You sleep longer in colder temperatures

People sleep longer in winter

Almost everyone knows it: When the days get shorter and gray, fatigue often sets in. Dark and cold winter days also ensure that you can hardly get out of bed in the morning. Due to the cold temperatures and the gray weather, experts are currently even recommending sleeping longer in winter. That is healthy.

Always tired? People need more sleep in winter. Photo: Pixelio

Fatigue: It is quite normal to find it difficult to get out of bed on cold and gray winter days. "It's not unhealthy if we keep up with our internal clock in winter and sleep a little longer," says sleep doctor Hans-Günter Weeß from the Palatinate Clinic for Psychiatry and Neurology in Klingenmünster. According to the expert, people do adapt to the seasons. There is then a light-dark rhythm that influences the organism. The reason for this: the hormone production changes.

When winter makes you tired

There is a hormone called melatonin. It ensures that we tired become. Depending on the brightness, different amounts of melatonin are released. "Bright light stops the release of melatonin," confirms the Weeß. In return, the body releases more of this hormone during the dark season, which makes you tired. Apparently, most people feel the same way: Studies show that people sleep around 30 minutes longer on average in winter. In addition, the gray winter also causes a certain lack of drive. Those who do not meet the increased need for sleep in winter will feel more tired throughout the day.

Fatigue - what to do?

Exactly how much more people have to sleep in winter varies from type to type. According to sleep researchers, there are so-called sleep types: short and late sleepers. Apparently three to five hours of sleep per night are enough for the short sleeper. The late riser, on the other hand, needs nine, ten or eleven hours to get a good rest. So if partner or friends sleep less, then late risers should not adapt to this rhythm. But if this persists despite the long sheep, then medical causes could also be responsible.

This helps against tiredness:

  • Lots of exercise in the fresh air
  • Much liquid
  • Soak up as much sun as possible even in winter
  • Take a short nap at noon
  • Pay attention to a healthy diet
  • Have possible vitamin or mineral deficiencies (such as iron deficiency) clarified
  • Get the circulation going (alternating showers, sauna or exercise)
  • Minimize stress
2012-02-02