sleep in winter

Why do you need more quality sleep during the winter?

“Lazy” winter mornings, when we find it challenging to get out of bed, maybe not be lazy after all. It’s not just the cold your body is adjusting to!

While humans don’t hibernate, recent studies indicate that we might require increased quality sleep during colder months. Analysis of people undergoing sleep studies found that people get more REM (rapid eye movement) sleep in the winter. That adds up to an additional 1.75 to 2.5 hours of sleep per night during winter. But, why does that happen?

How winter impacts our melatonin rhythm

Melatonin rhythm refers to the natural, daily fluctuation of melatonin levels in the body, which follows a circadian pattern i.e. our internal biological clock. Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland in the brain and plays a vital role in regulating our sleep-wake cycles.

The production of melatonin is influenced by the amount of light and darkness we are exposed to. Typically, melatonin levels start to rise in the evening as darkness sets in, signaling the body to prepare for sleep. The hormone remains elevated throughout the night, promoting deep and restful sleep. As morning approaches and light increases, melatonin levels decrease, helping us wake up and feel alert.

Disruptions to the melatonin rhythm can occur due to various factors, such as jet lag, shift work, irregular sleep schedules, exposure to artificial light at night or seasonal changes like winter. These disruptions can lead to sleep disturbances and impact overall sleep quality.

So, even though we may get more sleep in winter, it may not be the best quality sleep.

Why are you still so tired in winter: sleep quantity vs sleep quality

When people think of healthy sleep, they often think of getting a certain amount of sleep every night. This is referred to as sleep quantity. While sleep quantity is definitely important, it is not the only factor in getting a good night’s sleep.

Just as important, or perhaps even more important, is sleep quality. This means regularly getting healthy, consistent sleep that allows your body to go through all of the restorative processes that are necessary to maintain overall health. 

Feeling persistently tired in winter is a common experience for many. By understanding the factors contributing to winter fatigue and implementing targeted strategies, you can combat the energy drain and reclaim your vitality. Prioritise light exposure, maintain healthy sleep and dietary habits, stay hydrated, and seek support when needed. There are ways to overcome winter fatigue and embrace the season with renewed energy!

GABA supplements may also help improve the quality and quality of sleep. One such supplement is Heathershaw’s Sleep Formula which is available as over-the-counter sleep aids and is formulated to help regulate sleep-wake cycles, especially for individuals with sleep disorders like insomnia. Our formula is also non-habit-forming. 

Heathershaw’s range of supplements is custom-made by our team of compounding pharmacists and technicians, to address the specific health challenges of each individual patient.

If you would like to know more about them, have a chat with our pharmacists – Jenny, Gavin, Michelle, Amy, Maria and Jill. They can also answer practical questions including dosages of sleep supplements and the safety of combining them with other medications or supplements.

Opinions or facts expressed within the content have been sourced from various news sources. While every effort has been taken to source them accurately, the pharmacy, its owners, staff or other affiliates do not take any responsibility for errors in these sources. Patients should not rely on the facts or opinions in the content to manage their own health, and should seek the advice of an appropriate medical professional. Further, the opinions or facts in the content do not reflect the opinions and beliefs of the pharmacy, its owners, staff or other affiliates. 

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