02/12/2010 10:46 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Sleep More, Eat More: How Brits Are Coping With The Snow

Cold weather makes us eat and sleep more Cold weather makes you eat more and sleep longer. Photo: MorgueFile, zerosilence3

If you've woken up this morning to yet more snow, you may well feel like hibernating under your duvet. And you wouldn't be the only one. According to a survey, the winter makes most of us sleep an extra two and a half hours every night. Not just that, but we're eating loads more calories every day too.

The survey, carried out by Silentnight, quizzed 3,000 adults and found that a quarter of us sleep for 10 hours a night during the winter instead of our usual seven and a half hours in spring and summer. The dark evenings are putting us to bed earlier than ever, with 15% of women admitting they turn in as early as 8pm at this time of year.

And as the temperatures plummet, our calorie intake soars: according to the survey, three-quarters of women claim they put away an extra 750 calories a day. One in five also admit they suffer from low mood at this time of year too - a symptom of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and the winter blues.

Meanwhile, health experts are warning people with existing health problems to take extra care during the cold snap. Asthma UK, for instance, has issued advice for people with asthma as temperatures continue to stay below freezing.

Even if you're fit and healthy, protect yourself against cold-related health problems by staying as warm as possible. Wear several thin layers of clothing rather than one thick layer (lots of thin layers trap warm air between them), and go for clothes made from wool, cotton or fleecy fabrics.

Also eat hot meals instead of salads, but avoid too much alcohol or coffee as they increase blood flow to your skin (which makes you lose heat from the rest of your body). Staying active when you're indoors will help too.

How are you beating the chill this year?

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