Ah, summertime. Between the increased daylight, higher temperatures and busy schedules, many of us end up doing a little bit of damage to our sleep schedules throughout the summer. Thankfully, there are a lot of things you can do about it.
Whether it’s for you or your kids, creating a regular sleep routine can do wonders for your energy, your mood and your overall health. Eliminating screen time before bed will help your body wind down, and installing blackout curtains can stop the sun from disturbing morning sleep. Regular exercise also helps the body prepare for sleep, but be mindful of exercising too late in the day.
4 simple tips for better summer sleeps
- Manage sunlight exposure: Our bodies’ production of the hormone melatonin is connected to light exposure. Melatonin secretion generally stops as the sun comes up, to give us energy for the day, and begins again when the sun goes down, to help us get to sleep. Try exposing your body to morning sunlight, and close curtains as much as four hours before bed, to help your body get to sleep.
- Slow down: Summer can be a busy time for socializing, but don’t forget to make time for your own sleep routine. Simply scheduling social activities for earlier in the day may help, and you can also practice meditation or other relaxing activities to help reduce stress and improve sleep.
- Think before you drink: With the extended daylight hours, you may find yourself eating and drinking later in the day, but that can take time away from sleep. If you’re having trouble sleeping, try to avoid coffee and other sources of caffeine after about 2 p.m., and consider reducing your alcohol intake. While alcoholic beverages can often help people fall asleep, it can lead to a more disturbed sleep in the second half of the night.
- Stay cool: Set up your sleep sanctuary with a fan or air conditioner, and take a shower before bed. If you’re still hot when you sleep, consider cooling fabrics for your sheets, pillowcases and pyjamas. “In the past, spring mattresses were generally cooler than foam mattresses, but many newer foam and latex mattresses are designed to help regulate your temperature. A sleep expert can help you find the right fit,” says Love Dodd from Dodd’s Furniture and Mattress.
Try these simple tips, and see which ones work with your lifestyle. If you’re still not sleeping well, visit the sleep experts at Dodd’s Furniture and Mattress — it might be time to update your mattress, or find a better fit! With stores in Victoria, Nanaimo and Campbell River, it’s worth the drive to Dodd’s.
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