How to Sleep Better in the Summer: 5 Tips that Work for Me
It’s reached the time of year that I need to start using my best tips to sleep better in the summer. I do love the heat…during the daytime. Once the sun goes down, unless there’s a gorgeous and constant breeze, the heat and humidity will be a fast road to insomnia. I’ve been like that my whole life and don’t expect to change anytime soon.
Why the Effort to Sleep Better in the Summer?
The way I understand it, it is harder to sleep better in the summer for a couple of main reasons. The first is the heat. Even when it’s not that hot. The body’s designed to sleep when the temperature cools down. If it doesn’t get quite cool enough, it’s harder to get that rest. The next thing is that the days are a lot longer in summertime than in wintertime. That extra light means that melatonin isn’t being naturally produced as early as it was earlier in the year because it depends on reduced light exposure.
Here Are the 5 Tips I Use to Sleep Better in the Summer
I’ve never found a plan that is completely flawless to sleep better in the summer. Even after my best efforts, I’ll still have the occasional sleep struggles. Still, these tips make a very big difference and will ensure that I get the rest I need more often than not.
1 – Blackout Curtains
As I said earlier, the days are longer in the summertime. The sun goes down later and comes up earlier. Blackout curtains make all the difference in making sure I sleep better in the summer because they let me choose when the light starts pouring in.
2 – Cool Shower at Bedtime
By taking a quick, cool shower before bed, I help to bring down my body temperature. Since the body becomes more restful when it’s cool at night, starting off by cooling down from the day can be a relaxing and refreshing way to make sure I’m ready to sleep.
3 – Shut Off Screens
I mentioned this one before in my blog post about nighttime sleep aid mistakes I was making. TVs, phones, tablets, laptops all emit light (even with the blue light filter) and will hold back that vital melatonin production. Plus, they kick out extra heat, which is the last thing you need when you want to sleep better in the summer. Set the screens aside 30 minutes – or, even better, 60 minutes – before you hit the sack.
4 – Take a Gentle Supplement
I’m a big fan of the nighttime sleep supplement ZIESTA right now. It has a touch of melatonin in it to help get my internal sleeping clock (circadian rhythm) on track and keep it there even when the sun is keeping the light exposure going. It also has relaxing ingredients for the body and mind like magnesium, valerian root, hops, passionflower and L-theanine. I don’t take this every night, but if I can’t wind down, I’m always glad to have it.
5 – Sleep Alone
Sorry, Peter! I love my husband, but there are times when I just need to sleep in the guest room to get the rest I need. An extra person in the bed adds body heat, makes it harder to sleep in a cooler position (like a starfish!), and makes it tougher to find a comfortable position which can require some initial tossing and turning, as well as adjusting the bedding. On the hottest days, sleeping alone means I can sleep better in the summer.