What Does Groundhog Day Have To Do With Helping You Sleep Better?
Groundhog Day is derived from the Pennsylvania Dutch superstition that if a groundhog emerging from its burrow on this February 2nd and sees its shadow due to clear weather, it will retreat to its den and winter will persist for six more weeks; but if it does not see its shadow because of cloudiness, spring will arrive early.
So, What Does Any of This Have to Do With Better Sleep?
Groundhog Day is a holiday about whether we will have more or less winter that year. Many people complain that the winter months make it harder for them to sleep. What Groundhog Day tells us is how much longer we will have to struggle through sleepless nights.
As humans, we can’t sleep the whole winters away (though many may wish they could). Healthy sleep habits can make a big difference in your quality of life. What can we do to help us get better sleep?
Here are some sleep hacks to promote better sleep:
Like the move Groundhog Day where Bill Murray repeated the same day over and over again. Doing the same thing day after day can actually help you get a better night’s rest. While we don’t recommend you repeat the encounters with Punxsutawney Phil, developing a bedtime routine and sticking to it every day can help people of all ages get better sleep.
Nighttime rituals such as “quiet time” and reading bedtime stories have long proved successful in helping children get to sleep. Recent studies have proven that those same daily routines can also help adults.
Wear a pair of socks to bed – studies have shown that by just warming up your feet you can actually sleep better in winter. As a result, sleeping with a pair of socks on can help you make like a groundhog too. Hospitals always give their patients free socks for this reason, because nothing naturally heals the body up like better sleep!
Design a cozy Groundhog burrow or for you a cozy comfortable sleep environment. Find the right room temperature for your best sleep. Some recommend between 66 and 68 degrees. Keep your bedroom free from outside noises that can disturb you. Consider using blackout curtains, eye shades, ear plugs, “white noise” machines, humidifiers, fans and other devices.
Ensure your bedding, mattress and pillows are comfortable and supportive. The one you have been using for years may have exceeded its life expectancy – about 9 or 10 years for most good quality mattresses.
If you can’t sleep, go into another room and try to do something relaxing until you feel tired. It is best to take work materials, computers, and televisions out of the sleeping environment.
The bottom line is this: sleep is so important that every year we dedicate a whole day to a Punxsutawney Phil, who can tell us how much easier it might get. So, if you are still having trouble sleeping, don’t hesitate to speak with your doctor or see one of our sleep medicine professionals.