Winter and sleep seem made for each other. Cold temperatures, and long, dark nights, all seem tailor-made for a great season of sleep. The truth about winter sleep is a quite a bit more complicated. Cold weather and short days pose some very specific challenges for sleep.
For example, I heard from a reader in Ohio just the other day, wondering why her insomnia is so much worse in the winter than in the warmer months.
I thought I’d answer her question here, along with a few other winter-sleep questions that come up a lot among my patients. Let’s dive into a little winter-sleep Q&A!
Q: Why is my insomnia worse in winter?
A: In her note to me, the reader pointed to several possible reasons for her escalated winter insomnia: “I feel like the cold temperatures and dry air is to blame. (Also, the lack of sun).”
She’s absolutely right, on all counts. Cold outside temperatures can create problems for indoor sleep environments. Running the heat constantly leads to dry air that can irritate the nose and throat, making