With higher temperatures and longer days, summer has us pining for sunshine all year round. But while these can be great for socialising and getting ourselves outdoors it can also cause havoc on those essential 40 winks. Being woken by sunrises as early as 4:37am (yes, really!), and tossing and turning because of the heat are just a couple of reasons we lose sleep in the summer months. We’ve put together a little list of top tips to get your all important 8 hours in the summer.
Darken the room
Sunset is around 9:30pm in the height of summer, and this will do nothing to help you fall asleep. Darkness increases the release of the hormone melatonin which causes drowsiness and lowers body temperature – both essential components to falling asleep. If too much light is getting in to your room then melatonin production is inhibited and you will struggle to fall asleep. Try investing in some black out blinds or curtains to promote a healthy night’s sleep.
Open the windows
Being too hot is one of the main causes of tossing and turning throughout the summer months. Crack a window open from late afternoon so your bedroom is nice and cool ready for you climbing in to bed. Careful not to open it in the morning when pollen counts are highest if you have allergies though!
Clothe your bed in cotton
When it comes to staying cool in summer, different fabrics can offer more or less warmth when you need it most. Materials like fleece or flannel will keep you toasty-warm, so stick to those in winter and instead opt for lightweight cotton to keep you nice and cool at night in summer.
Switch your duvet to summer weight
Duvets come in a variety of weights – or togs. Basically the higher the tog, the warmer it will be. Look for something around 4.5 tog (like these) to keep cool in the warmer months.
Invest in a mattress protector
Mattress protectors not only keep your mattress stain free, but they also help control allergies and protect against dust mites. Gross as it is, but around 80% of dust is (or has been) alive, and up to 10% of the weight of a 2 year old pillow could be dead dust mites (and their associated matter…). Get yourself pillow protectors and a mattress protector – not only do they put a barrier between you and allergens (for example dust mites), they also keep your mattress nice and dry from sweat and spillages and preserve its guarantee.
Tune technology out
People are becoming increasingly attached to their tech devices, and this does nothing for your sleep routine. Blue spectrum light which is emitted by smartphones, tablets, laptops, desktops and TVs inhibits the release of that all important hormone – melatonin. Research states that watching TV within an hour of going to bed affects your ability to fall asleep, so switch off your devices in plenty of time and give yourself time to relax and unwind.