6 Sleep Hacks for the Aussie Winter
As the cooler months set-in, who hasn’t wanted to sleep-in that little bit longer?
Though the Australian winter can vary greatly around the country – the average July night-time temperature for someone living in Tasmania is 8 degrees and in Darwin it’s 19 degrees - it’s nice to snuggle up in bed when the temperature drops.
1. To hibernate, or not to hibernate, that is the question
As it gets colder, the desire to ‘hibernate’ is natural.
Hibernating is something that many animals do during winter. It’s all about maintaining their internal body temperature. Australian critters, including the pygmy possum and the short-beaked echidna, are known to hibernate all year.
For us, that’s not an option. Seven to nine hours of quality sleep every night is ideal. And though it may be tempting to sleep longer, experts recommend a regular sleep routine is best for your overall health.
2. Have the right bedding for a comfortable sleep
No one can sleep if they’re feeling too hot or too cold. The shock of cold sheets is not something most people look forward to. Flannelette sheets are great for taking the cool edge of your bed.
If your mattress is getting a bit old, you might find yourself sinking in too deep – and getting too hot as a result. It’s a good idea to replace your mattress at least every 10 years.
3. Use an electric blanket to keep your bed warm
Research has confirmed that your core body decreases as you comfortably slip into sleep. So, it’s important not to make your bed overly warm.
If you like the idea of a warmed-up bed, an electric blanket can be useful. Remember to turn it off as soon as you get into bed so you don’t overheat.
4. ‘Layer upon layer’ when it comes to bedding
The best way to make sure you have just the right amount of warmth in bed is to have layers of bedding. Its good to use natural fabrics and a winter-weight doona, but you shouldn’t feel ‘weighed down’ by your bedding. This might make you too hot, resulting in a restless night.
5. The ‘Goldilocks effect’ – making sure your room temperature is ‘just right’
Both body temperature and the ambient temperature – that’s the temperature in the room in which you’re sleeping – are important for a good night’s sleep.
If you’re too hot in bed, it’s more likely you’ll wake during the night. It also leads to a decrease in slow wave sleep and rapid eye movement sleep – which is bad news.
The ideal temperature for sleeping is around 18 degrees. It’s a good idea to heat your room up a little, but make sure the heater is off before you go to sleep.
6. Avoid dry air
Using a heater or air-conditioner to heat up your house can be very drying. This can cause congestion and increase your tendency to snore.
Try using a dehumidifier or a diffuser to help with your breathing. Having bowls of water near the heat source can also help reduce the dryness in the air.