The Women's Journal

Sleep Well This Winter

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By Dianne Esry, RN

As winter settles in, many people are challenged by its effects on their health and wellbeing. Cold dark days, melancholy, weight gain, illness, and other seasonal factors can increase stress and disrupt your sleep. Inadequate sleep is linked with chronic conditions, injuries, and mental performance issues. It’s critical to repair the body, maintain immunity, provide mental respite, and promote harmony in your life. Here are five tips I share with my clients that can help you sail through winter a healthier, rested, and more resilient you.


Natural light helps regulate the hormones responsible for sleep and wakefulness. Maximize your exposure to sunlight in winter. Sit near windows and get outside in the sun, or consider using indoor light therapy. 


Limit exposure to screens before bedtime. Electronic devices emit blue light which may interfere with melatonin, a hormone essential to regulating sleep. Power-down your screens an hour before bed to signal to your body it’s time for sleep.


Maintain a consistent schedule for sleeping and waking, even on weekends, to reinforce your natural circadian clock. Begin to turn off your mind before bed. Try meditation, mindful breathing, relaxation yoga, herbal tea, or soothing music. Journaling your thoughts and worries can help clear and calm your mind.


Experts recommend a dark, quiet and cozy bedroom cooled to 65 – 67 degrees. Choose black-out curtains or an eye mask, use ear plugs, and eliminate disruptions. Invest in a better mattress and pillow and opt for comfortable cotton sheets and pajamas. Explore calming essential oils or check out therapeutic sound or sleep apps. White or brown noise, nature sounds, and stories can lull you to sleep. 


Get professional support for frequent or persistent insomnia or disrupted sleep, or daytime tiredness despite 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night. If you are feeling depressed or sad, call or text 988 or visit or contact your health professional.

If you’re ready to get off the path to burnout, let’s connect. The possibilities for more energy, balance and joy are just a conversation away.


Dianne owns The Whole Way Coaching, LLC. As a certified health coach, life coach, and registered nurse, she is enthusiastic about helping women in leadership experience a life full of vibrancy, balance, and joy. She blends transformational coaching with 35 years of nursing and executive roles to provide an individualized holistic roadmap for the professional woman who wants to excel in her career and realize her dreams without sacrificing her relationships or her wellbeing. For more information call 302-281-4833 or visit

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“I am so grateful for my experience with Dianne. Her secret superpower is she has walked in our shoes, felt the desperation and experienced the massive feeling of being overwhelmed to the point where you can’t move. Then the superpower kicks in; she was able to redirect the chaos and help me focus and take small steps to refocus my energy on solutions that will become habits; that will change my thoughts and my life. It was wonderful to have someone stop me on my pity train and get me on the cruise ship. It’s a process and I am excited to continue. Thank you, Dianne for your work; it is profoundly changing my life.” ~ J.H.

“Dianne’s methods are tailor-made for each individual, not a one-size-fits-all approach. I’m not a goal-setter and early on in the course of our 90 days, she understood that and allowed me to explore the things I needed to work out. She’s a very insightful and inquisitive guide to the inner workings of the mind. The coolest part was that at times it seemed almost like magic the way the shifts happened. Dianne was always fully engaged in our conversations and truly cared about getting results in the most gentle and supportive way.” ~ A.W.