Why is it important to adjust your sleeping habits according to the seasons?
Though there are many ways that we can help ourselves to have a great nights sleep, including finding a good quality bed and mattress, there are several factors, which are out of our control. One factor is the outside environment. Changes to temperature, air pressure, humidity and sun-light can all affect the way we sleep and feel, therefore it is important that we take note of these changes and try to adjust accordingly.
Temperature plays a big role in sleep quality. In general, as your body gets tired and prepares for sleep, your internal body temperature lowers until just before it’s time for you to wake up. Therefore if the temperature of your room is too cold as well, especially in winter months, you may find it hard to drop of to sleep and/or wake up in the morning.
Try setting your central heating to come on a little for just before you go to bed and then to come back on an hour before you wake up to compensate this. Also try a warm bath before bedtime to bring that temperature back up to an optimum level. In colder months, where indoor heating is on often, a humidifier on low could also be a helpful addition to your bedroom since dry warm air can often effect your sinuses and make you more susceptible to germs and bugs.
In Summer months, when temperatures rise, tactics for better sleep need a different approach. Research says that cooler ambient air supports the body’s natural deep sleep process, therefore if it’s safe to do so, try sleeping with your window slightly ajar to let in that natural air.
Consider a coil-based mattress. Foam mattress are generally less breathable than a mattress constructed with coils. Hot sleepers in particular should avoid solid foam mattresses and opt for a coil-sprung mattress instead.
Natural latex foam is more breathable than synthetic foam. If your preference is for foam, then opt for a natural latex foam mattress, which has an open-cell structure, making it more breathable and keeping you cooler.
Also if you sleep with a duvet, consider investing in a lower tog duvet for the summer season, which is lighter and cooler. The type and quality of your mattress and bedding can also significantly affect the way you sleep, and is often the biggest culprit when it comes to over-heating during the night. Here is some simple advice about choosing the perfect sleep accessories to get you through the summer with minimum disruption to your sleep:
Choose natural fibres Synthetic sheets and pillow cases may be cheaper, but they also trap moisture, harbour dust mites and can lead to overheating. Try natural fibre bedding such as 100% cotton or linen for a cooler experience.
Use a slatted bed base Putting your mattress on a slatted, open surface keeps the air flowing and the mattress drier than on a solid, closed base.
Firmer is cooler. The more squidgy and soft your mattress is, the more you will sink into the mattress surface, creating warmth. A firmer mattress decreases surface contact, and therefore keeps you cooler for longer.
Adverse weather conditions
Gentle rainfall provides a calming, white noise effect at night, but heavier rain and storms can wake you up or make it harder to fall asleep at night. Thunderstorms and bad weather can also create anxiety and ‘stress’ during sleep, which can alter your dream-flow, making dreams more vivid, and often more frantic.
In some cases you can wake up feeling exhausted as a result of a rather ‘busy’ dream! Relaxation techniques before bed, scented aromatherapy oils and soft eye masks can all help in creating a more peaceful environment to counter-act against the adverse weather.
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