Please note, we are proudly supported by our readers. The product links are referral based and if you purchase an item we may make a small commission. Please see our disclosure page for full details.

September 4, 2019

How Seasonal Changes & Weather Affect Sleep

From the beautiful changing leaves in autumn, to the bright sunny long summer days, the changing seasons might actually have an affect on our sleeping habits. With all of the changes going on around us it is no wonder our sleep will likely change right along with it. In this article we are going to go through all the ways seasonal changes and weather affect sleep. We will also go through how you can easily adjust in order to continue getting the best rest possible. Keep reading to find out how.

Weather Affect Sleep

Morning Light Changes

When you think of waking up happily to a glorious morning, you likely imagine the sun shining and the birds chirping. In the winter, you won’t be seeing many mornings like that. In fact it will likely be dark and dreary around the time most people get up in the morning. Waking up while it is still dark outside can be difficult to say the least.

how to wake up during the winter season

For those dark winter mornings, we suggest getting a light alarm clock. For example, we love the Philips Go Lights, you can use them as a bedside table and you can also schedule them to slowly turn on and off at different times. This simulates the rising sun, which triggers hormones for waking up. Making it much easier to get up during the winter season.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, during the summer you may find that you need to block out the sun either at night or in the early morning if your schedule doesn’t align with the rising or setting sun. This is why we love black out curtains. They now come in a variety of colors and textures to go with every room.

Want to know how to adjust to Daylight Savings? Visit our guide on how to Adjust Your Sleep Schedule During Daylight Savings.

Evening Light Changes

how to sleep during the summerDuring the late spring and summer the days become longer. With all that extra sunlight in the evening, it is easy to become wrapped up in the summer fun and stay up straight past the time you usually go to sleep. This can easily throw off your sleep schedule. This is an especially common issue for kids rooms during naps or going to sleep early.

You can also adjust your sleep schedule during the changing seasons to what suits your lifestyle. However, if you are wanting to get to sleep early in the evenings even if the sun is still partially out, this is another great opportunity to use black curtains in order to create a dark space for sleeping.

Temperature Changes – 

During the day it is easier to regulate your body temperature. While you sleep however, if you begin to overheat or get too cold it will affect the quality of the sleep you’re getting. Waking up to turn down the AC or to grab an extra blanket, is no fun. Having the right mattress, bedding, pajamas, and temperature on your thermostat, will all help ensure that you sleep well throughout the night.

Each season brings with it a change in temperature and weather, which typically means some slight modifications to ensure better sleep too. Below are some helpful suggestions to fine tune your surroundings for better sleep whether it is cooler or hotter outside.

Sleeping In Heat
how to sleep during summer heat

For starters, make sure your pajamas are made out of light breathable materials. Materials like cotton and modal are night for wicking away moisture and maintaining air flow so you can stay nice and cool. As well as switching to tees, tanks and shorts will be more appropriate during warmer months.

Same goes for your bedding. Incorporating lighter and breathable sheets, like the Brooklyn Bedding Tencel sheets makes a difference. And even using a comforter made for hot sleepers, like the Buffy Breeze, will be a welcomed addition.

And if you want some help finding the coolest sleeping mattresses on the market, then check out our article Best Mattresses for Hot Sleepers. Lastly, keeping the thermostat around 71 – 73 degrees if possible, will help you stay cool throughout the night. If you can keep it even cooler, great, but if you don’t want run up your utility bill, find a temperature that allows you to sleep comfortably, but doesn’t push your budget.

Find more tips on sleeping during the warmer months as well as how to get your bedroom summer ready in our Guide to Summer Sleeping

Sleeping In Cold
how to sleep in the winter cold

When it comes to the cool months you’ll find a shift from the recommendations of the summer. Using bedding and pajamas that keep you warmer are a must. We really like long sleeved cotton pajamas with pants during those winter months. Soft cotton is great because it is both warm while also remaining breathable, so you don’t overheat throughout the night.

Opting for cozier materials for your bedding during the winter is also perfect for creating added comfort. We love sheets made out of flannel and jersey cotton. Our favorites are the flannel sheets from Woven or the Jersey cotton sheets from Tuft & Needle.

Similar to summer it is best to keep your thermostat cooler at night. Try to keep your thermostat between 68-70 during the winter months. This will keep the bitter cold out while keeping you from overheating under your toasty sheets and bedding. And, having it on the cooler end will save you a bit of money on heating too.

Learn more on how to sleep better during the winter months and how to get your bedroom ready for the colder months in our Guide to Winter Sleeping

Seasonal Allergies

When seasonal allergies hit hard, that it can feel like you are really sick. It can be far more than a simple sneeze here and there. If you are a sufferer of seasonal allergies it can really take a toll on your sleep. Fortunately, we have a few tips to help you get a better night’s rest.

allergies might be ruining your sleep what to do

First, make sure you wash your sheets regularly, at least every 1 to 2 weeks. Also, we strongly suggest using a mattress protector. Many options are hypo-allergenic and keep allergens from getting into your mattress. They also can be washed regularly too. We love the organic mattress pad protector by Avocado to keep allergies at bay and your mattress clean.

