Having Trouble Sleeping During The Winter Solstice? Here's How To Save Your Snooze

Ad failed to load

The winter solstice is upon us! Since the days get shorter around this time of year, some people definitely find themselves groggier and more apt to nap and oversleep. And with the the shortest day and longest night of the year creeping up this coming Thursday, Dec. 21, some of us might have trouble sleeping during the winter solstice, rather than snoozing for too long.

Again, while some people find they sleep a lot more, I personally have more trouble sleeping this time of year. The reason for this might, at least in part, have to do with SAD (seasonal affective disorder). When the hours of the day start shifting around and you get less sunlight, you are also making less serotonin — which helps regulate everything from your appetite to your mood and sleep patterns. And yeah, since winter solstice is the shortest day of the year, you might really be feeling the effects of the increased dark time.  

But those of us who take the changes in light and season a little harder are not alone, my friends, and if you, like me, have trouble easing that restless mind and getting your Zs during the winter months, rest assured there are tips and tricks that might help you to save your snooze from being overtaken by the winter-time shifts in schedule.

Ad failed to load

Whether it's holiday stress or your body feeling totally out of whack when the solstice hits, be prepared with a few sleep hacks so you're rested come the weekend.

Ad failed to load

1Try An Actual Sleep Tonic

Dirty Lemon

Sleep Tonic (Case of Six), $45, Dirty Lemon

I tried this Dirty Lemon Sleep Tonic, and it knocked me the heck out. I'm sensitive to basically everything herbal, so I'm not kidding when I say I had about three sips of this sleep juice, simply made of magnesium and Bulgarian rose water, and I slept like a newborn.

Natural supplements work differently for everyone, so use with caution and maybe check in with a doc before trying, but they can definitely be a useful aid now and then if you're struggling to shut off at night.

2Listen To The Sweet, Sweet Rain

321 Relaxing - Meditation Relax Clips on YouTube

Noise pollution is real, my friends, and it can definitely affect your ability to fall and stay sleep, and furthermore, negatively affect the quality of rest you get, your mood, and even your appetite.

So whether you're next to a busy street and the midnight route of a snow plow, or happen to live next to a neighbor having a big ol' outdoor winter solstice party Dec. 21, try some sleep sounds to soothe you and block out the extra noise.

3Give Blackout Curtains A Shot

Bed Bath & Beyond

Twilight Room Darkening Grommet Window Curtain Panel, $19.99, Bed Bath & Beyond

Another thing that can mess up your quality of rest? Light, and even natural light, like moonlight! Don a sleep mask, or try some blackout curtains to darken your room bear-cave style for a better shot at some deep hibernation.

Ad failed to load

4Stock Up On Magnesium-Rich Foods

Christopher Furlong/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Consider stocking up during the day on foods that are full of ingredients that help to calm your nervous system, like magnesium-rich almonds, bananas, figs, or chard.

Foods that include tryptophan (used in the synthesis of melatonin, another chemical that induces sleep) are another good choice; try adding in some eggs or seaweed during the day.

5Make Sure You're Cold Enough


What's that you say? Make sure you're cold enough... in the winter?

That's right, friends! It turns out that your body actually rests better when your body temperature is lower. So while you don't want to be freezing, of course, you do want to be cool, and keeping your body temperature lower by a degree or two might very well help those middle-of-the-night arousals.

While you could invest in a cooling mattress pad, you can also simply crack the window or keep a fan on to get some cool air circulating. Set the thermostat in your bedroom at about 60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit for your best rest.

And yeah, maybe it's time to swap those flannels for sleeping in your skivvies, or even in the buff.

6Go Easy On The Caffeine And Sugar


If the shortened day and sleep troubles have you feeling super sluggish, you might want to reach for that cup of coffee or some chocolates more frequently than normal for a bit of a wake-up.

But since caffeine can stay in your system from four to six hours (possibly longer), you want to be mindful of when you take your last sip.

Try cold lemon water or even spicy food if you're in need an evening boost.

Now go forth, and get ready for a nice, long winter nap!

Ad failed to load

Must Reads

5 Trends From The '90s Are Making A Serious Comeback, So Somebody Page Cher Horowitz

I was born in the '90s and my childhood was one Caboodles train case packed with scrunchies and butterfly clips after another. If you could believe it, early '90s fashion is already considered vintage (I officially feel old AF) and according to sprin…
By Stephanie Montes

This New Snapchat Feature Is Going To Make Your Stories Look Even Better

Giphy is officially taking over social media, and I'm not upset about it. After invading Instagram stories with funny animated stickers, the company partnered with Snapchat — and now, we're finally able to fill our Snaps with hilarious GIFs. In other…
By Amanda Fama

Your Weekly Horoscope Is Here & Luckily, It's All Good Things

Pat yourself on the back because you survived not only one but two major eclipses. The last few weeks have been one obstacle after another but you made it. You dealt with the pain, held it together, and prevailed. Now, your February 19, 2018 weekly h…
By Roya Backlund

