Fall season is here and what better time to snuggle up on the couch with a warm blanket and hot apple cider while admiring the foliage outdoors. The weather change also brings a sleep-altering season. See how the fall affects sleep so you can stay in-tune with your physiology.
Longer Nights, Shorter Days
It’s no secret that animals prepare to hibernate during the fall season. Humans, like other animals, transition into a hibernation mode because of shorter days. With gloomier weather patterns and longer nights, our circadian rhythm must learn how to function with less sun available. Therefore, our “tiredness” is a natural rhythm and not something we “make up.”
Time Falls Back
Daylight savings allows us to catch up on one hour of sleep, which is ideal for most. However, this coincides with shorter days where we naturally desire more sleep with darker-lit climates.
With the arrival of the fall season comes heartier meals and “meaty” produce. Potatoes, squash, pumpkin and root vegetables are healthy, but denser, allowing stomachs to sink with seasonal goodness. Typically, heavier meals and more carbohydrate dense foods, packed together in one meal, allow your tired eyes to nod off quicker.
Most people struggle to sleep in warm rooms, which is why summer is a difficult season to obtain a quiet night of sleep. Fall kick-starts indoor heating, which can help you to get a good night’s rest. Along with dust and dander floating out of your vents, this may distress your sensitive nose. Turn down the temperature at night, especially while also switching out the thin summer linens.
A positive aspect to seasonal change is thicker blankets and down comforters. Its hard to not have seasonal nostalgia for a warm bed in a cool season. Nothing is better on a Friday night than a warm comforter, hot coco and Netflix.
Lack of Movement
Most people find themselves spending more time lounging around indoors during the cooler months of Fall. Lack of movement often makes the body more tired due to less oxygen and vigorous blood flow pumping through the body. Keep your energy high by staying active by walking, taking outdoor hikes and doing yoga, which help transition the body from the summer to fall.