While many adults feel sluggish and tired during the winter, does this mean you actually need more sleep during winter, or is a sign of something else?

Should you sleep more or less during Winter season?

Do you have the winter blues? Or is it something else?

Snowy days, warm beds, cold nights and dark mornings make it easy to linger in bed. According to data collected by an app called Sleep Cycle, the urge to sleep more during the winter is common. Many adults report feeling sluggish and tired during the winter. But does this mean you actually need more sleep during the winter, or is a sign of something else?

According to Dr. Brant Hasler, professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh, the most common reason for wanting to sleep more in the winter is extended hours of darkness. Our bodies are programmed to want to sleep when it’s dark and to be awake during the day. Fewer daylight hours mean our bodies naturally want to hibernate a little, just like bears. 

Data collected by the Sleep Cycle app supports this theory, stating that individuals who live in sunnier areas typically sleep up to an hour less per night than individuals who live in areas with longer periods of darkness.

Dr. Hasler states that for the most part, going along with your body’s desire for a little more sleep is harmless and may bring some benefit. Most Americans sleep far less than the recommended amount (between eight and nine hours of sleep per night). However, if you find yourself sleeping a lot and still feeling tired, there may be something else going on.

Are you SAD?

A report from the National Health Service in the United Kingdom states that if you constantly feel tired, worn out and sluggish during the winter, it could be a sign of something more serious than the need for a nap.

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