Research Says This is Actually the Worst Month For Your Sleep Cycle

It all makes sense now.

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There is nothing better than cozying up in fluffy blankets with mounds of pillows around you on a cold winter's day. The season seems designed to encourage sleeping in and taking naps whenever you can. There's just something about being wrapped up in a blanket when it's below 30 degrees outside, don't you think? So you can just imagine how floored I was when the Sleep Cycle Institute revealed that I've been doing it wrong all along.

Sleep Cycle—an app that tracks your sleep cycle, obviously—just published a study about exactly when you get the best rest and surprise, surprise: It's definitely not winter. After collecting data from 3 million users over the past three years, Sleep Cycle came to the conclusion that February is actually the worst month for quality sleep.

Why? According to experts, people need a certain amount of melatonin for a good night's sleep, which is why the longer, darker days of winter are a no-no for your cycle. We get most of our melatonin from the sun during the days in the summer, which makes sense—we spend a lot more time outside soaking up the rays.

The study also gave us a ton of other insights into those precious 8 hours—largely stuff that confirms what you already know: exercising regularly makes you sleep better and snore less, and late-night eating causes you to snooze poorly. There was one other surprising tidbit, though: Drinking coffee or tea in the day actually improves your quality of sleep. I'll raise a mug to that.

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