Baby, it’s cold outside. Like, really cold. Brrrrrrr’eezing. Teeth are chattering, limbs shivering, bones aching, and being in bed seems to be offering no respite. Frostbite, perhaps, but no rest or respite, and that needs to change. Indeed, when it’s so cold out that you need triple layers on under your duvet, it can be really hard to get a good night’s sleep. But fear not, we’re here to offer some guidance. So, with the help of Neil Robinson, Chief Sleep Officer at Sealy UK, here’s 7 IDEAL tips for getting to sleep when it’s cold outside.
TAKE A BATH
Not just relaxing and warming, having a bath before bed can actually help promote sleep and induce tiredness. This is because the drop in body temperature immediately after you’ve got out of the bath mimics the body’s natural decrease in temperature as it prepares itself for sleep, bring about feelings of sleepiness. A great excuse to run yourself a hot bath on those cold winter’s nights, then.
DON’T OVERHEAT YOUR ROOM
Although it can be tempting to turn the heating up to full to keep your room cosy, having your bedroom too warm throughout the night can impact on the quality of your sleep, big time. The optimum temperature during the night to ensure good quality sleep is 16-18°C, so it’s important to remember to turn down the heating with enough time to allow your room to cool down. Try switching off your heating 1-2 hours before you want to go to bed for best results.
CONSIDER YOUR DINNER
Cold, wintery weather makes the thought of comfort food extra-tempting. However, try to resist, as these foods, in all their carb-heavy goodness, can impact on the quality of your sleep, as your body works through the night to digest the food. For a better night’s sleep, try a lighter and more nutritious meal and reap the benefits of the extra vitamins on your health and wellbeing.
GET THE RIGHT DUVET
It’s important not to underestimate your tog rating when it comes to duvets, and it’s vital to ensure you have a different duvet for both winter and summer as what works in one climate won’t work in the other. The correct duvet will keep you at just the right temperature so you’ll enjoy deep sleep every night, even if it’s cold outside. We’d recommend opting for a 13.5 – 15 tog duvet for the winter months – you could even try an electric blanket if you want to be extra toasty.
SIP ON SOMETHING WARM
Within an hour of heading to bed, heat yourself up from the inside-out with a nice warm drink. Of course, stay away from the tea and coffee – caffeine is counter-productive, making it harder to sleep and causing you to wake up needing the toilet in the night due to its diuretic effects. Go for herbal tea, such as chamomile, instead. This contains an antioxidant called apigenin – known to bind to specific receptors in your brain which may help to decrease anxiety and induce sleep.
SHARE BODY HEAT
Two bodies equal twice the body heat so if you have a partner, use the winter months as an excuse to snuggle up by pooling your body temperature and sleeping close to each other. You could even allow your pet to stay in your room for a little extra warmth in the winter months too.
AND IF YOU’RE STRUGGLING IN THE MORNING TO GET UP…
A combination of darker mornings and colder temperatures can make getting up in winter extra difficult. If you’re struggling, try investing in an illuminating alarm clock which wakes you up gradually, hopefully making getting up and out of bed a little less painful. Setting your central heating to come on half an hour before you’re due up can also help, ensuring that you’re getting up in a warm environment.