Looking for ways to sleep better during the winter? There are many sleep hacks floating around the internet, from the military sleep method to taking a shower before bed. But one thing that’s consistently recommended – especially during the winter – is Hygge.
Hygge has been around for centuries, with the word dating back to the 1800s. A Danish and Norwegian concept, Hygge has quickly become a trend within the wellness space as a way to encourage happiness and enjoy life’s pleasures. While it’s something that can be practiced throughout the year, many people gravitate towards Hygge during the winter months, as it creates an atmosphere of cosiness and warmth, as said by The Little Book of Hygge author, Meik Wiking.
But what is hygge? How does it work? Can you use Hygge to help you sleep better? Keep reading to find out.
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What is Hygge?
Hygge (pronounced ‘hoo-gah’) is a Danish word that describes a “quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality with feelings of wellness and contentment”, according to the Oxford Dictionary. The concept of Hygge is all about taking time away from the daily stresses and business of life to be by yourself or with people you care about to relax and enjoy the small pleasures of life.
Hygge is typically achieved by creating a warm happy atmosphere. Many things are considered to be ‘Hyggelig’ meaning Hygge-like, like cuddling up under a warm blanket, sharing a meal, enjoying the flicker of candle light and much more. Hygge has quickly become a firm favourite for wellness enthusiasts and self-care fanatics, and as Denmark is credited as one of the world’s happiest countries, it’s definitely worth giving it a try.
While Hygge is considered more of a lifestyle than a practice, many people steer towards the concept during the winter. Creating a cosy atmosphere in your home or when surrounded by your favourite people can boost your mood, calm anxieties and help you sleep better. But, how?
How to use Hygge for better sleep
If you’ve tried every sleep hack under the sun but are still having trouble getting to sleep, creating a Hygge-like atmosphere or routine can definitely help with your insomnia. There are many products on the market that are Hygge approved, like blankets, candles, jumpers and books. While you don’t have to fork out loads of money to achieve Hygge, there are a few things you can do around your home to make it more Hygge-like and promote better sleep.
Set the mood of your bedroom
Start by setting the tone for your bedroom. By making your bedroom cosy and separate from the outside world, you’re creating a safe haven that is all about rest, which can help you feel sleepier. It’s not a place for work or strenuous activities, but should be reserved just for sleep. Next, make your bedroom comfortable and warm with a high tog duvet, the best pillows and throw blankets so your bed looks and feels inviting. If you’re big on scents, add the best essential oils and best oil diffusers to your bedroom to help you relax and induce sleep. If you consistently use a specific scent, your brain and body will quickly recognise that it’s time to start winding down for the evening.
Light a candle
Candles are a big part of Hygge and according to Country Living, the Danes burn 13 pounds of candle wax a year per capita, more than any other country in the world. Lighting candles or watching the flickering flame in a fireplace makes your space feel cosy and intimate. The light isn’t too bright but adds a sense of calm and relaxation to any room in your house.
Make a comforting bedtime routine
Having a bedtime routine is important for a good night’s sleep and sleep hygiene. As Hygge is meant to be calming and soothing, you shouldn’t put too many rules in place as it’ll start to feel like a chore, but if you create a comforting bedtime routine that includes things that relax you, you’ll feel more excited to do it night after night. As Hygge is all about enjoying the little things in life, add this into your nighttime schedule, like taking time and care with your skincare routine, reading a few pages of your book, having a warm cup of tea, and so on.
Wear cosy clothes & pyjamas
For ultimate cosiness, invest in a good pair of pyjamas. It’s tempting to just chuck on anything for bed, but having a dedicated pair of cosy clothes or pyjamas for bed can have an incredible effect on your brain and body. If you’re wearing clothes that aren’t designed for bed, your brain won’t associate this with sleeping and you’ll find that you stay awake longer or feel more uncomfortable. Generally, pyjama materials are kinder to your skin and don’t tend to have any seams or labels that rub against you, helping you drift off easier and stay warm and cosy throughout the night.