Why Do We Crave More Sleep in Winter?

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Why Do We Crave More Sleep in Winter?"

Why Do We Crave More Sleep in Winter?

When winter comes, a lot of us see our sleep habits change- we want to use the snooze button more or it’s tough for us to stay awake at night. But why do people sleep more often and for longer in the cold months? Let’s make it easy to understand.

Natural Body Clocks and Darkness

Our bodies have clocks inside that help control when we feel awake or sleepy. These timekeeping tools, known as circadian rhythms, need light to function properly. In winter, our days are shorter and we have less sun. The less sunlight we have can mess with our body’s timing system. It makes us create more of a sleep-making hormone called melatonin, making us feel like sleeping early in the evening.

Lack of Sunlight and Mood

Sunlight affects our mood a lot. It assists our bodies in making substances that keep us content and alert, like serotonin. In winter, when there is less sunlight, our serotonin levels can go down. Less of this happy thing can make us feel sleepier and slower, making more rest seem like what we need.

Cold Weather and Energy Conservation

Our bodies work harder to keep warm when it’s cold outside. This extra effort can make us feel more worn out and want to rest even more. It’s like our bodies want to save energy by sleeping more when it gets colder.

Winter Habits and Routine Changes

In winter, our usual daily habits and routines are often different. Maybe, because of the cold temperature, we spend more time inside. This could make us do less outdoor stuff. Staying home more often and having fewer parties can give us extra time to relax at our house. This makes it easier for us to sleep well too!

Our Body’s Old Instincts

In the old days, our grandmas and great-grandpas probably slept more in winter to save energy when food was hard to get and it was very cold. We don’t sleep like animals in winter, but our bodies might still feel an old instinct to relax more when it’s cold outside.

How to Adapt to Winter Sleep Changes: Tips for a Good Night’s Rest!

To navigate these changes in our sleep patterns during winter: 

  • Try to keep a regular bedtime, even when you want to sleep late.
  • Go outside during the day as much as you can to get lots of sunshine.
  • Make your bedroom a snug and relaxed place to sleep.
  • Welcome and accept your body’s need for more sleep during winter.

Knowing why we usually sleep more in winter helps us accept this seasonal shift. Don’t battle with the desire to sleep more, agreeing and changing our body’s needs can assist us in feeling better balanced during winter.


It is normal and caused by many things such as light, coldness or habits to feel like you need more sleep in winter. But it’s important to listen what your body wants. If sleeping less or more affects how we live everyday, it’s good to ask for help from a health expert.

Basically, the desire to sleep more in winter is a normal part of our body’s reaction to changes with the seasons. If we accept the need for more sleep, it will help us be healthier and happier when sleeping throughout each year.

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