Changing Seasons and Sleep: How Weather Influences Your Sleep Year-Round
Have you noticed that when the weather changes, your sleep gets affected too? It turns out you are not alone. Ninety percent of people see that their energy levels are affected by the weather's influence on sleep. What this shows is that the quality of your sleep can change depending on the season --- besides any moods and allergies.
Ever wondered how seasons affect sleep? What can you do to make sure you have great sleep no matter what the weather is outside?
If you want to figure out how the changing seasons affect sleep, read on to find out.
Weather's Influence on Sleep in Winter
Dry air, cold temperatures, and significantly reduced sunlight can all play significant roles in how well you sleep in winter. As the days get shorter and there are fewer amounts of sunlight, your vitamin D can decrease. This, plus the delayed release of melatonin, affects your ability to go to sleep sooner and wake up easily in the morning.
One benefit in winter, however, is that the colder air outside can help you sleep. This is because it helps support the natural deep sleep process that our body goes through each night.
Seasonal Affective Disorder
Because of the reduced hours of sunlight in a day, those who suffer from seasonal affective disorder can have an especially hard time.
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a form of depression that is most likely to occur when you live in an area where there is less sunlight during the same times each year. This is a condition where you should seek treatment and ask them about white light therapy. You should also consider buying a weighted comforter or blanket since it has been proven to help reduce anxiety and insomnia while falling asleep.
If you need other tips to sleep well when it's still cold outside, we wrote an article with additional tips on how to sleep better during winter.
Weather's Influence on Sleep in Summer
The winter blues are over and longer days filled with sunlight are here. But because that cold wind is gone, the hot, humid air will start to affect your ability to fall asleep easily. Not only does it feel uncomfortable, it messes with the ability to fall into a deep sleep and release hormones that you need in that sleep stage.
To combat this problem, put on a fan, not an A/C. This is because a fan can both help produce white noise (that is great to listen to while falling asleep) and circulate the cool air easier. You can also use lightweight, natural fiber bedding in your bedroom and wear light pajamas so that air can circulate well even in the heat.
During the spring and summer, the days are getting longer, and there is more motivation to spend more of the day outside. However, with that can come allergies that can affect the way you sleep.
Seasonal allergens, such as pollen, tend to come from grasses, trees, and weeds outside and can cause conditions like hay fever. When there are days with a high pollen count, you should keep from going outside very often, especially during the morning. You can check how high the pollen count for your area through weather apps or the local weather channel.
On the other hand, the antihistamines that help you deal with those allergies can also affect you. Although they help with being drowsy at first, they can impact your overall sleep quality for the worst.
Let Storms Pass You By
The rain falling outside your window can be very soothing to fall asleep to because of the white noise that it provides. Yet that can all change once there are thunder and lightning.
You're not alone on that front, as many people become anxious as soon as the flashes of light and booming noises start happening. When you feel anxious from storms, it can make it hard to relax enough to fall asleep. On top of that, there has been evidence showing that when there was lower atmospheric pressure associated with stormy weather, then an individual's sleep apnea symptoms increased.
To solve this, try using a white noise machine or app. You can also put on an eye mask and practice relaxation techniques like deep breathing or guided imagery before bed.
How to Maintain Your Sleep Schedule
Throughout this article, you've learned how seasons can affect sleep. Yet what can you do to make sure your sleep stays consistent even as the color of the leaves change. Here are some suggestions:
- Sleep for seven to nine hours per night, if possible
- Make sure you get even a little bit of sunlight each day --- the more, the merrier
- Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day
- Keep the temperature moderately humid but cool
- Keep your room dark during your bedtime routine
- Place breathable bedding
When you maintain this routine, your sleeping and weather will not affect your ability to stay in bed during the night.
Sleep Well Even in Changing Seasons
The changing seasons and weather outside can cause havoc on your sleeping schedule if you do not keep an eye on it. No matter which season it is, take care to pay attention to the weather where you live, the state of your bedding, and your overall health. Each of those can make a difference in how well you sleep throughout the year.
Have you started the new year and want to find some better bedding, mattresses, or pillows? See how other customers have found better sleep all year long with our bedding supply.