Another suggestion is to take a shower before bed, or at the very least wash your face and hands. And keep your hair up and out of your face. And don’t forget to hydrate and drink plenty of water. Keeping your air passages lubricated will keep you much more comfortable.

No matter how lovely it is out, make sure you keep the windows to your bedroom closed. Even a little bit during the day can be enough to blow in allergens that can settle onto your bed and keep you sneezing all night long. And don’t forget to change your filters on your HVAC system if needed too. All of these little things do make a difference.

Seasonal Illnesses – 

what to do if you keep getting sick and can't sleepDuring the winter months heaters are running almost constantly. These heaters dry out the surrounding air that you are breathing. Dry hot air can dry up your nasal passages which allows bacteria to start growing. This can cause all sort of colds and illnesses.

We suggest getting a good humidifier for your home and keeping it running in your bedroom as you sleep. We love the Warm Mist Humidifier by Steamfast. Unlike other humidifiers that can feel like a blistering cold breeze, the Steamfast Warm Mist slightly warms the mist so it isn’t quite co chilly if you happen to pass by it.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and Sleep

depression keeping you from sleeping wellIf every winter you find yourself feeling a wave of depression and like you simply want to stay in bed and hibernate, it might be more than a simple case of the blues. You may in fact be suffering from seasonal affective disorder. It is common for a lot of people to suffer with an extra dose of depression through the winter season, and it can make it difficult to keep a regulated sleep schedule.

With the dark skies and cold days, it can be difficult to get out and see friends. The temptation to stay in bed all day can be very strong. During the winter season some people may even experience that their bodies are over producing melatonin. If this is happening to you it will make you want to sleep pretty much anytime of day, essentially throwing off your entire sleep schedule. No need to fret, there are ways to kick the winter blues.

Sunlight and SAD

First we suggest getting out at any sign of sunlight. Second, take a Vitamin D supplement. We often get an extra boost of Vitamin D from sunlight and the supplement can help replace that. While it can be tempting to stay in bed every chance you get, doing so will likely increase feelings of depression. Instead, get out when you can and make sure to get up and out of your pajamas every day.

Exercise and SAD

working out and depressionExercising is another great way to cope with depression. Working out releases feel good chemicals into the brain while also increasing health.

If you exercise in the morning it can also help to wake you up and get your body moving. Giving you make energy throughout the day. Depression is serious and sometimes we need extra help to get out of it. Talk to friends and family if you are suffering and be sure to get the help and support you need.

If you want to learn more about how exercise affect sleep read our article Exercise and Sleep: Is Exercise Good For Sleep? 

Bad Weather & Storms –

what to do when you can't sleep through thunder stormsDepending on where you live, you may experience different kinds of storms during all sorts of seasons. Whether it is a summer thunderstorm or a winter blizzard, storms can be frightening and noisy. Which can wake up you and/or your kids, leading to a potentially long and sleepless night. Storms are especially disruptive to sleep for children and pets.

While many adults can go back to sleep after a loud crack of thunder, many children will need help and comfort. You might be able to seek help through sound machines for smaller storms. They will distract from any outside noise. However, it won’t help for those extra loud cracks of thunder.

For children and adults alike, sleeping with those you love can calm your nerves and help you get back to sleep after a storm wakes you up. Close your curtains to muffle as much noise as possible and also shut out any potential flashes of lightening. For our adults, you can even sleep with eye masks and ear plugs in order to drown out any noise or light.

Rain –

calming rain might help you sleep at nightOn the other hand, you may find the light pitter patter sound of rainfall to be calming and puts you to sleep. In that case you may ever want to invest in a sound machine.

Many sound machines out there, like the Big Red Rooster Noise Machine, has one of the most realistic rain sounds I have heard on a sound machine. As well as a variety of other ideal sounds to soothe you to sleep.

By using a sound machine, you can sleep to your favorite noises. Whether it’s rain, waves or even white noise. Meaning you don’t have to wait for a seasonal rain shower to help you sleep better.

How Seasonal Changes & Weather Affect Sleep

When the seasons and weather begin to change, they can really mess up your sleep schedule. However with a few of our tips and tricks, we hope you will be able to sleep well now matter what time of year. If you invest in your health and happiness then you’re sure to get the best sleep year round.

If you need help getting your bedroom ready for the changing seasons, then check out our guides on how to Get A Summer Ready Bedroom or Get A Winter Ready Bedroom. Also, if you have any tips or tricks for getting better sleep during the changing seasons or disruptive weather let us know. Contact Us!

how the changing seasons may affect your sleep

Also, if you have any tips or tricks for getting better sleep during the changing seasons or disruptive weather let us know. Contact Us!