There’s a lot to like about winter. Sledding, hot chocolate, and a number of fun holiday seasons are surefire ways to get you in the spirit, even as days grow shorter and the weather gets colder. It seems that Americans also like one other thing about winter: more quality time in the most comfortable bed.
A new study by The Better Sleep Council (the nonprofit consumer-education arm of the International Sleep Products Association) shows that a majority of Americans sleep better in the winter months. 51% of respondents sleep more in the wintertime, with 42% of Americans saying that winter is the season that they sleep best in. There are a number of factors that could influence this, but gaining an hour in daylight savings time, a shorter day, and seasonal changes all are considered prospective reasons. It seems that there is nothing more enticing than the most comfortable bed when the weather is poor and the nights are long.
In addition to sleeping, it seems that respondents also found the winter months the best time to become reacquainted with the art of snuggling. While summer is often surveyed as the best time to discover love (hence the term summer fling), it turns out that winter fairs very well in this department as well. Over a third of the respondents said that they prefer snuggling and staying in bed longer during the winter months. Most of these, twenty-eight percent overall) said that they prefer to snuggle while relaxing in their most comfortable bed.
The study also found that 78 percent of people believe that there are physical and emotional benefits to cuddling. Recent science has also found this to be true. People who stay in their most comfortable bed cuddling have been found to have increased levels of dopamine, oxytocin, and other hormones associated with stress relief.
Cuddling isn’t the only couples activity that is reported to have beneficial effects in the winter time. A whopping seventy-seven percent of people surveyed found that sex is a beneficial way to keep warm during the cold weather months. Not only that, the endorphins provided also are found to combat seasonal affected disorder, which can cause depression for many living in cold climates.
It turns out that the reasons for enjoying winter weather can be as varied as the people surveyed. Terry Cralle, a nurse who helped lead the study and is a spokesperson for the BSC seems to believe that the environment plays a major factor.
“There are a variety of reasons why people may be sleeping, having more sex and cuddling in the winter months,” Cralle said in a statement accompanying the study. “With colder temperatures in many parts of the country and shortened daylight hours, people may find they want to go to bed earlier. Certainly, there are many benefits to turning in earlier, including getting a full-night’s rest, and for couples, they have more time with each other.”
So get huddled up, grab a loved one, and stay in for the night. You and your fellow Americans agree that the best way to enjoy the next few months is to sleep, cuddle, and relax in your own most comfortable bed.