It's time to say ‘goodbye’ to British Summer Time and ‘hello’ to an extra hour in bed. That may sound like a win-win, but time changes disrupt our circadian biological clock which can dramatically affect our mood and sleep. According to Sleep Doctor, Michael Breus, it can take about one day to recover from each hour of time change. However, ‘losing’ an hour in the spring is even harder to adjust to than ‘gaining’ an hour in the autumn fall.
Beat the blues and feel your best this winter with these simple tips:
Set your alarm and do not snooze
As the saying goes, ‘if you snooze you lose’. Hitting the snooze button can be tempting but it messes with the sleep cycle and can leave you feeling groggier than before. The best advice is to get up at the first alarm, hydrate and to have a shower so you feel instantly awake.
As the winter months approach and our exposure to sunlight reduces, we need to boost our production of feel-good hormones with vitamin D-rich foods. Where possible increase your intake of oily fish, cheese, egg and dairy and grain products fortified with vitamin D. Vitamin D can also be found in fortified plant milks, breakfast cereals and fat spreads..
Get outside and be active
Going to and from work in the dark makes it harder to get the natural light you need to feel your best. A stroll during your lunch break can help you get your sunlight quota, stay active and burn off excess energy. If you can’t get outside, try and work as close to a window as you can. The lower light levels during winter can also disrupt the body’s 24-hour internal clock (circadian rhythms) which controls the sleep-wake. An irregular rhythm can make it harder to fall and stay asleep.
Create a sleep friendly environment
Create the perfect sleep sanctuary by getting the basics right. Keep the room temperature slightly cool and invest in a good quality bed and mattress. It’s also best to keep clutter and technology firmly out of sight. Change a 4.5 tog summer duvet to a warm feather and down 10.5 tog natural fill duvet or high-quality synthetic duvet. Investing in luxury bed linen will also help you enjoy more snuggly winter sleeps.
- Benefits of a ‘year round’ duvet
Come summer or winter, a mildly cool room helps us sleep better than a room that’s too hot. That’s why a 10.5 tog duvet is seen as the best bet for all-season use. It’s also the tog rating used by 5* hotels. Topped with a blanket on really cold days, a high quality 10.5 duvet can be used year-round unlike a 4.5 summer duvet or 13.5 duvet suitable only as winter bedding. Ditching the duvet altogether for a flat sheet can help you stay comfortable on hot summer nights. Ensuring the duvet is the correct size, ideally 30cm either side of the bed, is also important for keeping you warm. See our size guide to buying the right single, double or king size winter duvet for your bed.
- Invest in luxury winter linens
We sleep more in winter and preparing your bedroom for cosy autumn and winter nights will help you enjoy better sleep. While any luxury bed linen is fit for year-round use, a winter bedding set could also include a warm high-quality topper for a cosy, cocoon-like feel. You may also want to layer the bed with a faux fur throw or lightweight blankets rather than heavy blankets that compress the clusters to enjoy maximum warmth. A luxury bedding set such as our homebody retreat has everything you need to create a cosy haven perfect for luxe nights in. For advice on buying the best winter linens see our guide to choosing bedding like a pro.
See what Tielle co-founder, Robert Lancaster-Gaye, has to say about toppers to transform your bed this winter.
Adopt bedtime sleep rituals
The body thrives on routine and bedtime rituals are a good way to prepare your body for sleep. Classic pre-bed rituals include enjoying a cup of warm milk, winding down with a good book and a gorgeous faux fur throw or blanket or listening to gentle music. Avoiding stimulants such as coffee and alcohol which mess with deep sleep can also help you get the best night’s sleep.
Some people find weighted blankets, which apply pressure to the body, useful in aiding relaxation. However, these can feel too heavy for some people. Too much weight on a duvet can also restrict airflow, making you uncomfortably warm. High quality luxury bed throws have a similar cocooning feel but are lighter, making them ideal for the winter bed. See our guide to cosying up this winter with lightweight blankets and the very best faux fur throws.