Long days, busy social schedules and humid, hot weather make summer a difficult season to get a good night’s sleep. Short-term insomnia due to environmental causes is fairly common this time of year. There’s no reason to concede your sleep and lean on caffeine when you can adjust your environment and your behavior to be more sleep friendly. Follow these tips and you the summer won’t disrupt your sleep:
Limit your nighttime exposure to sunlight
The extended hours of summer can be a double edged sword. On one hand, the sunlight improves your mood and eliminates the symptoms of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). Those same rays of sunshine delay your body’s production of melatonin, making it more difficult to fall asleep. In some regions, it can be stay light outside until past 10 p.m. That’s just too late for the many people with early morning schedules.
You can “trick” your body into thinking it’s time to sleep by limiting your exposure to sunlight. Draw the shades and keep a regular indoor evening routine beginning two hours before bedtime. If you have to leave your home, wear sunglasses so that you don’t get a boost in alertness from the sunlight.
Make your environment ideal for sleep
A dark, cool and comfortable bedroom can be a boon for getting great sleep. A sweltering and bright sleep environment on the other hand…
Start by making your bedroom the right temperature for sleeping comfortable. There’s a good chance that setting your air conditioning to 68 degrees Fahrenheit, the ideal temperature for sleep, will make for a nightmare of an electric bill. Alternatively, you could set it to a more reasonable temperature to reduce the humidity and use fans to get a cool breeze going. This will also help reduce nighttime allergies.
Blackout curtains are your best defense against early sunrises. Curtains with simple designs are affordable if purchased online but if you want something custom you’re going to have to pay up. If you’re especially cost conscious, black shower curtains work to keep the outside light from disturbing your sleep.
Swap out your bedding materials and your pajamas during the summer to keep yourself cool at night. Light linens are more “breathable” and will make you sweat less than flannels.
Consider running a loud fan or using a sound machine if you live in a noisy environment. Some fans are designed to make lots of noise while cooling off your bedroom.
Take time to relax
Summer can be the busiest season for socializing. Don’t forget to take time to relax. Wind down before bedtime to help you fall asleep. Find something good to read or spend the time doing relaxing enjoyable activities such as art, craft making or playing a musical instrument.