Free U.S. Shipping For Orders $150+
Winter is not as brutal on sleep quality as summer is. It’s generally easier to deal with cold temperatures at night compared to fighting off the stifling summer heat. But sleep can still be difficult during winter.
A combination of plummeting temperatures, winter blues and shorter days can cause insomnia and other sleep problems.
So here are 8 tips to sleep comfortably during winter. But first, a quick look at some of the sleep problems that winter brings with it.
Which Are The Most Common Sleep Problems In Winter?
- Insomnia that’s caused or worsened by various factors such as shorter days, winter blues and cold temperatures.
- Sleeping cold.
- Low humidity. In most places, winters tend to be cold and dry. Low humidity can be just as bad for your health and sleep as too much humidity.
- Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which affects your mood as well as sleep quality.
- Disruption to circadian rhythm because of the shorter days, lack of outdoor time and reduced exercise.
Tips for Good Sleep During Winter
1. Use Winter/All-season Bedding
If you live in a place that gets mild winters or you don't get too cold at night, switching your bedding to warmer winter or all-season bedding might be enough to keep you warm.
We prefer all-season bedding like our Jax Comforter because you can use it all year long. No need to keep changing your bedding with the seasons. But if your bed gets quite chilly in the winter, winter-specific bedding is usually thicker and warmer.
But be careful not to get anything that makes you too hot like polyester sheets or a synthetic comforter. It can make it harder to sleep and cause uncomfortable sweating. Natural materials like wool, cotton, silk and linen can keep you comfortably warm while still keeping the bed breathable.
2. Get Warmer Nightwear
For most people, combining warmer bedding with warmer nightwear is enough to keep away the winter chill.
There is plenty of winter sleepwear available online and in stores from fully pajamas to fluffy socks. As with bedding, be careful not to get too toasty as it can make sleep more difficult.
3. Heat The Bed
If you get really cold during winter or you don't like sleeping under heavy bedding, another option is to heat the bed. There are a couple of ways to do this.
The cheaper option is to get an electric blanket or mattress pad. These have tiny wires embedded in them that heat up and keep you warm. You can adjust the heat level to your preference.
The second option is a water or air heated mattress pad like BedJet or SleepMe. These are more expensive, but they don't have any wires embedded inside (EMF-free and no risk of electric shock). You can also set a precise temperature to warm your bed to. By the way, they can also cool your bed so you are sorted for the summer.
The downside of heating the bed is that it uses electricity, so your bills might go up but only by a bit. Electric blankets and water/air heated mattress pads don’t use much electricity.
4. Heat The Bedroom
An even more expensive and less-efficient option is to heat the entire bedroom. You can use a space heater, a window unit or portable AC with a heat pump or simply turn up your thermostat.
Expect your bills to go up significantly if you have to heat your bedroom every night. A heat pump is the most efficient way to keep your bedroom warm, with space heaters and central AC being the most expensive options.
If you can, heating just your bed is a lot cheaper and much more effective compared to heating the entire bedroom. A bed heating system like BedJet may be pricey upfront but it saves you money in the long run.
5. Spend Time Outside
Days get shorter in the winter. That, combined with the snow and cold temperatures, means that many people get less exposure to sunlight. This can affect your circadian rhythm and melatonin production, which in turn makes it harder to fall asleep at night.
Even if it is cold, try to spend an hour or two outside each day even if it is the porch or balcony. Sunlight exposure is especially helpful in the morning. It makes you more alert and helps align your circadian rhythm to adapt to the shorter days.
Spending time outside will make it easier to fall asleep at bedtime and you will enjoy deeper sleep. Outdoor time also has another huge benefit — it reduces symptoms of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) or what we call winter blues.
Spending too much time indoors can worsen your emotional status, which can in turn lead to insomnia. So get out there; it will help you lighten up.
6. Stay Active
As we spend more time indoors all bundled up, most of us also get a lot less active during winter. Less exercise often equals poorer sleep.
Even if you are not able to go outside for a jog, try to do some workouts inside the house. Half an hour on the treadmill or even some body exercises are enough to maintain your sleep quality.
Oh, exercise is also great medicine for winter blues.
7. Maintain A Consistent Sleep Routine
Most people sleep more during winter. Part of the reason for this is that humans probably need more sleep during the colder months. It’s actually important to adjust your bedtime to add about 30 minutes to your usual sleep time. Either go to bed earlier or sleep for longer.
Once you’ve adapted to the new sleep routine, keep it consistent. One of the biggest impediments to good sleep, whether it’s in winter, summer or any other season, is constantly sleeping late or sleeping in. Your circadian rhythm never settles and you find yourself always battling sleep deprivation.
No matter how tempted you are, don’t stay up late or sleep in. Go to bed and wake up around the same time everyday.
8. Consider a Humidifier
Winters are cold and dry. The dry air can irritate your respiratory system, causing nosebleeds and nasal congestion. It can also dry out your eyes and trigger acne and eczema flare ups.
This discomfort can make it harder to go to sleep or stay asleep, especially if you have existing respiratory or skin problems. The cold dry air can trigger asthma attacks, cause itchiness and worsen other health conditions.
Luckily, humidifiers are pretty affordable. You can get a cheap ultrasonic humidifier for your bedside. It will make it a lot easier to breathe and sleep. It will also keep your skin soft and well hydrated. Just make sure you clean it often to prevent mold and other bad stuff from growing inside the humidifier.
To summarize our winter sleep guide, make your bed or bedroom warmer, get some outdoor time, get moving even if it’s inside the house, maintain a consistent sleep routine and get a humidifier.
On top of this, do all the other stuff that’s important for quality sleep like no caffeine close to bedtime, not eating a large meal just before bed, avoid napping too long during the day and doing relaxing bedtime activities like meditation or a warm bath to help you fall asleep faster.
It’s normal to experience some sleep difficulties as winter sets in. Your body and circadian rhythm is still adapting to changes in temperature and daylight. But as long as you stick to the advice above, you will find yourself sleeping better in no time.