9 Fall Sleep Tips for a Deeper Sleep as the Seasons Change
Did you know that most adults should be getting 7 hours of sleep each night? If you've been struggling to reach the recommended daily amount, the problem may be linked to seasonal changes during the fall. Fortunately, with better awareness and a few tips in mind, you can find a better night of sleep in the future.
Read on to learn about 9 tips to help make your fall sleep experience better!
1. Keep the Thermostat Lower
Even though your first instinct might be to turn up the temperature as the nights get cooler, resist the temptation. You'll sleep better if you keep the thermostat around 65, or even lower.
Sleeping in the fall means you can open the windows and take advantage of a natural cool breeze, too. Use layers of sheets, quilts, and cozy comforters so you can get the perfect level of comfort throughout the night.
2. Prepare Your Body for Sleep
If you go straight from watching a movie in an illuminated space to your bed, the transition will be hard. Staring at screens or washing dishes in a bright kitchen can thwart your ability to sleep well.
Instead, take steps to dim the lighting in your home. And start doing this at least an hour before bed. You'll help your body know it's time to start producing melatonin and prepare for sleep!
3. Plan for the End of Daylight Saving Time
When the clocks fall back, you may struggle to get the same consistent sleep you need at night. The best way to fight back is to stick to a regular sleep schedule.
Don't push back your bedtime or extend your morning sleep time. You'll continue to feel more tired in the mornings — and that sense of lethargy may haunt you throughout the day. Even on the weekends, try to stick to the same sleep schedule you use during the week.
4. Watch for Seasonal Affective Disorder
Wondering how seasons impact sleep? Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) can become a serious issue for people as the skies cloud over during the fall months.
If you notice your mood sinking and your sleep quality deteriorating, the seasonal change may be to blame. Natural supplements or exposure to therapy lights can help lift your mood.
5. Drink Enough Water
You might be surprised to learn that you'll feel more dehydrated during the fall months. While sweltering July days make reaching for water an involuntary response, the same isn't true when the weather changes. You're probably not drinking as much water because it's cooler.
Being dehydrated means you might not have as much melatonin, which regulates sleep. And that means you might struggle to stay asleep. Carry a water bottle with you throughout the day and aim to drink at least 8 cups of water throughout the day.
6. Do Regular Morning Activities
Sometimes pulling yourself out of bed can seem impossible. And if the sky is dark in the mornings or you didn't sleep soundly, the problem won't feel any easier to solve. Setting up a daily morning activity can provide a helpful step.
For instance, go on a brisk 20-minute walk right after you wake up. This will get your heart pumping and help your body understand that it's time to wake up and be alert. Find a friend or family member to join you so you have some accountability and enjoy the experience more.
Even if you're not in the mood for physical activity, commit to another morning ritual. Try meditating, reading a chapter of a book, or doing some light stretching as you watch the sunrise.
7. Ditch the Alcoholic Nightcap
The thought of a sip of bourbon before bed might sound like the ideal way to promote a restful night of sleep. But if you're wondering how to sleep better, choose a non-alcoholic alternative.
That's because alcohol can disrupt your Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep cycle, causing you not to sleep as deeply. Alcohol also can lead to insomnia and make sleep apnea more problematic. Instead, reach for a cup of decaffeinated tea or warm milk.
8. Stop Snacking at Night
Just like a nightcap, a pre-bedtime snack might beckon you before bed. Resist the urge to microwave a slice of pizza or eat a massive meal before bed. Instead, if you need a food fix, some smaller choices can help promote sleep.
Small snacks that aren't too protein-heavy may actually help you feel better. For instance, a few crackers or a bowl of cereal with milk would be good choices. Just be aware that eating too many small snacks could lead to weight gain.
9. Create Cleaner Air
As the seasons change, it's also a good time to change out the filter on your HVAC system and get your furnace checked. Dirty filters can contribute to increased dust and allergens in the air. Especially if you deal with allergy issues, you might have more trouble sleeping during the fall months.
Additionally, you should clean your air vents. And another good way to help create cleaner air is by introducing plants to your bedroom. They'll release more oxygen, helping you breathe easily and sleep better!
Find Fall Sleep Help
If your fall sleep schedule feels like a struggle, know that committing to a bedtime routine and keeping your thermostat lower can help. You also can choose lighter snacks, drink more water, and avoid alcohol to promote better sleep. Finally, add a few plants and some better bedding to your room to make sleeping during crisp fall nights easier.
When you're ready for a better night of sleep, contact us so we can help!