When it comes to cold weather wellness, some things are just too good to be true. This week, we’re debunking a few more of our favorite winter fairy tales. It’s time to crawl out from under the covers and accept the cold, hard truth.
Myth: You Can’t Get Allergies In The Winter
For people who suffer from allergies, cold weather can seem like a godsend. It’s a commonly held belief that allergies are a seasonal affliction that disappear during colder winter months. Sadly, while it’s true that pollen allergies don’t stick around when the temperature drops, lot’s of other allergens appear.
In fact, in the winter we become more susceptible to allergic reactions to dust, dust-mites and pet dander. And according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, 1 in 5 Americans suffer from indoor winter allergies. This has to do with the fact that during the winter we’re more likely to be cooped up inside, breathing recycled and dusty air. We’re also more prone to pet allergies since we’re less likely to take our dog for its afternoon walk (oops).
So if you’re experiencing allergy symptoms, it might be time to turn off netflix and go chill outside. #sorrynotsorry
Myth: You Need More Sleep In The Winter
This one is true...sort of. In the winter, most of us feel more tired. When it’s cold and dark outside, it’s a pretty standard urge to want to get in bed and never come out. But do we actually need more sleep in the winter? The answer is complicated.
Cold weather doesn’t make us more tired - but shorter days do. The sun sets a lot earlier in the winter than it does in the summer, which tricks our brains into producing more melatonin. The extra melatonin throws our bodies off of their natural rhythms and makes us feel a lot more tired than we normally would. Your body doesn’t suddenly require three extra hours of sleep in the winter than it does in the summer - but it’s great at making you believe that it does. With that said, 7pm bedtime anyone?
Myth: You Don’t Need To Wear Sunscreen
It seems like this myth has been debunked countless times. But still, sunscreen and summer are two thoughts that people just can’t seem to separate. You wouldn’t be caught dead on the beach without some sunscreen, and it’s time you apply (wink, wink) that same philosophy to the slopes.
During colder winter months, the Earth’s surface is actually closer to the sun, which means we’re exposed to more UV rays than during the summer. And according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, snow and ice also reflect up to 80% of these harmful rays, which means we’re getting hit by them not once, but twice.
UV rays and heat aren’t mutually exclusive - so let’s put this myth to bed once and for all, and start embracing that winter sunscreen life.