Why A Sleep Expert Wants You To Avoid Piling On Blankets During Colder Months
The winter season encourages us to slow down, reflect, bundle up, and get cozy. But you'll want to resist the urge to get too cozy for the sake of your sleep quality. Here's the common bedtime mistake that a sleep expert sees people make in winter and how to fix it for the sake of your zzz's:
Don't make this common sleep mistake this winter.
When it's cold outside, sometimes the only thing you want to do is wrap yourself up in as many blankets as you can find. That's great for movie nights or lounging with a book, but according to experts, you'll want to avoid it once bedtime rolls around.
As psychiatrist, neuroscientist, and co-founder of Apollo Neuroscience Dave Rabin, M.D., Ph.D., tells mindbodygreen, all that excess heat might actually make it harder to fall asleep and sleep through the night.
"Blankets that don't breathe trap our body heat. Our bodies prefer cool environments during deeper sleep stages, but over time these non-breathing blankets increase our body temperature resulting in more frequent interruptions in sleep and less deep sleep," he explains, adding that increased temperature means increased sweating as well, "which makes our sheets much less comfy."
What to do instead.
Have no fear: We're not saying you can't swaddle yourself up in a cozy blanket at bedtime, but what you do want to do is make sure that blanket is breathable and/or cooling.
Beyond that, it's also a good idea to turn your heat to roughly 65 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit, which experts have found to be the optimal temperature range for sleep. That's because our core body temperature1 drops during the nocturnal sleep phase and then increases during the wake phase, so optimizing your environment to reflect this can actually help you feel sleepier.
And of course, if you're struggling to snooze around this time of year, there are other ways to help yourself achieve the quality sleep of your dreams. Avoiding caffeine late in the day, not eating a large meal before bed, and ensuring you get enough exercise are great places to start.
You can also consider incorporating a quality sleep supplement, such as mbg's sleep support+ into your routine. The unique formula includes nonhormonal ingredients that support a steady state of relaxation, help you fall asleep faster, and yes, enhance your overall sleep quality, according to scientific research and hundreds of reviews.*
Being warm and cozy is great, but when we're trying to sleep, keeping it cool is the better route. Winter is, if nothing else, a time to lean into rest—so if you've been piling on blankets and your sleep is taking a hit, it might be high time to take off some blankets and turn the heat down.
Sarah Regan is a Spirituality & Relationships Editor, a registered yoga instructor, and an avid astrologer and tarot reader. She received her bachelor's in broadcasting and mass communication from State University of New York at Oswego, and lives in Buffalo, New York.