While summer nights are often synonymous with romance and partying, it’s also associated with night-long tossing and turning in bed. With shorter nights and high temperatures playing a major factor, many people have a difficult time getting a restful night’s sleep. Luckily, there are ways to work around the heat with tips to help you fall asleep faster.
According to sleep coach Beth Wyatt, the ultimate goal is to prepare for sleep long before bedtime.
"Thinking about tonight’s sleep as an extension of your day will make you more mindful of how your choices might affect your sleep later,” she explains. "We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to fall asleep as soon as our head hits the pillow, but most of us need time to let ourselves unwind.”
To help you prepare for a restorative and valuable seven to eight hours of sleep, Wyatt walks us through some tips to help improve your sleep this summer.
If you like to have a hot drink before bed, keep it decaffeinated
Caffeinated drinks like coffee and soda can stay in your system for hours. A good rule of thumb is to avoid caffeine after 2 p.m. to avoid impacting the various stages of sleep. But if you like to enjoy a hot drink right after dinner, Wyatt suggests having herbal tea with honey.
“One teaspoon of honey is enough to stimulate the release of Melatonin in the brain,” she says.
Create a playlist
Listening to slow, quiet music can have a relaxing effect on our minds and bodies. It slows the pulse and heart rate, lowering blood pressure, and decreasing levels of stress hormones.
Limit the use of electronics at least an hour before bed
The blue light from screens slows down the melatonin production in our bodies and prevents the signal from the brain that tells our bodies it’s time to sleep. If you absolutely must use your smartphone or laptop close to bedtime, Wyatt suggests to download a red light filter app to soften the screen and keep your eyes (and brain!) safe from harmful junk light.
Read a ‘real’ book.
Reading a book is a long-time, proven method that helps your mind unwind before sleep. According to Wyatt, just six minutes of reading instantly reduces stress levels by more than two thirds. Read a real book and not a tablet as electronic screens slow down the release of melatonin.
Create a peaceful sleep space.
Your bedroom should be a haven. Keep it as dark as possible by using blackout curtains and eliminating all light, no matter how small. Keep your sleep space clear from clutter. Wyatt also encourages filling your bedroom with comforting decor. We suggest pretty beddings, decorative pillows and candles!
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Make your bed the coziest
Your bed should be most inviting place.
“When you get into your bed, let your body sink into the mattress, breathe deeply and slowly, and enjoy the moment,” Wyatt advises.
If you notice your sleep is becoming less restorative, it could be time to invest in a new mattress. Experts suggests changing your mattress every seven to 12 years.
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