Like the mighty grizzly bear that hibernates in winter, many people spend more time sleeping during this cold, dark season, a new survey reveals.
According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), 34% of Americans say they sleep more in winter, compared with 10% who claim they sleep less during this time of year.
In summer, these numbers are turned around, with 36% saying they sleep less and 9% saying they sleep more than usual.
“The shorter days during the winter create a great, natural opportunity to spend more time sleeping,” Dr. Kelly Carden, president of the AASM, said in an academy news release.
“Getting quality sleep of adequate duration can improve physical and mental health, overall performance and mitigate safety risks,” she added.
Here are some tips for getting a good night’s sleep regardless of the season:
- Set a bedtime that allows you to get enough sleep.
- Avoid screens and electronics before bed. Exposure to light at night can disrupt the sleep cycle.
- Avoid caffeine after lunch and alcohol near bedtime — both can disrupt sleep.
- Relax before bed, by taking a warm bath, drinking tea, journaling or meditating.
- Make your bedroom comfortable. It should be cave-like — quiet, dark and a little cool.
- If you have sleep problems, see your doctor.
For more on getting a good night’s sleep, head to the National Sleep Foundation.