6 Subtle Red Flags That Could Mean You’re Sleeping Way Too Much

Have you ever woken up after an unusually long night of sleep and felt, well, kind of awful? Whether you roll out of bed feeling super dehydrated, nursing a throbbing a headache, or you simply feel stiff as a board, there are reasons why your body mi…
By Annakeara Stinson

These 6 Workouts Can Be Done Right On Your Couch, & Yes, They Do Count As Exercise

Ever have that feeling when you're watching the Olympics like you should be working out, or at least stretching, but in reality you're just laying around eating chips? Yeah, me neither. But if you do ever feel that pull to work out when you're just l…
By Annakeara Stinson

10 Things You Should Say To Your Partner Every Day To Keep The Love Alive

When it coms to love, falling into it is a lot easier than maintaining it. There’s a reason, after all, that it's called "falling" in love, because it's mostly out of your control — the heart just takes over. Because those emotions come so easily and…
By Rachel Shatto

Science Says These 8 Foods Can Help You Live Longer, So Eat Up

If you're looking to live forever, or at least for an appropriately long amount of time, then the best way to get started on your journey toward immortality is to think about what you're putting into your body for fuel. Think of your diet as the batt…
By Caroline Burke

I Live In London & When Guys Find Out I'm American, They Only See Me As A Fling

I first entered the world of dating apps during a semester abroad in London, and I had zero idea what I was getting myself into. I was 21, had only ever dated boys I'd met through work, school, or mutual friends, and my appreciation for romantic come…
By Genevieve Wheeler

Here's Exactly How You'll Fall In Love, Based On Your Astrological Sign

One of my favorite things about learning about my zodiac sign and others' is learning patterns about my behavior that I can acknowledge and use to my advantage. As a Scorpio sun sign, I know I'm typically described as mysterious, drawn to loyal peopl…
By Elana Rubin

These 8 Red Flags Might Mean You're Pushing Yourself Too Hard In Your Workouts

If you live by the motto "no pain, no gain," or you frequently exclaim that your HIIT circuits "hurt so good," you're probably the type of person who challenges yourself to the max during your workouts. And while this isn't necessarily a bad thing, i…
By Georgina Berbari

I Tried Vegan "Spacepaste" & It Looks Like Straight-Up LED Lights On Your Face

As you might have noticed, 2018 is the year for glitter. So many brands have been releasing shining, shimmering formulations like they're going out of style. We're not even halfway through February, and Lemonhead LA has already launched the best glit…
By Kim Carpluk

These "Awkward" Proposal Stories Show There's No One Perfect Way To Get Engaged

There are a few adjectives people use to describe proposal stories that tend to be a bit more common than the rest. You know what I mean. How many times have you heard someone describe their marriage proposal as "magical" or "romantic" or — my person…
By Candice Jalili

This $20 Toy Simulates Pimple Popping, So You Can Save Your Face (But Still Lose Your Dignity)

As a self-proclaimed popaholic, I am not ashamed to admit that I love watching pimple popping and blackhead extraction videos. Call me gross, but I find it immensely therapeutic and satisfying. To all of my fellow weirdos, we’ve been blessed with a n…
By Ariana Marsh

Everyone Is So Thirsty Over This “Photo” Of Obama With Facial Hair

It's been a hot minute since President Barack Obama left the Oval office (though it feels like ages), and a lot of us miss him dearly. After leaving the White House, the 44th president remained out of the public eye for a little while, decompressing …
By Daniella Bondar

Meghan Markle Uses This $13 Natural Wonder To Grow Her Eyebrows Back & You Can Too

Meghan Markle is the world's new go-to celebrity for all things fashion and beauty — she's marrying a prince after all, so she must have some tricks up her sleeve. Meghan Markle's beauty routine is just as intricate as mine, because that's how real s…
By Alison Turka

7 Foolproof Things To Do Every Day If You're Tired Of Being Lazy AF

Being lazy can be oh-so-lovely. Until you start letting life pass you by, and not living to your full potential, then suddenly, it's not so good anymore. Don't get me wrong, I love my weekends when I can stay snuggled up in bed just a bit longer. Hit…
By Marisa Casciano

This Is How Long Most People Wait To Say "I Love You," Science Says

If I had to choose one word to describe saying "I love you" to your partner for the first time, I'd have to go with... hmm, exciting? Nope. Thrilling? Hardly. Terrifying? YES. Exactly. Saying "I love you" for the first time is terrifying. What makes …
By Candice Jalili

6 Reasons To Travel Abroad With Your Boyfriend Or Girlfriend In Your 20s

Traveling can be many things: hectic, expensive, and definitely stressful. But with the right people or person beside you, all those troubles kind of just melt away. That's why there are some solid reasons to travel abroad with your boyfriend or girl…
By Alani Vargas