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Why You Sleep More In The Winter

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Why You Sleep More In The Winter
Why You Sleep More In The Winter (Pixabay)

It can be said that everyone goes through the thought of wanting to sleep a little more because it is difficult to wake up at a set time in the morning. Especially in the cold winter, when the temperature drops sharply, it becomes more difficult to get out of a warm blanket. This phenomenon can be said to be because the hormones secreted by our body change with the changing seasons. So today, let’s look at the reasons why we sleep more in the winter. Why sleep more in winter

The pineal gland, an endocrine organ located in the hypothalamus in the brain, secretes a hormone called melatonin. Melatonin has various actions such as antioxidant action that neutralizes free radicals and anti-inflammatory action that reduces inflammation levels, but its main role is to help induce natural sleep and help you get a good night’s sleep. It plays an essential role in determining the quality of sleep by detecting and synthesizing photoperiods such as the length of day and night, and regulating the rhythm of awakening and sleep. Melatonin, which helps this natural sleep, is secreted more in winter when the night is longer and the sun rises, and the increased melatonin secretion affects our body’s circadian rhythm and sleep cycle. Also, due to the seasonal characteristic of winter, that the sun rises late, even in the morning, the biological clock recognizes it as night, so it continues to secrete melatonin, which can be said to increase sleep. In addition, as the amount of time spent indoors rather than outdoors increases due to the cold winter weather, the decreased amount of physical activity also affects sleep, making it difficult to wake up in the morning. Also, in winter, exposure to sunlight is reduced due to the effect of reduced sunlight, and the secretion of serotonin, a hormone involved in happiness and stability, decreases. This decrease in serotonin secretion makes you feel sluggish and prone to depression. It can be said that the increase in the incidence of seasonal depression in winter due to changes in the biological cycle due to seasonal influences is the effect of these changes in the concentration of melatonin and serotonin. The reason for more sleep in winter is a natural phenomenon due to the seasonal characteristics of winter, but excessive sleep can cause problems throughout the body, including the immune system and autonomic nervous system, and can worsen the aforementioned seasonal depression. Therefore, it is important to manage it properly through sleep hygiene habits that help you sleep well. How to help you wake up better in the morning

1. Brighten the lights when you wake up

Melatonin, which regulates sleep and wakefulness, is secreted by the amount of light entering the eye. When it gets dark, the secretion increases and it is activated, but when the surroundings are bright, the secretion decreases and you wake up. Therefore, after waking up, if you leave the curtains wide to allow sunlight to come in or brighten the light, the body suppresses the secretion of melatonin, and it quickly switches from the sleep pattern to the activity pattern, helping to wake up quickly. In addition, if you stretch right after waking up, the stimulation through muscle movement is transmitted to the brain, helping to quickly recognize that it is time to wake up.

2. Adequate physical activity during the day

Proper activity during the daytime is essential for a good night’s sleep, so it is necessary to take time to exercise regularly or be physically active. It is important to make up for the lack of physical activity by taking a walk during the daytime when the temperature is the highest or by taking time to exercise regularly. In particular, exposure to sunlight for a certain period of time helps the secretion of serotonin, and it is said that it helps a lot in maintaining the circadian cycle and sleep cycle constant. However, excessive exercise before going to bed can increase arousal and interfere with a good night’s sleep, so it is desirable to finish exercise 3 hours before bedtime.

3. Creating an appropriate sleeping environment

A good night’s sleep is also greatly affected by the environmental factors of the sleeping space. If the temperature is too high or too cold, it is difficult to get a good night’s sleep, so it is recommended to maintain an appropriate room temperature of 20~22℃. In addition, the air inside the bedroom is also known to affect a good night’s sleep, so it is recommended to ventilate by opening the window at least two or three times a day for a while. In addition, if you use your smartphone excessively before going to sleep, the activity of melatonin is affected by the blue light emitted, causing sleep disturbance and affecting waking up refreshed in the morning, so it is desirable to reduce its use.

4. Eat foods that help you sleep

In order to get a good night’s sleep, it is also very important to maintain a stable circadian rhythm by maintaining a balanced diet. In particular, tryptophan, one of the amino acids, plays an essential role in helping the normal synthesis of serotonin as well as melatonin. Milk, bananas, oats, nuts, blue-green fish, spinach, yogurt, legumes, etc. are excellent sources of tryptophan, so it is recommended to eat them in a balanced way. On the other hand, the late-night eating habit of eating large amounts of food before going to bed stimulates brain nerve stimulants and interferes with sleep. You should avoid overdosing as it can.

Other way

In addition to the various methods mentioned above, it is also important to eat breakfast without skipping. Various nutrients consumed through breakfast play an important role in normal daytime activities by providing enough energy for the day, and also help the smooth secretion of serotonin through the process of chewing food. It is said that bathing helps to release physical and mental tension and lowers body temperature, making it easier to fall asleep. It is known that taking a warm bath 1 to 2 hours before going to bed and going to bed when the body temperature drops is known to help you get a good night’s sleep.

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I am a contributor to Advancetec.co.uk. I am fascinated by technology overall, especially crypto and it's potential to disrupt the global financial system. But until that future comes, I am perfectly content immersing myself in gaming, movies, gadgets, and all of the other wonders of the modern world.