Every year the same thing happens. September rolls around and I feel the weight of sadness that Summer is over. Then as the year speeds up in that way that only happens in the lead up to Christmas, something darker takes hold. For some, this presents as the “Winter Blues.” Feeling lethargic and miserable as a result of the dark nights and cold weather is pretty normal but if you find that just can’t shift your apathy, then it could be worth talking to your GP about Seasonal Affective Disorder.
I’ve struggled through the Winter months for a long time, even to the point where I was dreading them as the days got shorter, but in recent years I’ve found ways to combat my “Winter Blues.” By embracing the Winter months, I’ve found them a lot easier to deal with, and this year I was almost excited for the start of Autumn. I’ve always found that I struggle to sleep in Winter. It’s dark all the time, so it feels like my body never really gets ready to go to bed, or I end up napping on the sofa at 4pm in the afternoon, throwing my sleep pattern and mood totally off kilter. As a nurse, good quality sleep can be hard to come by, but here a few things that can help to beat the “Winter Blues” this year.
I love my bed. There is nothing more perfect than sinking down into the mattress after a long day and letting your eyes close. Having spent the last seven years sleeping in horrible student houses, with stained mattresses and springy beds, my sleep hasn’t been good for a long time. But this year we finally bought our own mattress. And it’s made a huge difference. We spent ages umming and ahhing over which bedframe, mattress and pillows to choose. I’ll gloss over the argument between my partner and I over whether a Kingsize bed was necessary… It wasn’t but we have ended up with one anyway. If you feel like treating yourself (and you should, because sleep is a priority) check out Tempur for a range of the comfiest mattresses and pillows. Their ergonomic section is a dream.
Something else I swear by is my SAD lamp. Getting up in the morning is hard enough, let alone when it’s pitch black outside. SAD lamps begin to light up before your alarm so that your body gets used to the light while you’re still sleeping, helping you feel more refreshed when you wake up. Mine is a Lumie lamp and I wouldn’t be without it.
Another way to make sure you get a good night’s sleep is to actually go to sleep! Winding down before bed is so hard, especially with everyone mindlessly scrolling social media in the lead up to bedtime. But it’s so important for your brain to have that downtime before you go to sleep. A hot bath or a book (not reading on your phone!) is ideal and the perfect excuse to hide under the duvet as the year gets colder.
Do you have any bedroom must-haves for a good night’s sleep? Let me know in the comments!
*This post is in collaboration with Tempur, but all views are my own.