Sleep expert's five tips for getting better sleep on colder nights

By Kristine Tarbert |

Sleeping when it's hot and humid can seem like an impossible task, but even though the weather has now finally cooled off, it doesn't mean sleep is any more comfortable.

The best room temperature for sleep is approximately 18.3 degrees Celsius, according to The Sleep Foundation, so when it starts to drop below 10 degrees outside the goal becomes keeping warm enough to sleep, without becoming too hot.

"Cold temperatures and long nights can impact your sleep schedule, for better or worse, top Aussie sleep expert Olivia Arezzolo shares with 9Honey Coach.

READ MORE: What happens if you wake up before your alarm?

Woman sleeping in bed
Cold temperatures can impact our sleep quality. (Getty)

Here, Arezzolo shares her five tips for sleeping on colder nights.

1. Reduce blue light 2 hours before bed

Dim ceiling lights and avoid screens. Especially as the days are darker earlier, we may be keen to watch TV all evening, instead of heading out for dinner or for a walk. If you do this, you'll suppress melatonin, the sleepiness hormone, and find it hard to fall and stay asleep.

2‌. Take a warm bath or shower 60-90 minutes before bed

Thermal immersion helps us feel more relaxed because the body is working harder to remain at a stable temperature – perfect at the end of any day, let alone a chilly one.

This also promotes sleep quality because melatonin production is catalysed by a 1 degree drop in body temperature, which is what happens when we move from our shower or bath into a cooler bedroom.

Olivia Arezzolo sleep expert
Top Aussie sleep expert Olivia Arezzolo shares her winter advice. (Olivia Arezzolo)

‌3. Avoid keeping the heater on all night

Further to the above, we continue to produce melatonin through the night – helping us sleep deeply – when we remain relatively cool.

This is exactly why it's important to avoid keeping the heater on all night, as it can cause us to overheat and wake up.

READ MORE: The one thing supermodel Elle Macpherson does every day

This common winter habit could be impacting your sleep. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

4‌. Use a weighted blanket

Especially for those who find it hard to switch off in the evening, a weighted blanket can reduce feelings of anxiety, and improve sleep quality.

Seek out a high quality option made from 100 per cent bamboo, extremely effective at absorbing moisture should you sweat, and high quality glass beads with an even distribution.

READ MORE: Five self-care rituals you can do in 10 minutes

5‌. Avoid alcohol within 4 hours of bedtime

With colder weather, we may be tempted to spend the evening on the couch sipping our favourite glass of red. If so, you increase the likelihood of waking through the night, and reduce REM sleep – the stage of sleep needed for memory consolidation and emotional regulation.

Needless to say, make sure your evenings are alcohol free – or simply do your best.

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