How to Prepare your Bedroom for Winter 

Prevent Sleep Disruptions & Boost Your Wellness

By Adarsh Shah


The mornings are cold.  The birds don’t seem to chirp as before.  And the sun no longer creeps in through the blinds.  As winter edges closer, it’s no wonder you feel like pulling the blanket tighter and staying in bed longer.  With spring still months away, you’ll find some tips below to prepare your bedroom for winter and receive refreshing, restorative sleep.

As Canadians, we’re not afraid of winter.  In fact, we embrace it.  Winter brings us the joys of the first snowfall, the excitement of the holidays, the feasts of celebration, and the hope of a new year. But, if you feel like your 7 or 8 hours of sleep isn’t as restful as it is in the summer, you’re not alone.   To battle winter sleepiness, minimize the factors which disrupt your sleep and stimulate all of your senses to feel revitalized.  Here are some strategies to get you bouncing out of bed each morning.

Get Cozy, Fall Asleep Faster: Being able to fall asleep quickly is the first step to better sleep.  Many battle the initial chill of a cold bed by switching to cozier sleepwear made from flannel.  It’s cotton surface is brushed – which traps heat and acts as an insulator.  For a more advanced option, consider Mey’s new sleepwear that claims that their titanium-mineral fabric reflects far-infrared rays back to the body, for a more positive energy balance.

An alternative method to stay warm is to place a hot water bottle under the blanket 5-10 minutes before you plan on sleeping.  But be careful: older adults and those with sensitive skin should know leaks can burn the skin.  A heated mattress pad, electric blanket or a heavier winter duvet could be a safer alternative.  To receive the benefits of both convection and electric heat together with a remote and digital display, consider a water-based heating pad from Chili or NEAT.

Modify Your Bedtime Routine, Relieve Stress: Once asleep, you want to stay asleep. But, as you probably know, sleep is as much mental as it is physiological.  One of the best ways to relieve stress is through physical exercise. But, in the winter, it can get harder to get outside and be active.  Reduce anxiety by placing a few drops of soothing lavender essential oil in your hot water bottle or on your pillow.  Today you can purchase mattresses or pillows already infused with lavender oils in their fabric and foam.  Or try the deep-touch pressure therapy of a weighted blanket for a reassuring, cocoon-like feeling.

Consider using the change in seasons to adjust your bedtime routine and minimize the use of devices before you sleep.  But if you simply can’t separate yourself from your device, try turning on airplane mode and use a meditation app like Calm or Headspace to steady your mind for sleep.

Elevate Your Neck, Breathe Easier, Relieve Congestion: While the vaccines have helped protect us against COVID-19, winter brings us new variants of the cold and flu virus.  With that comes nasal congestion and difficulty breathing which disrupts deep sleep.  Having the right pillow is critical for supporting your neck and keeping your airways open.  Innovations in 3D foam cutting and technical fabrics have created better options than the traditional contour pillow.  Look for “cervical”, “anatomical” or “shoulder-cut” pillows to support your neck no matter if you’re a side sleeper, back sleeper or both.

In addition, some adjustable beds have a pillow-tilt feature which allows you to minutely adjust the angle at which your head lays, as well as your back.  Adjusting the position up and down can help relieve congestion and even reduce snoring, whether it’s your partner’s or your own.  

Stay Temperature-Neutral, Prevent Overheating: While we might be cold getting into bed, somewhat counter-intuitively, it’s very easy to get uncomfortably hot as the night progresses.  The extra layers that you wear or add to the bed can trap your body heat, make you sweat and cause disruptions in your circadian rhythm and sleep cycle.

Prevent overheating by switching to a more breathable down duvet, or a wool duvet that regulates temperature naturally and wicks away moisture.  Minimize the amount of body heat absorbed into the mattress by adding a cool, breathable topper to the surface.  Toppers infused with copper, graphite or gel absorb heat more slowly and keep the surface temperature neutral.

Stimulate the Senses, Wake-up Refreshed: As winter encroaches and our clocks move back, we tend to wake up in darkness.  Replicate the refreshing effects of a bright summer morning with a sunrise alarm clock.  These smart lamps gradually brighten in sync with your alarm.  Some can stimulate your ears with the sound of cheerful chirping birds instead of the usual alarm siren.  Alternatively, bypass the additional hardware and create an artificial dawn by simply downloading a wake up app onto your tablet or smart speaker.

Boost Your Wellness: Sleep is our body’s time to perform internal repair and maintenance.  During sleep, your brain stores away new information, your nerve cells reorganize themselves, and your body repairs cells and blood vessels.  This nighttime healing process is one of the reasons ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke.

But sleep isn’t just good for your body, it’s also critical for your mental and emotional well-being. Sleep deprivation has been linked to mood changes, the inability to cope with even minor stress, anxiety, and depression.

Beat the winter blues by using the simple strategies above to transform your bedtime and wake- up environment.  You’ll feel better rested, physically stronger and mentally more prepared to positively embrace the winter!

To prepare your bedroom for winter and learn more about sleep quality, contact the friendly sleep experts at Ultramatic.  Visit their showrooms in Toronto / Mississauga / Oakville, browse,  email, or call 1-866-413-4169 for a free consultation.