Study: February Worst Month For Sleep
A survey conducted by online sleep improvement program Sleepio found February to be the worst month for sleep. Dark days, long nights and centrally-heated homes all amount to reduced sleep quality and quantity. In fact, participants needed an extra eight minutes on average to achieve sleep in February as compared to March, and spent an additional 10 minutes awake each night.
“These results demonstrate the difficulty many people experience with sleep during the shorter, darker days typical of this time of the year,” said sleep expert and Sleepio co-founder Colin Espie. “With spring coming up, we’re at the tail end of a bad spell for sleep, but the improvement in light levels in March will also bring better sleep.”
The study based its findings on the Great British Sleep Survey of more than 21,000 UK adults who completed questionnaires about their sleep quality each month. Last February, the average time needed to get to sleep was 56 minutes and the time awake during the night was 59 minutes, compared to 48 and 49 minutes respectively in March.
Likewise, nearly a third more people said they suffered from low energy levels in February than in March.
Worse than January, February sleep scores increase significantly by March, when the survey predicts a 14-percent increase in sleep quality and 26 percent decrease in people frustrated over sleep.
“The body clock is highly regulated by ambient light, the light coming from outside, which provides the alerting signal for an even keel of wakefulness during the day,” Espie said. “Those signals are not so distinct in winter and drowsiness is promoted by stuffy centrally heated homes, buildings with low levels of light and lack of fresh air, which has an adverse effect on the quality of sleep at night.”
[Image via Flickr/Fairy Heart]