Covid restrictions lifting and summer months means lots of active time outside. Summer is full of BBQ’s with family and friends, days at the lake, and beautiful weekend walks in the sun. With heat waves seeming to be a regular part of our summers now, our sleep schedule and routines can quickly go sideways.
Many people try to pack so much activity into their summer calendar that by the time fall starts they feel like they need a vacation from their holidays. Here are a few tips to help you and your family get quality sleep through this season and still enjoy your summer:
Limit Evening Light Exposure
Light exposure is one of the clues our body uses to produce melatonin, which is an important hormone used to initiate and maintain sleep. With so much artificial light around us, this can be a difficult thing to limit. With summer comes extended daylight hours, and melatonin is delayed in production keeping us more alert later into the night.
Recent research shows that a version of the summer blues can result from too much sunlight. Turn the lights down or off when possible before bed, and use blue light filters on your devices.
Load Up on Vitamin D
Most individuals are deficient in Vitamin D. Vitamin D, which is actually a hormone created on our skin using UVB and Cholesterol, can have a broad impact on our health. Vitamin D is also important for maintaining and initiating sleep. The best source for Vitamin D is the sun using safe sun exposure. Check out some of our previous articles for more details about Vitamin D.
Get Out in The Wild
Studies have shown people who spend more time in nature are less likely to experience insufficient sleep. Nature is known to lower stress and reduce risk for depression, both of which can interfere with good quality sleep
This goes without saying. Keep your bedroom dark and cool, an ideal room temperature to sleep is 18 degrees Celsius. In this current weather we all need to take steps to cool down our sleeping spaces.
- Keep your bedroom cool throughout the day, keep curtains closed
- Close windows as soon as it is warmer outside than in, and open them up once it cools off enough during the evening
- Use fans and A/C to regulate room temperature, try to utilize fans to bring cold air in and blow warm air out
- Keep bed lined and covers light and breathable, made from natural fibers like cotton or linen
- Don’t over dress – try sleeping nude
Pay Down Your Sleep Debt
Sleep debt is simply the amount of sleep you need versus the amount of sleep you get.
Using your vacation time to recharge your sleep and reset your natural circadian rhythms can help repay any sleep debt by simply letting your body guide your sleep needs rather than alarm clock, phones and schedules. If you require a more structured sleep schedule give yourself extra sleep time by shifting your bed or wake time by 10 -15 minutes to start
Summer doesn’t have to throw a wrench into your sleep schedule. With a little planning and forethought, summertime can be relaxing for both your body and mind and a sleep restoring season for the whole family. Contact us today if you have concerns about your sleep health.