The Summer of Sleep: 7 Tips for a Restful Season11.06.2023
Sleep is crucial for maintaining good health, as it significantly affects both our physical and mental well-being. Lack of sleep can negatively impact our body, causing issues with concentration, mood, memory and even our digestion.
Despite Summer being a popular time for vacations and relaxation, many people enter the season already having a sleep deficit and end up getting even less rest due to the extended sunlight hours and busy social calendar.
Check out our top tips to help you have the most relaxing and restful Summer possible.
- Get the right amount of sleep for your body. According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults need 7-9 hours of sleep each night. It takes each of us a different amount of time for optimal health and vitality. Vacation is a great time to uncover your magic number. Go to bed at the same time each night for at least one week and note how much you sleep without alarms. You might sleep more than normal at first and feel groggy, but it will eventually balance out.
- Cue your body for sleep. The sleep hormone, melatonin, is released with darkness. Create a strong sleep cue for your body by dimming lights and pulling down shades.
- Prioritise social gatherings. Pick and choose the events that matter most. One night of lost sleep matters. The body attempts to recover sleep for several nights after one night of sleep loss.
- Relax into a bedtime routine. Create a relaxing, enjoyable, device-free bedtime routine. Think of adding in things like journaling, reading or stretching. Just be sure to turn the screens off at least one hour before your bedtime. The artificial light from screens can drastically impair our body's ability to drift into sleep.
- Stay cool. Warmer temperatures inhibit sleep. Keeping your bedroom temperature low (many recommend 15-19°C) and wearing light or no clothing, eases the body into sleep mode. Also, keep in mind that exercise can elevate body temperatures, so it may be best to get your workout in at least three hours before bed.
- Stay consistent. Experts all across the sleep medicine world recommend keeping sleep and wake times consistent so that melatonin (the sleep hormone) can set its watch. It takes energy to change your internal clocks (every one of your 3 trillion cells has one).
Monitor alcohol. Alcoholic beverages could rob you of REM sleep, keeping you in the lighter stages of sleep and you might tend to wake up in the middle of the night when the alcohol wears off.
Getting a good night's sleep is crucial for the proper functioning of our bodies. Regardless of the time of year, our brains need to flush themselves with cerebrospinal fluid, consolidate memories, problem-solve and process emotions. It's during the night that our bodies perform essential work. By staying mindful and consistent, you can have a fantastic Summer while also prioritising your health and ensuring that you get the rest your body needs.