October 14, 2019

Autumn is here and the beautiful foliage is officially starting, which gives us more of a reason to stay inside cuddled up in a warm blanket with some hot apple cider. The change in season not only can affect our mood, but also our sleeping habits. Read more on what you can do to help get a good night’s rest this fall…

 

Longer nights, shorter days

With autumn, comes gloomier weather patterns and longer nights. It begins to get darker earlier as the cooler temperatures set in. Not only does this lower your level of vitamin D, which can leave you feeling fatigued, but it can alter your circadian rhythm, which regulates feelings of wakefulness and sleepiness. Make sure to get plenty of sunshine throughout the morning and day to help with these effects.

 

Fall Back

Every autumn, daylight savings time begins, which for many is great because we gain an hour of sleep. Take this opportunity to catch up on lost sleep but try to retain the same schedule.

 

Feel the warmth

Colder weather means warmer homes. With the crisp chill in the air, nothing is cozier than a lit fireplace and a nice down comforter. When the weather changes, so does our bedding so you tend to find yourself all wrapped up in a blanket of warmth. However, when it is extra toasty, you tend to become more tired.

Truth is, it’s actually best to keep your bedroom cool because letting the thermostat go above 75 degrees may negatively impact your sleep. At night, your internal temperature drops slightly and when it’s too hot, your body will struggle to bring its temperature back down, which can cause you to wake up.

 

Move around

When it’s colder out, generally you stay inside more frequently and move around much less. Due to an increase in inactivity, the body becomes more tired due to less oxygen and blood flow. To keep your energy high, stay active and take a hike or do some yoga.

 

Be happy

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that sets in during fall or winter time due to the loss of daylight. A decrease in light exposure causes an increase in melatonin production, which results in a feeling of sluggishness or being tired. Exercising regularly will aid in keeping your body and mind happy and healthy.

 

What can I do?

  1. Keep your sleep and wake times the same, despite daylight savings time. Being consistent with your sleep schedule can help regulate your circadian rhythm, making it easier to fall asleep at night and wake up the next morning
  2. Spend at least 30 minutes outside during the day as this will promote wakefulness during the day
  3. One hour prior to bed, dim the lights and avoid the use of screens (television, tablets, or cell phones). Limiting your exposure to light will signal to your body that you are getting ready to sleep and will start to produce more melatonin

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