Photo Credit: @kylefinndempsey
Finally, it feels like fall. The leaves are turning, the air is getting cool and crisp, and the days are beginning to get shorter. It's time to get out your favourite sweaters and enjoy pumpkin-spiced everything.
This weekend, with the aide of Thanksgiving dinner, of course, most of us will sleep very well. But, then what? As some of you may already have discovered, our summer sleep habits just aren't working with the change of the season. Are you beginning to feel tired midday? Having trouble getting out of bed in the morning even though it's your usual wake-up time? It's time to make some seasonal updates to your sleep habits to combat these issues.
1. Don't oversleep.
Just because it's dark earlier, doesn't mean bedtime is earlier too... even though sometimes at about 6:30 PM, it can reeeally feel like it. Try to sleep your regular amount of hours--oversleeping, by some cruel trick, can make you feel overtired and lethargic. And, definitely try to stay away from long naps, especially in the evening as you will likely have a tough time falling asleep at night subsequently.
2. Be consistent with your bedtime.
Going to bed at the same time every night helps to regulate your circadian rhythm, making it easier for you to fall asleep and wake up. Eventually, if you are able to maintain that same bedtime every night, you won't have to try so hard to fall asleep because your body will recognize that it's bedtime, and help you to fall asleep more easily. That said, if at all possible, try and let your body fall into this routine naturally. Avoid self-correcting with afternoon coffee if you begin to feel tired during the day or alcohol if you are having trouble sleep at night. It may take about a week to adjust to bedtime/wake-up schedule, but your body will eventually fall into this natural rhythm and the benefits are definitely worthwhile.
3. Feeling tired? Go outside.
Light, especially natural light, has a major effect on how we sleep because it impacts your secretion of melatonin. Melatonin helps to regulate your circadian rhythm. Natural light and fresh air promote wakefulness during the day. Too much darkness messes with our melatonin levels, confusing your body into feeling sleepy in the day and restless at night. The best way to combat mid-day tiredness is simply to go for a walk outside. Don't let a cloudy or overcast day stop you--even the smallest amount of natural light that may be peeking through the clouds has been proven to not only help wake you up but also lift your mood to help avoid Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Ohhh, October and November: a perfect little two-month break in between patio season and holiday festivities. Our advice is to take advantage of this little two month hiatus (with the exception of Thanksgiving and Hallowe'en, of course) and do a little detox. Enjoy the harvest season by being good to your body of the harvest season and be good to your body with healthy food, minimal alcohol and great sleep hygiene. Allow your body some recovery time to rest and recharge so you are better prepared for the chaos of the holidays. You will likely find that you have more energy, you get sick less and you feel more prepared both mentally and physically.
5. Cuddle up.
Cooler nights during this time of year mean you can leave the windows open just a little bit when you sleep. What a treat! The sweaty nights of summer have passed and the winters chill has not yet arrived. These short months are perfect for sleep. With the allergens, all gone, fresh, cool air blowing through the window at night is such a luxury. With the help of your favourite cosy blanket, it keeps you nice and cool but never cold. Cuddling up in bed feels wonderful and helps to bring happy sleep.
6. Take time to settle in.
Those weeknights spent out of the house past 10 or 11 PM become much fewer and farther between as the season goes on--contrasting late summer nights spent outside. We become much more likely to spend some extra time winding down for bed without even realizing it. Take advantage of this tendency. This earlier settling down period allows you to get in your screen time, hang out with your loved ones, and read a book all in the same evening--rather than having to pick just one after rushing home much later in the at night. We suggest getting in your screen time early in the evening, then cuddling up in bed with a book and maybe even some herbal tea. The idea is to limit your blue-light exposure when you're settling down for bed. Although TV shows are a favourite way to relax, the blue-light from the screen really does affect your sleep. If you can plan to turn off the TV an hour before bed, you will have a much easier time falling asleep. Fall makes this so much easier for us as we spend much more time at home a night. This season, you don't have to choose between missing your show and healthy sleep. You have time for both.
Sleepenvie is a Canadian online mattress-in-a-box and bedroom lifestyle brand that focuses on customization, convenience, and charitable contribution.
We make the mattress-buying process easy by delivering it directly to your door in one easy-to-handle compact box. We strongly believe in customizability, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach. An easy one-minute quiz matches you to the ideal mattress for your lifestyle and sleep habits.