The warming weather brings so many positives, especially for those looking to spend as much time as possible outdoors. Yet, it also brings many challenges, particularly when the sun sets and we head off to bed.
A recent study by Sleep.org found that many people struggle to fall asleep during the summer months, with even a slight change in ambient temperature impacting sleep quality.
Our circadian rhythms (also known as our body clocks) are influenced by the sun, light and temperature, but this doesn’t mean you have to suffer sleepless nights all summer long.
We’re here to share our tips for getting the best night’s sleep, even in hot temperatures during summer.
The importance of a good night’s sleep
Sleep plays a vital role in maintaining good health and wellbeing. As well as giving you all you need to recharge and wake up feeling refreshed, sleep keeps the body’s most essential functions in check.
Good sleepers enjoy improved physical performance; have a lower risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and strokes and harness better immune function to keep those illnesses and seasonal ailments at bay.
Getting the recommended eight hours of sleep per night has even been linked to better weight management.
Those who sleep less tend to have higher body weight and consume more calories. Sleep is vital for looking after your mental health too as the NHS explains:
“Sleep and mood affect each other. Not getting enough sleep can take its toll on your mind and can even lead to mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. People who don’t get enough sleep might find they feel depressed, and people who are depressed may find they don’t sleep well enough.”
Sleeping well during the warmer months
Summer is a time when good quality sleep evades a lot of people. Rising temperatures mean restless, sleepless nights.
But there are several steps you can take to make sure you get a good eight hours, even when the weather is at its hottest and most humid.
Keeping your bedroom cool is the key to better sleep during summer. A room temperature of 18.3°C is optimal for great sleep.
Open those windows wide or invest in a fan to keep the temperature in your bedroom just right. If you’re battling humidity as well as heat, a dehumidifier is a great investment.
Keeping your choice of nightwear breathable and lightweight is another must. To regulate your body temperature, you may sweat excessively during those nighttime hours. Breathable nightwear promotes cooling.
Choose natural fibres like cotton or cotton blend for your nightwear, instead of thicker, heavier, man-made materials such as polyester.
A consistent nighttime routine is essential for boosting sleep quality. During summer, add having a shower before bed to your wind-down regime.
Cold and hot showers both have sleep-inducing effects. Cold showers are more effective for cooling your body’s core temperature, while warm showers increase circulation to the hands and feet to enhance your body’s natural cooling ability. Either way, you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
Limiting your exposure to natural light will also serve you well in the sleep department, especially during the summer months as the days get longer.
Sunlight keeps you more alert and suppresses the body’s production of the sleep hormone, melatonin. At bedtime, shut those curtains tight or use a sleep mask to inhibit the waking effect of the sun.
Meet the unlikely ally
Creating a sleep sanctuary in your bedroom is always a tip sleep experts share. In fact, it can make all the difference between a great night’s sleep and a pretty pitiful one.
You may think that there’s no place for wool in the bedroom during those summer months, but you couldn’t be more mistaken.
The natural temperature regulating qualities of wool make it the perfect companion at bedtime, with wool bedspreads particularly effective for inducing sleep.
Thanks to your wool bedspread, you don’t have to experiment with different duvet togs from season to season.
The same wool bedspread will help you to create your very own microclimate, keeping you warm and cosy all winter, and cool and sleepy all summer long.
The nature of wool fibres means wool bedspreads are breathable and moisture absorbing. This ventilation prevents the overheating that is common during summer.
They’re also hypoallergenic, which means even people with allergies and sensitive skin can enjoy great sleep with a wool bedspread in tow.