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How Seasonal Changes Impact Your Sleep (Without You Even Knowing)

Millie Diaz
by Millie Diaz 6 months ago in mental health

Lifestyle changes I’ve made to help cope with seasonal depression

For a very long time I struggled to get a good night’s sleep. I was always either tossing and turning for most of the night because my bed was too hot, too uncomfortable, too squeaky, or simply too old. After hours of misery I would finally meet that first REM cycle, but couldn’t stay asleep for long because the discomfort was real! I genuinely thought it was just my seasonal depression which would sometimes trigger my anxiety. For those of you unfamiliar with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), it’s a form of depression influenced by seasonal changes. It can impact several areas of your life, including daily activities, your interactions, productivity, and your overall mood. But, I wasn’t awake because of any mental stress or agitation and I couldn’t pinpoint why—until I learned that my old, unsupportive mattress was partially to blame for how I was feeling, and the physical stress on my body.

I realized I needed a new mattress.

I chose Lull and it saved my sleep

I know what you’re thinking. I was skeptical too that a mattress could possibly improve my situation, until I decided it was finally time to upgrade to Lull.

Lull prides itself on helping people get a good night’s sleep. Of course there are ways to improve your sleep schedule with a bunch of behavioral changes—diminishing screen time, earlier bedtimes, set routine, all super important!—but I figured the one, simplest way to start that would likely have the biggest impact on my quality of sleep would be by upgrading the foundation first: my mattress. After all, when you’re dealing with anxiety and mood-related issues, it can be difficult to find the motivation to stick to routines or change up your behaviors! So, I decided to get a Lull Mattress in the hopes that a better night’s sleep would give me the energy boost I’d need to make all those necessary lifestyle changes I knew would help me in the long run. Especially since I knew Lull offers a 365 night risk-free trial, I decided I didn’t have anything to lose.

Why sleep is so important

Just one bad night’s sleep can have a major effect on you the next day. You may feel drained and overwhelmed, or you may snap at your co-worker because you’re so unexplainably irritable. Maybe you struggle to make it through the day because you can’t concentrate, and have no energy. And on top of that, the direct effects of seasonal changes—earlier sunsets and later sunrises, dramatic time changes, and temperature changes all have major effects on your mood, routine, and mental health. This is why sleep is so important: it can make or break how we handle the challenges our day throws at us.

At first, it sounds so simple. Just go to bed early, and make sure you’re getting a full 8 hours of sleep, right? Well...that’s not as easy as it sounds. For years I was under the impression that my mood contributed to my lack of sleep, when in reality my lack of sleep was contributing to my mood. It’s crazy! I know. While you sleep, your body works to support healthy brain function and maintain your physical health. And, for young adults who are still growing, sleep is how our bodies and minds continuously mature, repair and develop. So, when you’re missing out on these precious hours on cloud nine, you feel tired all day, you find it hard to concentrate and remember things, and your mood is sure to be affected. Lack of sleep can also impair your judgement and impact your physical coordination, how you feel, think, work, learn and get along with other people.

How seasonal changes disrupt sleep

Temperature regulation is key to a good night’s sleep. Seasonal changes obviously bring temperature changes along with them, and suddenly once the nights get muggy or your heater kicks on, what’s worked for you for months suddenly leaves you with heatstroke. Even in the chillier months, many of us find ourselves tossing and turning looking for the cool side of our bed or pillow. Luckily, the top two layers of Lull Mattresses are crafted to promote airflow and breathability so you can get the mostrefreshing night’s sleep. The third layer helps prevent you from waking up with any aches and pains, and may be a supportive choice for those who suffer from aches and pains.

Another major factor at play is changes in time with Daylight Savings. Earlier sunsets can contribute to sluggishness, lack of motivation, and getting tired early in the day—which can throw off your circadian rhythm if you begin slowing down hours before you actually get into bed. On the other hand, you may find yourself waking up earlier, but ultimately find you have difficulty falling or staying asleep because of the changes in your usual routine.

Ultimately, studies have shown that people who are sleep deprived report increases in negative moods (anger, frustration, irritability, sadness) and decreases in positive moods, meaning these symptoms are often associated with seasonal changes as they may raise the risk of, and even contribute to, developing some mood disorders.

Prioritize your well-being

For all of those reasons, it’s extremely important to think of making changes that will improve your sleep as investments in yourself. Not only can it improve your day-to-day mood and productivity, but being kinder to your body can kickstart a cycle of positivity that’ll make you more enthusiastic about giving yourself what you need.

But the good news is that after years of struggling, I was able to combat these effects, and you can too. Lull has helped me overcome the struggles of my seasonal depression by helping me realize how important my quality of sleep is—and why I deserve higher quality sleep. Sleeping on a Lull Mattress has definitely improved my mood and enhanced my overall quality of life. If your sleep is affected by seasonal changes, upgrading to Lull may help reduce stress, boost your immune system, and help you stay happy.

mental health
Millie Diaz
Millie Diaz
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