As we head into the winter, the shorter days mean our bodies sleep signals come sooner. While that might be annoying, it’s pretty natural.
But the weather can have a less natural impact on us. It’s cold and miserable outside, so we’re spending less time out there.
Did you know that even on a cloudy day, daylight is considerably brighter than any indoor lighting, so if we’re lacking that exposure to bright natural light, our bodies aren’t getting the ‘it’s time to be awake’ signal, and that can lead to us either zombie-ing our way through the day, or truly needing a caffeine fix to get us going.
Now, just to be clear, there’s nothing wrong with a cup of coffee in the morning; it can help to shake off the sleep inertia more quickly. The important bit is that you shouldn’t find yourself really NEEDING the caffeine, that’s different, and I’d suggest investigating further. It’s likely that some changes to some aspect of your sleep would be helpful.
There’s a saying which goes: “a good night’s sleep tonight starts the moment you get up this morning”. If we’re lacking exposure to daylight in the morning, our body doesn’t get a strong wake up signal.
And that also dullens the signal to sleep at night too.
If we then add in the pretty constant exposure to screens most of us have these days, we can easily be left in a sort of no-mans-land of medium brightness most of the time, where our body doesn’t really know if it should be awake or asleep. This can be responsible for some insomnias as well as overall low energy levels.
I know the importance of light exposure sounds a bit hippy, but if you are struggling with your energy levels and you think you could improve on the light exposure you get, I think you might be surprised at the changes you see.