Summer is an enjoyable season for many. From beach trips to music festivals, this season offers a lot of activity and excitement. Despite the often unbearable heat, it is a season of high spirits and unfiltered joy.
However, summer can also be exhausting.
One can say that it’s something that must come hand in hand with all that buzz and activity. Nonetheless, it becomes a point of concern when it starts disrupting one’s health. This is especially true for those trying to get better sleep and consistently failing at it.
So, in case, you find yourself searching for “tips on how to improve my sleep,” you have come to the right place.
Why Can’t I Get Proper Sleep in Summer?
But first things first; before we head on to discuss what the best approaches are to get better sleep, we must understand where the issue arises.
A good night’s rest is highly dependent on our circadian rhythm. The circadian rhythm refers to the 24-hour biological clock in our bodies, dictated by light and dark. Additionally, melatonin is an important regulator of this rhythm and vice versa.
Melatonin is released by the pineal gland in our brains upon dark. Long daylight hours in summers lead to delayed melatonin release, therefore disrupting our circadian rhythm. This causes our sleep-wake cycle to go a little haywire and leads to poor sleep quality.
In addition to the hormonal factor, the general summer lifestyle also does not favor good rest. The exhaustion of the day coupled with the heat at night adds up to poor sleep. Our body needs lower temperatures to comfortably fall asleep, and hot summer nights do not help.
However, there are ways you can still try to get better sleep. Let’s look at some!
How to Improve My Sleep
Miracle cures pretty much do not exist, and if they do, they rarely work. Still, you can try to develop better sleep habits and employ tactics to overcome the main issues you are facing.
Establish Consistency In Your Routine
Although this particular piece of advice may sound redundant, it is as good as it gets. The impact of a daily routine on sleep quality is not insignificant, and the two things might be more linked than we think.
In fact, people who stick to certain timings are more likely to get better sleep during their resting hours. Interestingly, it is not the exact time, but the consistency in your personally preferred timings that is the determining factor in this case.
In other words, you need not sleep at 7 pm to get good sleep. You can sleep at any time, even as late as 12 am, as long as you stick to it every day. We have the power to set our biological clocks to get the best possible sleep out of our resting hours.
Dim the Lights Around Evening Time
Low lighting is the stimulus for the release of melatonin from our brains. Dimming the lights early on in the evening can lead to a slow, consistent release of melatonin till bedtime. When we finally go to bed, our bodies are prepared for rest.
Dimming the lights can also be very relaxing for you physically. We constantly face an overload of stimuli during the day. Trying to cut some of them out when we can is the best way to protect ourselves from feeling overwhelmed.
Destress Before Bed
Ever wanted to just fall asleep but your brain kept replaying workplace drama, or worse, actual work issues? Stress is one of the most significant barriers to peaceful sleep. Surveys suggest that people with lower stress levels report both better and longer sleep.
Therefore, it is important to let go of the stresses of the day before we get into bed. Here are a few things you can do to relax and let go of daytime issues at night.
- Take a warm relaxing bath
- Read a book you enjoy
- Do a light workout before you lie down
- Meditate in a dim, peaceful environment
- Find a skincare routine that relaxes you
Establishing a nighttime routine can not only improve your quality of sleep but can also help you incorporate things you enjoy into your busy day.
Avoid Caffeine After Evening
It is widely known that caffeine is bad for you if you want to get some nice sleep. But why?
Caffeine is a psychostimulant. Studies show that caffeine can put a delay in the established patterns of our circadian rhythm, and therefore reduce the number of hours we sleep. Moreover, caffeine also adversely affects the amount of deep sleep one gets.
Try to Lower the Temperature Around You
One of the reasons melatonin is essential for good sleep is because it lowers your body temperature, something our body requires to fall asleep peacefully. You may have noticed that we toss and turn a lot more on hotter nights. This is a protective mechanism whereby our body keeps us aware of high temperatures.
Here are some ways you can keep the temperature slightly down.
- Turn on light air conditioning in the evening.
- Close the blinds and windows in the afternoon.
- Sleep in lightweight fabrics, for example, cotton or linen.
- Ensure ventilation at night.
Avoid Your Screen Before Bed
Blue light from our phones, laptops or movie screen inhibits the release of melatonin from our pineal glands. Even with blue light filters, the effect isn’t completely nullified as bright light, in any case, disrupts melatonin cycles.
How to improve my sleep at night? Try to put your phone down half an hour before bed. Even for light reading before bed, paperbacks are the preferred mode.
Moreover, our phones bring a lot of stress in the form of social lives, both ours and others. It is better to avoid the emotional disruption that might bring before bed as it can lead to cycles of overthinking.
Sleep hygiene is not something to be ignored. It is especially important if one is to face a tiring and busy day ahead. Healthy sleeping tips are not only a seasonal thing, and you can benefit from them all year round.
We hope this article helps you get more restful sleep in these hot summer months.