Cold weather, shorter days are on their way—and frankly, I’m not leading their welcome wagon
And Clover guarded well its rest,
Till Autumn’s leaves were sere,
Till all her sister flowers were gone,
And her winter sleep drew near.
—Louisa May Alcott
I have a confession: While I love colorful falling leaves, football games (my husband is a rabid Dallas Cowboys fan, so I really don’t have a choice), and the mellow sights and smells of autumn, I struggle every October when the days grow noticeably shorter and colder.
Maybe it’s the kid in me. I grew up in the piedmont of North Carolina, where the summer months for my siblings and me were filled with outdoor adventures in bare feet. Fall meant the return to school, homework, less playtime, earlier bedtime, shoes and—even worse—coats.
So as summer fades into fall and the nights steal minutes of sunlight from mornings and evenings, I find myself in a very different frame of mind. As the days grow shorter and colder—much to my lament—I also approach my daily routine differently. No more working in my garden before I begin my workday or walking my dog Guilford and visiting with neighbors at twilight. Instead, my thoughts and habits turn to staying warm, hibernating and sleeping.
It’s not just me. According to Kristen Rodman, staff writer for Accuweather.com, our sleep-wake cycles are regulated by light, and the lack of it causes our bodies to produce more melatonin, which makes us feel tired. That, combined with cooler temperatures, lead many of us to linger under the covers.
For those of us in the bedding industry, however, there is a silver lining to the advent of long, chilly nights. When the seasons change this time of year, lots of folks begin thinking more about sleep—which is a good time to focus on improving sleep habits. And as the Better Sleep Council, the consumer-education arm of the International Sleep Products Association, promotes, a quality mattress is the foundation of a good night’s sleep. Spreading a “healthy winter’s sleep on a new mattress” message through social media, advertising and store promotions might add sizzle to your winter sales.
Now that I think about it, maybe the return of colder weather won’t be that bad after all.