Are you finding that you're sleeping more now that it's winter? There's a good reason for that! Whatever the season, however, you always need to keep sleep routines in play.

Why we sleep more in winter

Shorter days and longer nights means we're exposed to fewer hours of sunlight. Our bodies need darkness to trigger the release of melatonin, the sleep hormone. You might find that your own circadian rhythm has to adjust to the shorter days but when you do, you feel like going to bed earlier. That's not a bad thing at all! You might also find that you naturally wake up later so you should definitely set your alarm clock, especially if you have morning commitments like work, appointments and kids in school. Mind you, setting your alarm to wake you up at a similar time each morning is healthier for your sleep patterns anyway.

The risk of sleeping too much

Sleep is one of those funny things that, the more we get of it, the more we need of it. In winter, the converse effect of getting darkness and triggering melatonin is that we also get less sunlight. Our skin cells produce more of another hormone - seratonin - when we get plenty of sunlight. When our skin is exposed to sunlight, it produces Vitamin D from cholesterol. If your Vitamin D levels are depleted, such as because your body is covered with warmer clothing in winter or you're not going outside as much, your sleep can also be negatively impacted.

Seratonin is the 'wakeful' hormone. It helps you feel awake when you get up. Without sufficient levels, you can feel tired and even your mood can be affected.

So, all said and done, the aim is to access adequate sunlight directly on your skin in the day and create darkness when it's time to sleep. For daytime sunlight, even hanging out the washing, walking to the shops or watering the garden is sufficient.

Our beautiful sleep essential oils have been created to help trigger the release of melatonin so you can drift off to a peaceful sleep without a busy mind. Try them if you're experiencing difficulties with your sleep at winter time, or throughout the year for restful, restorative sleep.