Why February is the Worst Month for Sleep and Top Tips to Improve it

  • Sleep Survey reveals February is the worst month for a good night’s sleep
  • Fixing sleep problems can slow the rate of cognitive decline and delay the onset of Alzheimer’s by up to ten years
  • Getting a full night’s sleep is the key to a youthful and glowing complexion

If you find yourself tossing and turning during dark Winter nights, you are not alone.

40% of adults and children suffer with sleep issues according to The Sleep Charity [1] and February is the worst month of the year for it!

Findings from The Great British Sleep Survey of over 21,000 UK adults reveal that it takes an extra eight minutes on average to get to sleep in February compared with March, and we spend an extra 10 minutes awake during the night. As a result one-third more people report low energy levels, with women coming off worse than men.[2]

Short days and long dark nights are partly to blame for a poor quality of sleep. Body clocks are highly regulated by natural sunlight, which provides for wakefulness during the day. Low levels of light and lack of fresh air in the Winter has an adverse effect on the quality of sleep at night, which then has a counteractive effect on our cognitive function, as sleep is an important time for the brain.

A good night’s sleep can help clear out potentially damaging brain gunk each night. Trials suggest fixing sleep problems can slow the rate of cognitive decline and delay the onset of Alzheimer’s by up to ten years.[3] Thankfully, there is also evidence that improving sleep can boost both short- and long-term cognitive performance promoting sharper thinking and reducing the likelihood of age-related cognitive decline.[4]

Not only does disrupted sleep leave us feeling tired, groggy and mentally drained, it can also deregulate the skin’s natural repair and protection processes that occur whilst we sleep, leading to dark under eye circles and a dull looking complexion.

Getting a full night’s sleep is the key to a youthful and glowing complexion but if you are struggling to get off to sleep at night, try a relaxing mask with natural Lavender fragrance, like the Manuka Doctor Overnight Mask. This lavender scented leave-on gel mask, which not only helps to reduce dark circles, under eye bags and brighten a dull complexion, it also helps you relax for a restful night’s sleep. Wake to visibly hydrated, noticeably smooth, luminous skin.

Not only does the Manuka Doctor Overnight Lavender Mask contain Lavender Oil to help you relax and promote a restful night’s sleep, it also contains Glycerin and Albizia Julibrissin Bark to help reawaken a tired and dull looking complexion. Nopal Plant to help speed up the skin’s natural exfoliation process and regenerate new skin over-night. Manuka honey and Hyaluronic acid to boost skin's hydration, increase firmness and refine the appearance of wrinkles.

These hard-working natural ingredients protect and repair the proteic structures, which in turn promote the visible reduction of dark circles, under eye bags, a dull complexion and drawn features, leaving skin feeling hydrated, plump and healthy. Brighter eyes and a plumped complexion are just a night’s sleep away!

And don’t forget to keep your immune system in tip top condition during the colder Winter months, a lack of sleep contributes to frequent illness. When our bodies don’t get the repair they need during sleep, our immune systems are tired and weak which puts us at increased risk for illness. [5] As well as our top tips for a good night’s sleep below, try taking an immune boosting daily supplement such as Manuka Doctor Immune Booster.

10 Tips for a Good Night's Sleep:

  1. Relax - Whether it’s taking a warm bath, reading a book, or listening to soothing music before bed, make sure you relax.
  2. Routine - Try to go to bed at the same time every day and create your own relaxation routine.
  3. Avoid technology - Ban phones, computers and TVs from the bedroom and avoid looking at them for an hour before bed.
  4. Create a relaxing ambience - Ensure that your room is the right temperature between 16 °C and 18 °C (60°F to 65°F) also a lack of clutter will relax the mind.
  5. Don’t clock watch - Remind yourself that resting in bed and thinking nice thoughts is more productive than tossing and turning and looking at the clock every ten minutes.
  6. Foods for sleeping - Eating healthily improves sleep generally, but some foods are particularly beneficial, such as milk, chicken, turkey and pumpkin seeds.
  7. Foods to avoid - Spicy food, alcohol and large meals shouldn’t be consumed in the hours before bedtime. Drinking caffeine in the afternoon can affect sleep.
  8. Darkness promotes sleep - A darkened room helps to promote sleep. Try to block out external light with shutters or blinds.
  9. Keep active in the day - Physical activity is great for sleep, as well as for your health generally.
  10. Incorporate lavender into your bedtime regime - Lavender is used in everything from bath bombs to fabric softener because its fragrance helps you relax. Now scientists have confirmed the smell of lavender really does help you unwind. Japanese researchers at Kagoshima University discovered that those exposed to the aroma of Lavender had less signs of anxiety and helped them relax.

For more information on our award-winning Overnight Mask, click here

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Article References
  1. https://thesleepcharity.org.uk/

  2. Professor Colin Espie, Dr Sophie Bostock and Peter Hames. The Great British Sleep Survey, University of Oxford. 2012 https://www.ndcn.ox.ac.uk/news/great-british-sleep-survey-launched

  3. Curr Opin Psychiatry. 2014 Nov; 27(6): 478-483. Impact of Sleep on the Risk of Cognitive Decline and Dementia

  4. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/sleep-deprivation/lack-of-sleep-and-cognitive-impairment

  5. https://www.gohealthuc.com/library/surprising-things-do-and-dont-affect-your-immune-system