck, Breathe Easier, Relieve Congestion
While the vaccines have helped protect us against COVID-19, winter brings us new variants of the cold and flu virus. With that comes nasal congestion and difficulty breathing, both of which can disrupt deep sleep. Having the right pillow is crucial to supporting your neck and keeping your air ways open. Recent innovations in 3D foam cutting and technical fabrics now provide far superior options to the traditional contour pillow. We recommend looking for “cervical”, “anatomical” or “shoulder-cut” pillows as these will support your neck regardless of whether you’re a side sleeper, back sleeper or both.
At the more expensive end of the market are adjustable beds with a built-in pillow-tilt feature, which allows you to make minute adjustments to the angle at which your head and back lay. Refining the angle can help relieve congestion and even reduce snoring.
Stay Temperature Neutral, Prevent Over-Heating
While we may feel cold getting into bed, it’ can be very easy to become uncomfortably warm as the night progresses. The extra layers you wear or add to the bedding typically trap your body heat, causing you to sweat, disrupting both your circadian rhythm and sleep cycle.
You can prevent over-heating by switching to a more breathable down duvet, or a woolen duvet that regulates temperature naturally and wicks away moisture. Likewise, you can minimize the amount of body heat that is absorbed into the mattress by adding a cool, breathable topper to the surface. Toppers infused with copper, graphite or gel absorb heat more slowly and keep the surface temperature neutral.
Stimulate the Senses, Wake-up Refreshed
As winter encroaches and our clocks move back, we tend to wake up to darkness. Combat this by replicating the refreshing effects of a bright summer morning with a sunrise alarm clock. These smart lamps gradually brighten in sync with your alarm. Some can also stimulate your ears with the sound of cheerful chirping birds. I’m sure you’ll agree this is far more relaxing than the customary alarm siren. Alternatively, you can bypass the additional hardware by creating your own dawn via a wake up app (easily downloaded onto your tablet or smart speaker).
Boost Your Wellness
Sleep is our body’s time to perform the internal repairs and maintenance it needs. During sleep, your brain stores new information, your nerve cells reorganize themselves, and your body repairs damaged cells and blood vessels. This nighttime healing process is one of the reasons ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke.
But sleep isn’t just good for your body, it’s also critical for your mental and emotional well-being. Sleep deprivation has been linked to mood changes, the inability to cope with even minor stress, anxiety, and depression.
Now you understand the importance of beating the winter blues, you can use the simple strategies above to transform your bedtime and wake up environment. You’ll feel better rested, physically stronger and mentally more prepared to embrace the winter!
To prepare your bedroom for winter and learn more about sleep quality, contact the friendly sleep experts at Ultramatic. Visit our showrooms in Toronto / Mississauga / Oakville, browse www.Ultramatic.ca, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 1-866-413-4169 for a free consultation.