Getting a good night’s sleep in the summertime can certainly be challenging.
Whilst it is lovely to be sitting outside during these balmy evenings, trying to nod off when the temperature is still close to 20c is not so pleasant! Getting to sleep in the summertime is so challenging! And as we know, because of climate change, these excessive temperatures all likely to become the norm in the UK.
And statistics show that we are already a sleep-deprived society!
So, when you have all the fans in the house pointed directly at your bed and you are still hot and sticky, you may be asking yourself how you can get a better night’s sleep when the temperatures continue to soar?
Check out the following tips on getting a good night’s sleep in the summertime to ensure you are not missing out on your all-important ZZZZs
1. Cool Down Before Bed
Firstly, a really simple move to make if you can’t sleep because of the heat. Cooling yourself down before bed makes sense to try get yourself off to sleep. Cooling yourself down also helps your body’s natural process of getting to sleep as your body will naturally get colder as you go to sleep, so getting cool before bed can help kickstart this effect as you get into bed nice and cool.
To cool down, we recommend having a nice cold, or very cool if ‘cold’ is a bridge too far, shower about 30-60 minutes before you want to go to bed and try keep cool as you dry off.
Also running cold water over your wrists and feet can help cool your body’s temperature by cooling the blood that flows through those areas.
We recommend avoiding the use of cold compresses, wet flannels etc to cool down to sleep as the heat from your body will quickly warm up whatever you use, and you will just be left in a hot and wet bed.
2. Block Out Light Leakage and Reflect Heat
Another simple change to make is to reduce light levels in your bedroom. As days are longer it is still light out when some of us go to bed and the light leakage can lead to you being kept up by the light coming from outside.
Light affects your circadian rhythm, telling your brain when it’s time to drift off and when it[s time to wake up, so if your room is light your brain is telling it that it isn’t time to go to sleep!
An easy way to address this problem is by installing blackout blinds which will ensure a darker environment for you to sleep in.
A big additional bonus is that if you look for solar reflective blackout blinds, the intelligent backing reflects both heat and light out of the room helping to keep it glare-free and cool in summer. Keep your bedroom windows and blinds closed all day to keep the warm air out of your room will certainly be cooler when it’s time for bed! (open the windows at night, if you can, to get some fresh air and a little bit of a breeze.)
If you are looking to buy solar reflective blackout blinds, the best option is to purchase online because you will be able to find a bigger range and also get the exact size for your windows rather than a limited range of styles and sizes in retail stores, so checkout blackout blinds from DotcomBlinds and similar online companies.
3. Choose the right bed linen
The right bed linen can make a big difference to the quality of your sleep. Synthetics such as polyester tend to trap heat and will certainly add to the hot and sticky feeling in the summer. Natural fabrics such as cotton, linen and bamboo are the best options However, don’t think that you need a high thread count. In summertime, you will be better off with a percale weave and a low thread count for a thinner, crisp option.
4. Keep hydrated
We all know we need to drink enough water to stay hydrated, and in this intense heat that is more important than ever. To be properly hydrated, we need to get enough electrolytes. Did you know that when electrolytes are lost when we sweat? Enough said. Top up that water glass!
5. Tire Yourself Out Before Bed
While having a workout in the baking summer heat may not sound appealing, working out can be a lifesaver when it comes to trying to sleep. Going on a long walk, bike ride or run a few hours before bed can help tire you out so that you can get to sleep easier, just make sure to leave yourself 2-3 hours post-workout before you go to bed as ‘post-workout high’ or a high heart rate can keep you up.
So after your workout, mix in our earlier point to cool down in the shower to help increase the likelihood of you having a great night’s sleep and help you drop your body’s temperature as you wind down for bedtime.
There is a bit of a myth that night-time exercise will keep you awake but, for the majority of people, this is not the case.
6. Have Some No Phone Alone Time
As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, we are already a sleep-deprived society, and it is our screens that are a big cause of that problem!
When we are struggling to sleep, a lot of us instinctively reach for our mobile phones to help kill some time as we try to get sleepy. However, this is probably the worst thing you can do. Every time you look at your phone, the blue light the screen emits will keep you awake and add an extra half hour to the time it takes you to fall asleep. In fact, just using your phone at all will help keep you awake.
It’s recommended that for 1-2 hours before you intend to go to bed you don’t use any electric screens as the blue light they emit will block the production of melatonin which is a chemical your body makes to help you sleep, so putting your phone away early and spending an hour or so reading can greatly help you when it comes to bedtime.
SLEEP WELL. SLEEP TIGHT.