It is not a surprise to most of us that the weather affects our sleep. If you find yourself feeling a bit sluggish in the winter, you are not alone. It is colder in the winter for most of us, and our body seems to move more slowly. But the biggest reason we tend to feel groggy is simple for any of us to see.
What is it? There is less light in the winter, and our body responds to this shorter length of the day by slowing down. Our internal clock is driven by the length of the day and the amount of light we see in the day. Additionally, the light is less intense in the winter, which sends a signal to your body’s Circadian rhythm to slow down. Less light tells your body, “Time for bed!” and so in the winter, you may feel the urge to wind down a little earlier than in the summer. Both less light and less intensity are ways that weather affects sleep.
None of this is astonishing, of course – but what to DO about this slowdown? How can we get our energy back?
Getting outside in the morning or the middle of the day can send a strong signal to your body to get moving.
If the problem is less light, the solution is – you guessed it – more light. In particular, getting outside in the morning or the middle of the day can send a strong signal to your body to get moving! Going for a walk outdoors can be a huge help in maintaining or increasing your energy level. Can’t get outdoors? That happens to many of us in northern climates, particularly when inclement weather arrives. A lightbox can be a helpful solution – look for one with at least 10,000 lux for the best effect.
We have posted a couple of links below if you would like more info. Watch our social media, especially Instagram, for more sleep tips!
Do you need more sleep when it is cold?
Winter Weather, Your Mood, and Sleep