April 17, 2018
Sleepy springtime: Why am I not sleeping at this time of year?
After the dark nights of winter, you might be glad for the lengthening days of spring. This is especially true if you struggle to sleep, as the gloomy December mornings make it hard to get out of bed. However, many people find that they have just as much trouble getting enough rest in April and May.
For many, it’s not entirely clear why this would be. After all, the spring has a relatively normal day/night cycle, nothing like the brightness of summer or the dark nights of winter. However, there are a range of different factors that conspire to make it hard to sleep in the spring.
With a good night’s rest being so important for your overall health, it’s crucial that you get a handle on anything stopping you from getting your eight hours. Read on for more information about what causes these difficulties with sleep, as well as advice on what you can do to deal with them.
One of the main noises associated with the spring is the singing of birds. While this can be lovely while you’re out for a walk, it’s not so nice at 4am when you’re trying to sleep. This can be a major problem for many people, although it isn’t always clear that waking up is due to birdsong.
If you find yourself bothered by birds, or waking up in the early hours without a clear reason, it might be an idea to invest in a pair of earplugs and see if they help. Failing that, having some quiet, relaxing music on in the background while you sleep can accustom you to noise and prevent it from suddenly waking you up.
As mentioned earlier, spring means the days start getting longer, but this means the sunrises start coming earlier. This can be quite a contrast from the dark winter mornings, and the extra light can lead to you waking up early and struggling to get back to sleep. Bright light is one of the most effective ways to wake yourself up, after all.
To fix this, you can invest in an eye mask or blackout curtains. These will block the excess light in the morning, but they can make it hard to get out of bed if not used properly. As soon as your alarm goes off, you should open your curtains and expose yourself to the sunlight to help wake yourself up when you need to.
The blooming of spring flowers bring plenty of pollen with them, and the rising temperature means pets will start to moult as they lose their thick summer coats. These are bad news for allergy sufferers, who can find themself struggling to sleep through a blocked nose and itchy eyes.
Besides taking any allergy medication you are on, there are a few things you can do. If it’s cool enough, you can try sleeping with the window closed. You can also take a shower before bed to wash off any allergens before you try to get to sleep.
The weather is always unpredictable, perhaps no more so than in the spring. Some nights are unseasonably warm, while others are freezing cold. If you’re not prepared, you can end up struggling to sleep due to being the wrong temperature.
It’s worth keeping an eye on the weather forecast. You should be able to get a good idea of what temperature it is during the night, which will let you know if you need a blanket or to sleep with the window open. In addition, keep a diary of how hot or cold it was each night, and whether or not you struggled to sleep as a result.
Spring is often seen as a time to clear out the house and be more productive. This can mean exercising more, pushing for a promotion at work, or simply making sure your home is clean. However, all of these cause stress, and this can make it hard for you to get a restful night’s sleep.
Try to leave yourself at least an hour before bed each night to relax and have some time to wind down. This should be spent reading, meditating or whatever allows you to take your mind off your day-to-day stressors. This should allow you to close the day in a relaxed manner and sleep through the night.