Welcome to summer! With warm daytime temperatures that inspire outdoor activities and evening hours filled with light, summer tends to take on a romantic quality – days and months of fun, laughter, and good, old- fashioned R&R. Interestingly, that rest and relaxation may be surprisingly hard to come by during the summer season. Temperature plays a big role in sleep, especially when it comes to the time you fall asleep and how well you stay asleep. As the body prepares for sleep, your internal temperature drops slightly and stays lowered until a few hours before you wake up. If your bedroom is too warm – anything above 70 degrees – your body may not settle into a deep, restful sleep. Additionally, trying to fall asleep before the sun sets can be challenging, since evening light exposure stimulates alertness. Daylight that extends beyond 9 or 10 p.m. can delay the secretion of melatonin, the sleep hormone, hence postponing the onset of sleep. As if that’s not enough to lose sleep over, allergy sufferers may find restful sleep challenging if they’re experiencing nasal congestion. When nasal passages are swollen, the upper airway narrows, which increases the risk of snoring, which often disrupts sound sleep.
Rest and relaxation may be hard to come by during the summer season.
To help prevent some of the above issues, here are three tips for better summer sleep:
1. Control bedroom temperature by setting your air conditioner between 65-70 degrees and/or use ceiling fans to circulate and cool air.
2. Use lightweight, natural fiber bedding to improve air circulation.
3. Close shades and curtains 1-2 hours before bedtime, and turn down indoor lighting.