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Expert’s eight tips for sleeping well in the winter

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It is thought around a third of all adults in the UK will experience problems with sleeping at least once. And following the change of the clocks and the temperatures falling it can be even more difficult to get a decent amount of shut-eye.

We reached the end of British Summer Time on October 29, meaning the clocks were set back an hour.

This can wreak havoc on our circadian rhythms – 24 hour cycles that are part of our body’s internal clock.

With this in mind, sleep expert at Dormeo – Phil Lawlor – shared his eight tips for a decent night’s sleep.

Don’t nap

Avoid naps in the day as this can make it more difficult to fall asleep at night and will disrupt your circadian pattern and quality of sleep.

Keep a regular sleep routine

Your body will need to adjust to the new sleep cycle so make sure to have a regular and consistent time going to sleep and waking up.

It is important to have regular bedtime and waking up time so your brain will condition itself to feel more wakeful at the time it expects to be switched on.

Turn electronic screens off early

Our circadian clock is based on lightness and darkness, and the lighter the environment the harder it is to get off to sleep. Try to stay away from light sources, particularly blue light, because this is part of the light spectrum most active in our sleep cycle that keeps you awake.

Your circadian is already being disrupted with the clocks going back, so blue light will only confuse your body clock further and lead to lower quality of sleep.

The National Sleep Foundation recommends that you should stop using electronic devices at least 30 minutes before bedtime.

Wind down before bed

Dim the lights and read a book, rather than watching TV because these are tried and tested relaxation methods that will help you fall asleep quicker and improve your quality of sleep.


Burn off any excess energy before bed because this will help foster relaxation and improve your sleep pattern; however, late-night exercise can increase your body temperature and lead to your body overheating so make sure not to exercise right before bed.

Go outside

Exercise outdoors for all the all-important exposure to natural light which is crucial in reducing symptoms of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and improving quality of life and improving sleep.

To get maximum daylight potential, open your blinds and curtains as soon as you wake up to receive the bonus of vitamin D, which will boost your immune system.

There are special SAD lights available to buy throughout the winter but the best option to boost your mood is to be exposed to natural light.

Eat healthily

You may wish to keep an eye on what food and drink you’re consuming to improve your health and sleep, particularly with your body adjusting to the clocks going back.

The first substance that will probably spring to mind is caffeine, which is a stimulant that can keep you awake.

It’s present in a lot of soft and energy drinks, as well as coffee and tea, so be sure to avoid these before bed. Sugary drinks and food are also liable to keep your brain hyperactive in the run-up to bedtime, so be sure to cut these out in the evening too, to ensure you have good quality of sleep.

Choose a high-quality mattress

Sleeping on a bad mattress can cause discomfort, making it more difficult to fall asleep and potentially leading to multiple night-time awakenings.

A high-quality memory foam mattress or memory foam topper will give you personalised support precisely where your body needs it, while a quality pillow will ensure your neck and head are as comfy as possible.

You may also wish to choose a duvet with the right level of insulation to make sure you’re warm in the colder nights ahead.

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