With the annual arrival of winter, a portion of the population begins its struggle through the cold, dark months, wishing only for the coming of spring. Depending on the location, temperatures will dip or plummet, and snow or rain may fall regularly; no matter where the location, however, the number of daylight hours diminishes as the earth turns ever so slightly away from the sun.
In recent years, science has come to understand the effect winter conditions have on a body and have found new ways to counteract symptoms of the so-called Winter Blues, people suffering from which are, according to an LA Times article, likely to “hibernate like bears, oversleeping and avoiding venturing outside from fall through winter. They become gloomy, unproductive and moody. They are tired, and they crave foods high in carbohydrates, leading to weight gain.”
This feeling of depression and desire to simply sit out (or sleep through) the season is linked to melatonin production, which ramps up with winter’s longer nights. This can prove debilitating for some, undermining the body’s natural rhythms of sleep and wakefulness.
To combat the effects of a temporary winter-related increase in melatonin production, it’s not necessary to invest in CPAP equipment, or even have your doctor prescribe medication. Taking simple steps to ensure good sleep hygiene – going to sleep at the same time every night, avoiding caffeine or alcohol 4-6 hours before bed – can make all the difference to your health and well-being.