How Better Sleep Can Help You Beat the Winter Blues

How Better Sleep Can Help You Beat the Winter Blues

The days are short and the weather is overcast and chilly: winter is here. Thanks to the dreary weather and darkness that creeps in early, it’s normal to experience a change in mood in December, January, and February. Add in the stress of the holidays and the winter blues can take a toll on your energy levels, appetite, and sleep quality. But what causes this seasonal depression, and how can you beat the winter blues this season?

How to tell if you have the winter blues

If you feel like the season of cheer has got you down, you might be right. Studies show that the “winter blues” are real, and they have a few signs and symptoms that are common amongst sufferers. You might be struggling with:
  • Changes in appetite and weight
  • Feelings of sadness
  • Lethargy or sluggishness
  • Irritability
  • Inability to focus
  • Loss of interest
  • Low energy
  • Trouble sleeping
Of course, not everyone experiences all of the above. You may notice that you just want to cozy up indoors and eat more, or you may notice that you’re not sleeping well. Each person experiences the change of seasons differently. That’s because, as the seasons change, your body’s unique internal rhythm changes, too.

Why are we so impacted by winter?

Our bodies respond to daylight and artificial light: when it’s bright during the day, our biological clock (aka our circadian rhythm) lets us know it’s time to be awake. When night falls and it’s dark, that’s usually when we should start preparing for sleep. However, when the sun sets early and rises late in the winter, that can throw off our circadian rhythm. This is because our bodies produce melatonin (a hormone that regulates systems in our bodies like sleep) generally toward the end of the day when the sun starts to set. When melatonin levels start to spike, it’s usually a signal to our bodies that it’s time to sleep. However, when the days are shorter and the nights are longer, the body’s melatonin production can be affected — and so can our sleep. During winter, there might be an excess of melatonin or it might not convert properly from serotonin, a mood-regulating hormone. Either way, the body is affected by the presence of the hormone, which can lead to sleep disruption. The result? Instead of waking up feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the day, you might feel exhausted and groggy during the winter months. You might also experience insomnia, nightmares, or agitated sleep. Because of this shakeup in your body’s circadian rhythm, sleep is heavily impacted… but how can you reverse that when the seasons are against you?

Sleep: Your Weapon to Beat the Winter Blues

Getting quality sleep is essential to fighting off the winter blues. Why? Because sleep not only lets your brain and body rest; it lets your body recharge. Sleep helps your body fight off germs, boosts your memory and learning skills, and resets your emotions and mood. When you don’t get good sleep, the consequences can worsen your winter blues. To encourage better sleep during the winter, try the following tips.

Go outside

It’s tough to convince yourself to go out in the freezing cold in the middle of winter, but a few minutes of sunlight can help get your circadian rhythm (and melatonin production) back on track. Plus, a deep breath of brisk winter air can wake you up in just a few seconds.

Get regular exercise

About 20 to 30 minutes of exercise in the morning or early evening can reduce stress and improve your mood. It also boosts serotonin, which converts in melatonin and helps you sleep! However, you should avoid doing your workout within a few hours of bedtime, since that energy boost can keep you awake.

Relax an hour before bedtime

Signal to your body that it’s time to prepare for sleep by winding down about an hour before bed. Dim the lights, read a book, listen to soothing music, or take a warm bath. Stay away from blue light screens (yes, even your beloved iPhone).

Create a cozy, cool sleep environment

Remove or cover up the electronics from your room. If they have to be in there, put them on silent or Do Not Disturb mode. Put up heavy or blackout curtains. Use your bed only for sleep and intimacy. If you get into the habit of looking at your phone, reading, or watching TV, your body will get used to staying awake to do those activities in bed.

Try a natural sleep aid

A sleep aid made with natural ingredients like RestoreZ can resynchronize your body with its circadian rhythm. Depending on your specific sleep struggles, it’s important to find a sleep aid that can help. Whether you struggle to fall asleep, stay asleep, or get the nutrients and recovery you need from sleep, RestoreZ has a line of products to help.

Using RestoreZ to beat the winter blues — and sleep better year-round

For many people with winter blues, this is a yearly struggle. You may even notice seasonal sleep changes as we enter spring and summer when the days are longer. Part of balancing out your body’s reaction to these changes is giving it the year-long support it needs. RestoreZ is not a “traditional” sleep aid, as most sleep aids force you to fall asleep. Instead, RestoreZ natural sleep supplements help your body’s circadian rhythm align which helps promote quality sleep. With natural ingredients and proven formulas, you’ll be able to feel balanced, rested, and restored all year-round. Ready to get rid of those winter (and seasonal) blues? Choose a RestoreZ product that fits your sleep challenges.
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