The official start of summer signals excitement for families everywhere: The end of the school year just around the corner, the approach of vacations and summer camps, and time to relax and enjoy the nice weather. While summer brings with it loads of excitement, everyone should be mindful of sleep patterns over the next couple of months. Excessive heat, long daylight hours, and falling out of routines are just a few of the problems associated with summer slumber.
Here are a few tips to help you sleep well this summer:
- Block out light – If you live in a Northern region or any location where the sun stays up later than you do, invest in blinds or curtains that will effectively block out the light (and keep them closed, of course.) Exposure to light, whether at night or early in the morning, will inhibit the release of melatonin – a hormone that helps us sleep.
- Stay cool – If you do not have air conditioning, a ceiling fan or free-standing ventilation unit will work wonders keeping you cool at night. Since heat rises, you may want to consider sleeping on the lowest floor of your dwelling.
- Establish a summer sleep routine – It may be unrealistic to stick to your school year routine, but try to adjust it to one that works for summer–and stick with it. This means ensuring your kids wake-up and go to bed around the same time every day.
- Limit Alcohol – Patios and parties are sure to be hoppin’ this summer. Enjoy yourself! But also remember that consuming alcohol within a few hours of your bedtime could leave you tossing and turning in the night.
- Exercise early – Beautiful weather is a great reason to get some fresh air and outdoor exercise. Remember that physical activity too close to bed time means that your body will be alert when you’re trying to wind down–hindering your ability to fall asleep. Exercising earlier in the day will actually help you to fall asleep.
Summer is meant for fun times, and getting a good night’s sleep will help you make the most out of it. Here’s to a fun, safe, and sleep-filled summer!