For the third night in a row, you’re wide awake in bed. During the past two hours, you’ve tossed and turned, checked your phone, and even resorted to counting sheep. This is a frustrating situation and a very common one in the summer months. Longer daylight and toasty temps keep many people from reaching a full night’s sleep. Bring your circadian rhythm back on track with these five summer sleep tips.
- Stay Cool
For optimal sleep, experts recommend keeping your bedroom between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit. Besides causing restlessness, languishing in a hot bedroom can affect the quality of rapid eye movement, or REM, sleep. This is the stage of sleep where you dream. In addition to lowering your thermostat, sleep on sheets made from natural fibers such as cotton or bamboo. Consider taking a cold shower before heading to bed. Investing in a cooling pillow is also a great idea.
- Darken Your Bedroom
Does your job require you to go to bed early? Perhaps you struggle to fall asleep before the sun sets during the summer months. To eliminate this issue, invest in a pair of blackout shades.
- Exercise Early
Regular exercise is vital to optimal health. However, working out too close to your bedtime might lead to insomnia. The reason stems from exercise’s propensity to both stimulate your brain and raise your internal body temperature. To promote some shut-eye, strive to finish your workouts at least two hours before you plan to go to bed. Do not ingest caffeine or other stimulants within four hours of bedtime.
- Stick to Your Sleep Schedule
Summer (and especially vacations) can send your sleep schedule awry. To avoid sleepless nights, aim to develop a summer routine that aligns as closely as possible to your regular sleep schedule. This practice will help to keep your circadian rhythm on track. Going to bed late at night or sleeping late in the morning occasionally is fine. But don’t make a habit of it.
- Stay Hydrated
If you don’t drink enough fluids during the day, you increase your risk of becoming dehydrated. Dehydration can cause headaches and body pains—discomfort which can make falling asleep difficult. So, drink at least eight glasses of water per day, and even more if you’re active or outside in the sun.
Prolonged bouts of insomnia can contribute to serious health issues like high blood pressure, obesity, and depression. To prevent the hazy, lazy days of summer from throwing a wrench in your sleep patterns, apply these sleep tips to your life. And if you still have trouble sleeping, Ogden Clinic Neurology provides sleep studies and other solutions for insomnia.