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We all know how hard it can be to get out of bed on a cold and dark winterís morning. But anybody afflicted with what is known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD) will find this time of year even more difficult.
What is seasonal affective disorder?
SAD is known as Ďwinter depressioní as it can give people symptoms of a persistent low mood, irritability, and feelings of lethargy during the colder seasons. But itís not just our mood that can be affected, as SAD can also make us sleep longer and gain weight too.
Itís thought that lack of sunlight causes SAD. Sunlight helps the hypothalamus part of our brain produce serotonin which regulates our mood, appetite, and sleeping patterns. In addition to this, by spending more hours in darkness, it means that our bodies produce more melatonin which makes us feel naturally sleepy.
How to beat SAD
Whilst serious cases of seasonal affective disorder should always be treated by a medical professional, there are a few simple things that we can do such as exercising and eating a nutritious and balanced diet to help beat the winter blues.
But regardless of whether you have SAD, or just need help in adjusting to the dark days of winter, itís clear that sleeping well can work wonders in helping to boost our moods. So here are some simple tips to try and get you through the dreary months of winter.
Declutter your bedroom and get the basics right
Itís going to be impossible to get that mythical eight hours sleep if your bedroom is a chaotic mess. So be sure to strip everything back to the bare minimum and transform your sleeping space into a place of tranquility.
Donít forget to pay special attention to your bed either. Seeing as we spend one-third of our lives between the covers, think about how an adjustable bed with an optional massage unit can help you wind down after a stressful winterís day.
Give feng shui a try
If youíre looking for a few tips on decluttering your bedroom, then think about how the ancient Chinese philosophy of feng shui can work wonders in bringing some peace into your sleeping environment.
Easy tips like banishing mirrors, avoiding having your bed in line with the door, and making sure that the bed is approachable from both sides might sound simplistic, but they can dramatically overhaul the whole feel of your bedroom.
Keep your bedroom free of electronics
Most of us are probably guilty of spending time on our smartphones or tablets in bed. But the blue light emitted by these electrical devices can play havoc with our sleeping patterns.
So be sure to allow yourself a good hour of smartphone-free time before you want to sleep. And thereís nothing like taking a nice hot bath or curling up with a good book to make you feel sleepy.
Sleep inducing aesthetics
Even something as simple as the colours we paint our bedroom walls with can have a big effect on our sleeping habits. So be sure to keep your colour tones restrained to neutral hues, but ramp up the comfort factor with plenty of lovely soft furnishings in the form of pillows, cushions and throws.
And donít forget how the power of a few well-placed tea-light candles can make even the most banal bedroom seem so much more inviting!