As the winter chill creeps in and the early morning’s become darker, many of us find ourselves snoozing our alarms and curled up in our beds for a little longer. It’s something that most of us can relate to, but have you ever wondered the reason behind it? Studies show that humans need more sleep in the winter. In this article, we will discover the fascinating reasons why we sleep more in the winter.
Shorter Days and Colder Temperatures
One of the main factors that contribute to our increased desire for sleep in the winter is the reduced daylight hours and colder temperature. With the sun setting early and rising later, our circadian rhythms are influenced by these natural light changes. This alternation in daylight patterns can disrupt our internal body clock, making us feel sleepy. We can all agree, a cosy, warm bed is also more inviting during the colder months. The drop in temperature outside encourages us to seek refuge in our snug, heated bedrooms, where the allure of a toasty bed makes it more difficult to resist the temptation to snooze.
Increased Melatonin Production
The hormone that regulates our sleep-wake cycle, melatonin, is influenced by light. The reduced natural exposure of light in winter leads to an increase in melatonin production, making us feel more tired than usual and promoting sleep. Additionally, the lack of sunlight can also affect serotonin levels, potentially leading to lower mood, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and a desire to sleep more.
Our Evolutionary Biology
Our tendency to sleep more during winter may be down to our evolutionary biology. When food sources were scarce and hunting was more challenging in colder conditions, conserving energy by sleeping for longer is seen as an adaptive survival strategy. While we no longer face these challenges, this deep-seated behaviour may still linger in our roots.
Increased Appetite and Less Physical Activity
In the winter, we often find ourselves spending more time indoors and craving comfort food to keep us warm. The harsh weather conditions can discourage outdoor activities and exercise, causing many to become less active in the winter. An increased appetite for calorie-rich food and less exercise can lead to feelings of sluggishness, making us more inclined to spend extra time in bed.
Quality Sleep From Quality Beds & Mattress
While there is no simple explanation as to why we tend to sleep longer in the winter, one thing is for sure, and that is, it’s a natural response to the changing season. So, enjoy the extra sleep this coming winter! Are you getting enough quality sleep? If not, it might be worth considering a new bed or mattress, as your old bed or mattress could be affecting your quality of sleep. Browse through the wide range of quality bed frames, mattresses and divan beds from leading brands at the UK Bed Store. Alternatively, see our full range by making a visit to our showroom in Leek. We also offer free delivery around Leek and the surrounding areas as well as next working day and choice of day delivery for further areas. For any questions on our products, please contact us.