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With summer heat right around the corner, we’ve got a few simple steps to ensure you achieve the best sleep of your life this season.
While summer brings its own joys, such as warmer temperatures and extended sunlight, it also requires some necessary adjustments to maintain your sleep quality. Research shows that there is an ideal temperature for sleep. When the temperature is too high, it takes longer to fall asleep, and once sleep is achieved, it occurs in segments or is fragmented. (Source: National Sleep Foundation)
Here are our tips for improving your sleep during the summer months.
Summer tends to bring more activities and social gatherings, often late at night, that tempt us to stay out longer. This can often throw our sleep schedule for a loop.
If possible, it's recommended trying to maintain a regular sleep schedule, including a “wind-down” time to tell your brain and body that it’s time for sleep. To help yourself wind-down try taking a shower, reading, deep breathing, or some other routine to prepare your body to go to sleep.
Read more: Why It Pays to be a ‘Regular Sleeper.’
A 10- or 15-minute nap can help be healthy, because it sends the brain into light non-REM sleep and will give you a boost, but be careful not to sleep any longer than that. Long naps (more than 20 minutes) may increase the risk that the body will enter deep sleep and ruin your sleep routine, keeping you up late at night.
Prepare during the day by avoiding a heat build-up in your home.
Replace your duvet with a linen duvet cover or comforter. Linen is a breathable fabric as it's made from a looser weave and will ensure a cooler night’s sleep while keeping warm air from getting trapped next to your body while you sleep.
Also, feel free to skip the top sheet during this season as it adds another layer of fabric, making you feel even more heat at night. Choose lighter-colored linens as regardless of the actual temperature, lighter colors trick the mind into thinking it's cooler.
We can tend to feel warm at night, and if you're feeling too hot to sleep, take a cold shower.
Research shows that taking a cold shower can reduce your body temperature, especially after exercise, which demonstrates that a cool shower can help cool you down. Cold showers can also reduce pain and decrease depression symptoms and sadness. If you find that muscle pain or depression are interfering with your sleep each night, a cold shower may help you.
A warm shower can also help you sleep. Although a warm shower may initially raise your body temperature, it can reduce your core body temperature during the night. A warm shower increases circulation in your hands and feet, which can improve the regulation of your body temperature. Those who take a warm shower in the hour or two before bed tend to fall asleep faster and experience a higher quality sleep.
Like bedding, what we wear to sleep each night contributes to your beds microclimate. This can influence how warm or cool you feel during the night. As a result, what you choose to wear directly impacts how well you will sleep. Becoming too hot or sweating during the night can negatively affect your sleep quality.
The same fabrics and fibers that work to cool bedding also works well for pajamas. Choose lightweight, 100% cotton or cotton-blend pajamas during the summer season. Save heavier sleepwear and materials such as polyester for cooler months. Opting for lightweight sleepwear will help you stay at the right temperature while you sleep.
While snoring can be a year-round problem, there’s no time like the present to correct it if you want to enjoy your summer.
Gift your bed partner a ZQuiet 2-Size Comfort System. The ZQuiet 2-Size Starter Pack provides two separate mouthpieces that advance the lower jaw. It moves the jaw forward and widens the airway to effectively quiet the snoring sounds, earning you and your spouse a better night’s sleep. Or, try another of our snoring solutions, from nasal dilators to snore-cancelling earbuds.
Being properly hydrated plays an important role in regulating your body temperature. With hot weather, you're at higher risk for dehydration as you sweat.
Drink water and non-caffeinated drinks throughout the day and keep cold water next to your bed so you have a refreshing drink when needed. Try adding fresh fruit to water for a summery flavor burst. Using an insulated stainless steel water bottle will keep your drinks cool all night and you’ll wake up to some early morning H2O.
Read more: How to Sleep in Summer Heat.