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Sleep During Winter Season: The Facts

As winter approaches, the temperature starts dropping, making it easier for the human body to fall asleep and stay asleep for a longer period. Many people go online mattress shopping before winter begins to be prepared for longer sleeping hours. Studies have time and again shown that seasonal changes affect the way the human body sleeps. Unfortunately, it is also responsible for mood disorders like seasonal affective disorder or SAD. They usually strike in fall and last till the end of winter.

Some of the commonly seen symptoms of seasonal affective disorder include depression, fatigue, social withdrawal, hopelessness, hypersomnia, insomnia and so on. A study published during the mid-1990s in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research stated that of 293 people affected by SAD, about 80 percent experienced winter hypersomnia while 10 percent experienced insomnia. Only 5 percent of the people reported they had no sleep difficulties. So this shows that besides getting a mattress for good sleep, the winter season can also have a hand in how much you get to sleep.

Breakdown of A Recent Study:

If you live in a part of the world where it is predominantly cold, you need to be aware of the recent study that helped break down the symptoms experienced by people affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder. A sample of 5000 individuals where taken and the following conclusions was made:

  • 16 percent of people suffered nightmares while asleep
  • 25 percent of people had insomnia
  • 3 percent used hypnotics
  • 4 percent were diagnosed with depression the previous year
  • 3 percent of people used antidepressants in the last month

Here is a side by side comparison of the same study conducted on a sample of 5000 people who were not affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder to get a better perspective:

  • 4 percent of people experienced  nightmares
  • 6 percent of people had insomnia
  • 6 percent of people used hypnotics
  • 1 percent were diagnosed with depression the previous year
  • 6percent of people used antidepressants in the last month

This clearly shows how Seasonal Affective Disorder can affect your health and wellbeing. Governments of countries that are predominantly cold most of the year like Canada have started introducing several government-funded festivals and programs to lift people’s spirits during the cold months of winter. This helps people get out of their homes, meet old friends, make new ones and take part in different physical activities.

Link Between SAD & Sleep Issues :

As seen from the breakdown of the report above, it is clear that SAD influences the way you sleep in more ways than one. According to medical professionals, people who have SAD have a super sensitive circadian rhythm that makes them more prone to light deprivation. Although the amount of light exposure they experience cannot predict whether they will suffer from SAD or not. Several other factors like climate, societal influences, genetic vulnerability, and cultural influences and so on have a role to play as well.

If you are worried about developing Seasonal Affective Disorder, you can try to increase your exposure to light. There are several light therapy amps in the market. Using it for about thirty minutes a day will help strengthen your body’s internal clock and help you get the right amount of sleep and you can also think about getting a mattress online from Wakefit.

Some people feel that their circadian rhythm is all over the place. They might require melatonin supplements under the guidance of a qualified doctor to get back into sync. You will also need to keep a watch on the food you eat during the cold months of winter Since physical activity goes down a notch during the winter season, it might be a good idea to keep an eye on your calorie intake to avoid putting on extra weight and sleeping too much as well. All of these causes can lead to Seasonal Affective Disorder.

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