Stay warm in bed this winter and take advantage of the longer nights to refresh your sleep routine, is the advice from The Sleep Council.

Dark mornings and evenings can have lots of amazing health benefits including helping you get a better night’s sleep. Melatonin – the hormone that stimulates sleep – is produced when daylight starts to fade, which occurs far earlier during winter. So take advantage of the fact that your body will fall asleep earlier and stay asleep for longer.

However, with temperatures usually at their lowest during the early hours, the risk for many people is waking up shivering and being too cold to get a good night’s rest.

The Sleep Council has produced some top tips to help ensure we don’t turn into ice cubes during the night but stay warm as toast:

  • Wear night clothes such as pyjamas or a large T-shirt to keep you cosy. Natural fibres such as wool, cotton or silk are better than synthetic materials.
  • Have a warm bath just before you go to bed. This will raise your body temperature which in turn will also help to make you sleepy.
  • Have a warm milky drink before bed.
  • Try to take some exercise which will get the circulation going.

It is also worth looking at the bedroom, the bed and the bedding all of which play a part in keeping you insulated in the cold night air.

  • Keep the bedroom around 16° to 18° and free from draughts.
  • Avoid a saggy bed. It may be nice to cuddle up to share a bit of body heat when you first get into bed, but it can be very uncomfortable and clammy during the night if you are thrown together by a bed that isn’t giving you the correct support.
  • Look for a mattress which has a thicker side for use during the winter. A soft sleeping surface is a better insulator than a flat one. Use a fleecy underblanket to retain the heat.
  • Choose a duvet with a high tog rating or use several layers of bedding rather than one single layer. Layers will trap the air and are easily removed if you get too hot.
  • A hot water bottle is an ideal way to keep cosy once in bed. Make sure it has a cover on it to avoid scalding and also so that it won’t feel cold in the middle of the night.
  • Electric blankets are ideal. Underblankets will warm the bed up before you retire for the night, while overblankets maintain a constant temperature throughout the night.

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