The leaves are starting to change, kids are back in school and believe it or not, the hot spells of summer are waning slowly. Soon enough the outside air will become crisp as fall comes into full swing. This new season brings many changes and one such adjustment is in the way we sleep. Fall characteristics, such as daylight and temperatures, alter the norm that bodies have adjusted to for the summer. By understanding some of the nuances of fall, as well as having proper sleeping plan, you can ensure the best sleep during the changing seasons.
No matter where in the country you live, the coming of fall signals a slow shift from long summer days to shorter, cooler days. Some people revel in the dip in temperatures, while other lament the sun’s tardy appearance. Regardless of your stance, both sunlight and temperature can affect your sleep. Light has always been directly tied to the body’s sleep patterns. Long before fancy alarm clocks there was the sun, awakening people for centuries. The eyes may be the “window to the soul”, but they also help us know when to be awake and when to start winding down for the day. Special receptors in our retinas detect light levels and amounts then signal our bodies accordingly (Harvard). When they are receiving a lot of light they alert the brain that it is time to wake up and stay alert. On the contrary, when your eyes take in less light, your mind is signaled to slow down and work towards a restful or even sleepy state. Have you ever become drowsy at the movie theaters or during a presentation with the lights down low? If so, your body is just reacting to your surroundings and doing what it is made to do. As fall brings shorter days, you will be exposed to less natural sunlight, which can alter the times that you wake up and begin to fall asleep.
The cooler temperatures that are synonymous with the fall season also contribute to changes in sleep patterns. According to the NCBI, the optimal room temperature for the best sleep is between 60-66 degrees Fahrenheit. As fall rolls around many people open windows and use the cool outside air to regulate their room temperatures, rather than relying on air conditioning systems. When the temperatures dip even farther down, the cold can actually inhibit you from getting the best sleep. REM sleep (the type of sleep that allows your brain to rest and rejuvenate) suffers if it is too cold. To combat this, you will need warm bedding material to regulate your body temperature and maximize your sleep. Quality blankets or comforters, such as our Heirloom Goose Down Blanket will keep you warm and comfortable.
Weather changes such as storms also bring fluctuations in the sleep habits. When weather changes, it causes fluctuations in barometric pressure, which according to Amerisleep and can make sleeping difficult for people who suffer from joint and nerve pains. Recommended solutions for this are having comfortable bedding. One of the best proven types of comfort bedding is made of real down, which is long lasting and known for its luxurious plushness. Alternative synthetics have grown in leaps and bounds in the last decade and items such as a Down Alternative Comforter can provide similar comfort for those that want an option instead of down.
Fall is a wonderful time of year! Planning and expecting possible sleep variations will prepare you for the best sleep through the seasons. Enjoy the shorter days, cooler temperatures, and shifting weather, without letting them interrupt your sleep routine. By making some minor adjustment for the new season, you can welcome fall with open arms, comfortable bedding, and deep sleep.