The study suggests that for healthy sleep, adjustments need to be made depending on the time of year.
If you can barely get out of bed at the same time in winter as you can in summer, ridicule about your laziness may well be unfounded, and scientists have found an explanation for this. A new study suggests that we should adjust our sleep schedule depending on the time of year, writes The Guardian .
The study was conducted at the Clinic for Sleep and Chronomedicine at St. Hedwig’s Hospital in Germany. An analysis of the people who participated in the sleep study found that people sleep more in REM sleep during the winter, which is known to be linked to our circadian rhythm.
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The researchers found that total sleep time was about an hour longer in winter than in summer, but the researchers did not consider this result to be statistically significant. At the same time, they found that REM sleep, which is affected by changes in lighting, lasts half an hour longer in winter than in summer.
Note that the study was conducted in urban populations suffering from sleep disorders, and now the researchers plan to replicate it in people with healthy sleep, which will be the first evidence of the need to adjust sleep habits depending on the time of year. Scientists note that the best solution to this problem is to go to bed earlier in the cold months.
According to the author of the study, Dr. Dieter Kunz, seasonal periods are inherent in any living creature on this planet. Despite the fact that in winter we still function unchanged, human physiology is suppressed, and already in the last days of winter – early spring, we can feel the devastation.
Researchers believe this is why people should consider adjusting their sleep habits for the seasons, or adjusting school and work schedules to seasonal sleep needs.
Note that about three hundred people with sleep problems took part in this study. The scientists acknowledge that it will be necessary to replicate studies in people with healthy sleep patterns to confirm the results, but they fear that they may have even greater changes in sleep rhythms than in this study.