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Last updated on October 26th, 2022 at 02:59 pm

Have you ever wondered why you have trouble sleeping during certain parts of the year? Whether or not you look forward to the changing seasons, one undeniable consequence of the shifting weather is its effects on your night’s sleep.

The changing light, temperature, and other factors can create changes in your body, leading to sleep disruptions. Here is how changing seasons can affect your sleep patterns.

Sleep in the Fall

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In the fall, the leaves turn color, the temperature becomes cooler, and the days become shorter. The first week of November signals the end of daylight savings time, where we turn our clocks one hour back. Not only do we have to adjust to doing everything an hour later, but this means we have more light in the morning and less in the evening. 

Daylight savings time and fewer hours of daylight can confuse our circadian rhythm. While people usually have an easier time falling asleep when it’s dark, the change to your schedule may make sleeping harder.

However, the fall change in weather can aid in sleep. People often sleep better in cooler weather and have better quality sleep, which leads to them being more rested once they adapt to the time change.

Fortunately, there are ways to adapt to seasonal and time changes. Start by setting an earlier bedtime in the weeks before the time change, and you will have an easier time getting to sleep when the time changes. 

In addition, exposing yourself to sunlight during the day can help you feel more awake so that you are ready to fall asleep when it’s bedtime.

Sleep in the Winter

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With the winter comes colder weather, as well as shorter, darker days. Around the winter solstice, Pacific Northwesterners can see as little as 8 hours of sunlight a day. 

This shift can cause Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a mood disorder where depression and other symptoms are tied to the changing seasons. The increased rates of depression can lead to SAD sufferers developing hypersomnia, or sleeping too much.

On the other hand, the colder temperature and darker days can increase feelings of lethargy throughout the day, which can lead to insomnia at night. In addition, the dry winter air can cause itchy skin and dry throats, which can disturb your sleep.

To help yourself get better sleep during the winter, continue to expose yourself to light during the day. You may want to consider taking a vitamin D supplement. Having a humidifier in your room can aid your breathing and alleviate the effects of dry air affecting your body.

Sleep in the Spring

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Spring brings about the return of sunlight and warmer weather. The middle weeks of March mark the beginning of daylight savings time, where we move the clock ahead one hour. At first, this can make the days darker in the morning and lighter in the evening. 

Trying to make yourself fall asleep an hour earlier can be challenging, but often not as tough as waking up earlier. It takes time for your circadian rhythm to adjust, and the sudden effects of the time change can negatively affect your body.

Spring allergies, such as pollen, can also prevent you from getting a good night’s rest. In fact, people with allergies are twice as likely to develop insomnia compared to those without them. Symptoms such as sneezing and coughing can keep you awake, and the added tension in your body decreases your sleep quality.

To alleviate the spring’s effects on your sleep, wash your sheets at least once a week. Clean your sleeping area to get rid of dust and other allergens. Like in the fall, you can start adjusting your sleep schedule before the time change occurs to help you fall asleep and wake up at the correct time. 

Sleep in the Summer

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Summer brings the sun and the longest, brightest days of the year. In the Pacific Northwest, the longest summer days can have 16 hours of sunlight. The increased amount of sunlight stretching later into the day can keep you up at night, as your body is accustomed to being awake when it is light out. The extra light delays your body’s production of melatonin, the hormone that signals that it is time for sleep.

Sleeping in a hot environment, especially without AC, can cause you to wake up multiple times a night. Sleeping in a too-warm room can decrease both the overall amount of sleep you get and the time you spend in slow-wave sleep, which means your overal sleep quality is lower.

To help combat the heat at night, turn on fans or open windows in your bedroom at night. Taking a cold shower before bed can help lower your body temperature, as well as keeping a glass of cold water next to your bed to stay hydrated. Adding blackout curtains over your windows can help block the late evening light and trick your circadian rhythm into thinking it’s dark.

How to Get Good Sleep in Any Season

No matter the season, there are several strategies that can help you get better sleep during any time of year. One tip is limit your evening screentime. You want to avoid exposing yourself to blue light for up to two hours before bed.

Second, don’t eat large meals or drink alcohol right before bed. Digestion can interfere with the sleep process, so it’s usually smart to stop eating a few hours before bed time.

A third way to get consistent shut-eye is to create a routine that helps encourage sleep. If you are interested in reading more, check out our tips for getting better sleep.

Changing seasons could be affecting your sleep patterns a little bit, but you should be able to get a good sleep in any season. If you are someone who struggles to fall asleep, then getting a customized mattress might be the solution you are looking for. At Slumber Ease, we specialize in creating the right mattress for you and your unique set of needs

If you want to sleep soundly all year long on a customized mattress made for you, then don’t hesitate to contact us today!