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It’s hard to believe that we are only weeks away from the official start of fall. Pretty soon the air will be filled with scents of pumpkin and turkey and pies. (Ok, maybe we’re getting a little bit ahead of ourselves). But, the weather will soon be changing and, with the change in weather, you may also start to notice a change in your sleeping patterns. Obviously this can be caused by various factors, however, one common reason for lack of sleep during the colder months is less sun exposure. Natural light is extremely important to good health and sleep, as it impacts melatonin production, which helps to regulate sleep cycles. Therefore, less melatonin production likely means more interruption in sleep cycles.
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The transition to fall also means the holidays are rapidly approaching and, for most of us, this tends to affect our eating habits. During the summer months, it is much easier to access fruits and vegetables and consume natural sugars. Fall and winter tend to be based around more sugary (we love Halloween candy too), high calorie foods.
To help mitigate the effects of sleep loss during the transition from summer to fall, there are several things you can do.
- Stick with a routine – If you’re not already doing this, the winter is a great time to set a schedule and stick with it. The body appreciates consistency.
- Use a humidifier – The dry air of winter and fall can cause snoring; however, using a humidifier can keep throat and nasal passages lubricated helping provide uninterrupted sleep.
- Drink plenty of water – Staying hydrated is important in every season; however, people tend to notice dehydration quicker during summer months. Be sure to drink up. (Here’s a water bottle tip that can help you consume enough water)
- Get some sunlight – Vitamin D is essential to a good night’s rest.
- Turn down the heat – You heard that correctly. Rather than blasting the heat, turn it down a little, as a lower body temperature helps to induce sleep. Not too hot or too cold is key. (hint: using a winter comforter can save on your heating bill while helping to maintain an ideal body temperature).
Ultimately consistency is important when it comes to sleep. Following these tips and more can help ensure a smooth transition during the changing seasons. Other essential steps for a good night’s rest can be found here and here. Have any good sleep tips for the changing seasons? Share them in the comments! Happy Almost Fall!