Sleeping in Winter: 5 Tips for Better Sleep in Cold Weather

Winter is here, and with it comes darker, quieter nights, warm cups of tea by the fire and plenty of opportunities to snuggle up in a cozy flannel blanket. In other words, it’s the perfect time to catch up on sleep — or so you’d think. For many people, shorter days and plummeting temperatures can make sleeping in winter seem like an impossible task. What gives? 

a couple sitting on a couch with mugs and a weighted blanket

As it turns out, there are many things that can disrupt our sleep in the wintertime: plummeting temperatures, stress and lack of daylight, to name just a few. The good news? You don’t have to let cold weather disrupt your precious slumber. Read on for a few expert tips on how to get the sleep you need all season long.

1. Start Your Day with Bright Light

Exposing yourself to morning light, whether it’s natural sunlight or bright artificial light, is key to sleeping better in the winter. That’s because morning light exposure plays a central role in regulating our circadian rhythms, the internal body clocks that influence everything from metabolism to sleep. Not only is morning light associated with better sleep, but it’s also linked to decreased relapses into depression and leaner waistlines.

Conversely, exposure to bright light in the evening can have negative consequences for our sleep and health. To avoid disrupting your precious snooze, be sure to wear an eye mask to bed. 

Looking for a high-quality eye mask? Gravity Blankets offers several weighted eye masks that are engineered to deliver soothing pressure to your face while blocking out all light.

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2. Keep Warm at Night — But Not Too Warm

When temperatures begin to dip, it’s tempting to crank up the thermostat to stay warm. But many sleep experts warn that blasting your heat can backfire come bedtime. Indeed, research suggests that a too-warm sleeping environment may lead to increased wakefulness and less time spent in deep sleep. Additionally, cranking up the heat in your bedroom can suck the moisture out of the air, which can cause sinus problems that further disrupt your snooze. 

Instead of messing with the thermostat, add warm blankets (hello, cozy flannel!) to the end of your bed and wear a breathable pair of socks. That way, if you’re too hot, you can simply kick off the blankets during the night without having to figure out the thermostat at three in the morning.

3. Stick to a Regular Sleep Schedule

If you have a strong desire to hibernate during the winter, you’re not alone. Many people report feeling more tired and sluggish as the days get shorter and the mercury begins to drop. However, hitting the snooze button in the morning and taking naps throughout the day can make it that much harder to fall asleep at night. That’s because sleeping too much can throw your circadian rhythms out of sync, causing your sleep-inducing hormones to be released at the wrong times. 

a couple sleeping under a white weighted blanket

For optimal sleep, try to stay within 30 minutes or so of your normal sleep and wake times. And yes, that includes the weekends. It may seem like a Herculean task at times, but your mind and body will thank you later.

4. Squash Winter Stress with a Weighted Blanket

Can’t turn off your mind at night? We know the feeling. Unfortunately, stress has a way of creeping up on you during the night and making it impossible to fall asleep. One thing that may help? Curling up for sleep with a top-quality weighted blanket. These stress-busting sleep aids utilize the power of weight to relax your nervous system and ground your body downwards, inducing a state of calm that helps you overcome your racing thoughts. 

Weighted blankets are backed by science and can go a long way in helping you get better sleep in the winter. Best of all, they don’t need to clash with your home décor. For example, we have plenty of weighted blanket options that are the perfect way to ease stress while bringing hygge vibes into your home! 

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5. Keep Up with Your Fitness Routine

Going out for a jog in freezing temperatures may be the last thing you feel like doing in the wintertime, but it’s arguably one of the best things you can do for your sleep and overall health. Not only does exercise help wipe out winter tiredness (thus, making you less likely to take a midday nap or go to bed too early), but it also reduces stress and improves sleep quality. If you don’t enjoy exercising in the dark and cold, consider downloading a fitness app on your phone and doing a home workout instead.

a man sleeping under a dark gray weighted blanket

Get Sound Sleep on Short Winter Days

Sleeping in winter can seem like a constant challenge, but it doesn’t need to be. With these winter sleep tips, you can overcome the sleep-ruining effects of cold, gloomy weather and get the high-quality slumber you crave. Gravity Blankets is here to help you do it in comfort and style!