With winter in full swing, sleeping at night can sometimes be a struggle – especially if you feel the cold.
But throw in a cost of living crisis, where many are cutting back on putting on their heating to save money, and these winter nights are even chillier.
As a result, many of us are looking for alternative ways to keep warm when temperatures drop in the evening.
Thankfully, Martin Seeley, a sleep expert and CEO of Mattressnextday, has shared some handy tips on how to sleep better in the cold.
From hearty meals to taking a warm bath, here are some things to try…
Take a hot bath before bed
Having a hot bath or shower before bed will help to increase your body temperature and allow you to fully warm up before getting into bed.
‘Most often, when we take a long hot bubble bath, our body temperature tends to increase and stay high for an hour or so afterwards,’ says Martin.
‘This means you should be able to get comfortable and fall into a nice sleep before your body temperature drops down again.’
For extra warmth, Martin recommends changing into some comfortable and warm thermal pyjamas afterwards, to help keep yourself warm
Layer up before you go to sleep
‘This goes without saying, but you’d be surprised at how many people go to bed during the colder months without wearing sufficient, warm nightwear,’ says Martin.
‘If you’re going to bed with only a few items of clothing on, chances are you will wake up in the night shivering.’
Investing in thermal pyjamas is an effective way to stay warm while staying comfortable – this is because they don’t tend to feel heavy or uncomfortable.
Fluffy socks are a key addition too, as feet can feel the coldest.
If you want, you can keep a jumper by the side of the bed to throw on in case you feel like wearing one at night.
Try to exercise before bedtime
While exercising during the winter is tough, it’s a quick and easy way to increase your body temperature. This should help you stay warmer in the latter part of the day.
‘Make sure you exercise in the evening as this will help you to feel warm right before bed,’ says Martin.
‘Doing a sufficient amount of cardio or interval training should tire you out which will help you get to sleep quickly.’
Insulate your room
‘If you are trying to save on heating costs, or perhaps only heating your home during certain hours of the day, then you want to make sure that your bedroom is well insulated – and that you’re trapping the heat inside, while simultaneously not letting any draughts in,’ says Martin.
Try to keep doors closed and stop draughts from the windows or doors by using heavy-weighted curtains.
You could even put heavy clothes under doors or on window ledges to help keep the heat in and the cold air out.
Double down on bedding
The best way to ensure you have a comfortable and undisturbed night during winter is to invest in a thicker duvet – this will help to keep you warm and insulated.
‘If you do not have a winter duvet, or the pennies don’t stretch, you can always throw on a duvet from another bedroom on top of you, or purchase blankets and throws to add on to increase warmth,’ Martin adds.
Eat hearty meals
Eating enough food this time of year is very important.
‘Often, when we don’t eat a sufficient amount [of food] we feel cold,’ says Martin.
‘This is because low blood sugar levels make you more sensitive to feeling cold.’
Try incorporating more hearty and warming comfort foods such as stews, soups and high carbohydrate meals.
‘These will help you to feel full and comfortable, which should in turn allow you to sleep better and feel warmer,’ Martin adds.
Just be careful not to eat heavy meals late at night (or right before you go to bed) as sometimes this worsens sleep quality.
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