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The winter wake-up

Waking up in winter is rarely fun, mornings are often cold and always dark – and turning off the alarm clock and snuggling back under the duvet is a thought that I’m sure most of us experience.


Human beings have an endogenous circadian rhythmicity in physiology that is adapted to the solar cycle of day and night (i.e – a 24 hour cycle in the physiological processes of living beings). When the sun is up, we are in daytime physiology: alert, active and our metabolism is high. When the sun sets, we transition to nighttime physiology: our body temperature drops, metabolism slows and sleepiness kicks in. 

Recent research has showed that melanin – the hormone that is increased with darkness – has a direct impact on female aggression. The study has looked at sex and how increased aggression can be seen in females much more than males purely because of the shorter, darker days.


Nikki Rendon, lead author on the study explained: ‘The results show for the first time that melatonin acts directly on the adrenal glands in females to trigger a “seasonal aggression switch”’. Therefore it’s little wonder that most of us don’t wake up on the right side of bed and feel full of joy when we get to work.


The blame for sleep deprivation is often pinned on our fast-paced, 24/7 lifestyle, made possible by electric lighting at all times of day and night. In today’ society, people are bathed in blue light constantly via smartphones, computers and lightbulbs – so, word to the wise – stop looking at your phone before bed.


A 2015 study found that one of the key things that is disrupting our sleep is darkness, or in fact, the lack of it. 


While it may feel like we’re getting our fill of daylight-free hours, we more than make up for it with artificial light and hence are going to bed too late and not having long, undisturbed periods of (dark) slumber.

Here are three products that may help ease the pain of the winter wake-up and hopefully make it a little less unpleasant, courtesy of Women’s Health:



Koto have created the Koto Air which tells you if stale air, humidity, noise or temperature is behind your restless sleep.



This fitness tracker focuses on sleep patterns and exercise. It measures vitals to detect different stages of sleep to wake you at the best time with gentle vibrations. Definitely a good one then ladies!




This modern day night light wakes you with an artificial sunrise paired with chilled Spotify tunes. What a deliciously relaxing way to slowly come to.