Heat, Summer, and Sleep: 6 Tips for a Better Night
Sleeping in the spring and summer is different from sleeping in the fall and winter. For many people, this causes sleep disruptions, and it’s hard to get a good night’s sleep.
The longer days, the heat, and allergies can all contribute to sleep issues.
In this article, we look at the heat, summer, and sleep, and we offer six tips for a better sleep.
#1: Power Down Your Devices Earlier
Even though it’s lighter outside longer, you want to turn off your smartphone, computer, tablets, and even your television earlier.
While you may be tempted to stay on your devices because it’s still light at 9 pm, that’s not a great idea. The blue light from your devices can interfere with your body’s own natural production of the sleep aid, melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone in your body that can help regulate sleep by regulating your circadian rhythm.
A good rule of thumb is to turn everything off an hour before bed. Spend that time reading or hanging out with family.
#2: Open the Shades
Once Daylight Saving Time rolls around, the longer days and earlier mornings can cause major sleep issues. This can be especially troublesome for night owls.
For many people, exposure to the first light of the day can help. You may find that you can correct your sleep difficulties by letting the natural light in your bedroom in the morning. This tells your body to wake up.
What’s more, by waking up earlier, you’ll be ready for bedtime earlier which sets you up for a better night’s sleep.
Early morning exposure to light and getting up with it can shift people’s brains into a more regular sleep cycle.
#3: Create the Perfect Sleep Environment
Create your own sleep cocoon for better sleep.
How do you do this? First, you want a comfortable mattress that cradles your body and relieves your pressure points.
Next, you want to make your bedroom dark and cool. The last thing you want to do for a better night’s sleep is to sleep too hot. This may mean sleeping with less blankets, or it may mean turning your thermostat down a little more at nighttime. The best temperature for sleep is 68 degrees Fahrenheit or less.
Or, if you don’t want to set it that low, you can add a fan or two in your bedroom, so you have a nice cool breeze.
Consider blackout curtains if that helps you sleep but do be sure to open them wide in the morning.
You can also purchase some summer weight sheets that are more breathable and help you sleep better.
Finally, don’t forget a fan or sound machine. This makes your cocoon complete. Many people sleep better with a little white noise in the background.
#4: Take a Shower or Bath Before Bedtime
Let’s face it, in most of the country it’s hot in the summer. If you’ve spent any time outside, you are hot and sweaty by day’s end. It may be humid, and you also feel sticky.
If you’ve been to the pool or the beach, worked outside, or exercised, you may have residual sunscreen or bug spray on your skin.
All these together can make sleep difficult. If you shower or bathe before bedtime and slip on some cool pajamas, you may be able to fall asleep faster.
You will also find that a warm, not too hot, shower or bath helps relax you and prepare your body for sleep. Try doing this no more than an hour before bedtime for the best results.
#5: Keep a Consistent Bedtime
It’s tempting to stay up later during the days of summer. It’s light longer, and there’s so much more to do in the summer.
But this can keep you from sleeping well. Try to keep your sleeping patterns regular throughout the year for better sleep. If you have kids, this is especially a good idea, so they don’t struggle with getting better sleep once the school year rolls back around.
#6: Exercise at the Right Time
Exercising every day can certainly help you get better sleep in the summer.
Some experts suggest exercising earlier in the day to help you sleep at night. Like with most things, though, you want to exercise when it works for you. If you find exercising later in the day helps you sleep, that’s when you should do it. But if it keeps you up, try moving your time to the morning hours.
Final Thoughts on a Better Night’s Sleep
The heat of summer can wreak havoc on many people, and sleep is often a casualty.
You can avoid or reduce any issues by following the six tips here and investing in a
quality mattress that works for your sleep style and your budget.
Photo by Devin Kleu on Unsplash