How Your Quality of Sleep Is Affected by the Weather
How is the weather affecting your quality of sleep?
There are a lot of possible explanations and factors to consider when faced with sleep loss. So many things can contribute to the problem that it’s often difficult to know exactly where to start. Obviously, snoring can be a huge problem. Not getting enough time to sleep can also be a huge issue – but believe it or not, there are also a lot of other factors that can mess with your quality of sleep as well.
And one of them is the weather.
Obviously, the weather can sometimes play a role in our quality of sleep in a number of different ways. A thunderstorm may keep us awake at night if it makes enough noise. Cold air might cause us to wake up shivering in the middle of the night if we forget to turn our heater on. A hail storm could cause you to fly out of bed in alarm if the ice begins striking the metal roof above your head and makes a lot of noise.
But there are also a lot of more subtle causes for sleep loss that the weather can be a part of – and in this blog post, we’re going to explore just a few of them.
Shorter days can hinder sleep
Believe it or not, the changing of the seasons can also change our sleeping patterns. Shorter days mean less sunlight, which means less vitamin D. This is especially true in cold climates where shorter days are coupled with frigid outdoor temperatures.
On these types of days, we tend to spend less time outside. Plus, there’s less sunlight to be exposed to because the days are shorter. In addition, we tend to pick up even less of the sunlight that is available because we bundle up to keep warm.
Getting less vitamin D can hurt our quality of sleep because this vitamin is an essential component in serotonin production. And serotonin is crucial to the functionality of our sleep-wake cycles.
Information! A decrease in serotonin levels has also been associated with increased depression and daytime drowsiness. It can also make us more prone to overeating.
Warmer air might hurt our quality of sleep
Research suggests that cooler air is better for our quality of sleep, because it supports our natural deep-sleep process. Ideally, your sleeping space would be cooled to somewhere between 60 and 70 degrees (provided you have enough bedding) to give you the best night’s sleep possible – which often isn’t the case in the summer.
If you’re not running an air conditioner, it’s not uncommon for bedrooms in warmer climates to reach 80-90 degrees or more over the course of the night. This can certainly make sleeping soundly more difficult. Hot, sticky air can make you sweaty and uncomfortable – but it can also keep you from settling easily into a deep sleep.
For best results, use fans or run an air conditioner in your room if the temperatures are on the rise, as these can help you to sleep better and can contribute to a cooler, easier night’s rest.
Stormy weather can affect obstructive sleep apnea
Incredibly, research shows that the symptoms of OSA can actually get worse when the atmospheric pressure drops – which is exactly what happens during thunder storms. There have also been documented links between asthma and stormy weather – though some of this is probably due to the fact that storms can tend to stir up more pollen in the air.
Snoring and sleep loss can happen for a number of different reasons – but don’t ever discount the weather patterns as a factor when determining what you can do about it. Sometimes, this is an easy factor to fix – but sometimes, there isn’t much that you can do about it.
So do what you can to help make conditions as favorable as possible for a decent night’s rest – and whatever you do, try not to ignore the problem. Sleep loss isn’t a joke, and it’s important that you get it taken care of if at all possible.