For many people, winter incites mental health challenges that can affect sleep. Seasonal affective disorder, for instance, a form of depression that occurs in the winter months, affects an average of at least 5% of American adults.

But there’s hope: By getting creative about bringing joy, gratitude, and connection to our evenings, we can see benefits to our mental health — and our sleep. Here are three simple things you can do in five minutes or less that will improve your mood and sleep this winter.

Write down a list of what you’re grateful for before bed. 

Writing down what you’re grateful for at the end of the day will lower your stress levels and give you a greater sense of calm at night.

Before you get into bed, escort your devices out of your bedroom

Disconnecting from the digital world will help you sleep better, deeply recharge, and reconnect to your wisdom and creativity.

Ask someone what they’re doing to take care of themselves and prioritize their sleep. 

Social distancing can make us feel further apart, not just physically but emotionally. Bridge the distance with this simple question — you might learn something, or find you have something in common.


  • Jessica Hicks

    Managing Editor at Thrive

    Jessica Hicks is a managing editor at Thrive. She graduated from Lehigh University with a degree in journalism, sociology, and anthropology, and is passionate about using storytelling to ignite positive change in the lives of others.