Summer Sleep Can improve With These Tips
Need Summer Sleep? Check out these tips
Sun-filled vacations, backyard barbecues and long days at the beach: summer is jam-packed with calendar-consuming social events, easily making it the best time of year. That is, until night falls and it’s time to try and get some shut-eye. Even for those who usually have no trouble sleeping through the night, summer can be a trial, due to sweltering temps and long days conspiring to keep us up well beyond our bedtimes.
If summer has turned your dreamy night’s sleep into a nightmare, you’re actually in luck. We’ve partnered with Sleep Number to find out how to beat the heat all summer long in order to catch those much-needed Zs.
1. Long Days …
By this time of year, the sun doesn’t go down until after dinnertime, stymying your attempts to stick to a regular bedtime. It’s not just your imagination ― the long hours of daylight actually trick your brain into wanting to stay up later.
“Light is a strong trigger to delay sleep,” says Dr. Carl Bazil, neurology professor at Columbia University Medical Center, “especially in areas where daylight lasts quite late.”
The farther north you go (or, in the Southern Hemisphere in its summer, the farther south), the worse it gets, until it seems like it never really gets dark at all. For morning light, blackout shades or a sleep mask should help you get the extra sleep you need. But for long, bright evenings, Bazil recommends a solution straight out of an ‘80s pop classic: to help your brain wind down, wear your sunglasses at night.
2. … And Hot Nights
Nothing spoils a relaxing summer day quite like a hot, restless night. For those of us not blessed with central air conditioning, sleep gets harder as the mercury climbs. That’s because increasing body temperature is a signal to your system that it’s morning, Bazil says.
So, how do we convince our bodies that it’s still nighttime if we don’t have an A/C? You guessed it: fans on fans on fans. Ceiling fans are best, says dentist Mark Burhenne, who specializes in the relationship between healthy sleep and healthy bodies. “The movement of air will make it easier to sleep, allowing the body to perceive that it’s not sleeping in a stagnant or warm environment,” he says.
Plus, the A/C-free among us have something to can breathe easy about, he says. “Sleeping in an air-conditioned room may not be the best thing for your lungs, considering the dry and conditioned air.”
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