Do you struggle with getting enough sleep in the summer? Between longer days and warmer temperatures, you may notice that your summer sleep schedule tends to suffer and leave you feeling sleep deprived. Sleep deprivation can leave you feeling grumpy, feel out of it, or with daytime fatigue. Long-term sleep deprivation can leave you vulnerable for a variety of health problems, increased depression, weight gain, problems thinking or making decisions, and even put you at risk of having a car accident.
Texas summer temperatures can be brutal when temperatures are still hovering in the 90s by the time you should be heading to bed. Without A/C, getting to sleep on time could be a huge problem but even with A/C it still can be difficult. We wanted to share with your our best tips on how to improve your summer sleeping schedule.
Keep Your Typical Routine
During the summer, it is easy to stay up later and mess up your routine sleep schedule entirely. We suggest that you stick to the same bedtime every night even though it is tempting to change up your bedtime. Sticking to the same bedtime each night will keep your body’s natural circadian rhythm in sync.
Aim to Get a Minimum of 8 Hours of Sleep
With our busy lifestyles, many adults claim that they only get about 5 or 6 hours of rest a night, or even less. This includes tossing, turning, and trips to the bathroom. Not getting enough sleep on a regular basis can have major health consequences including sleep deprivation. As we mentioned earlier, sleep deprivation isn’t healthy and can lead to health complications.
Always dedicate 8 to 9 hours of sleep each night. If you are struggling with getting enough sleep, we suggest that you add it to your schedule it. Scheduling it may seem silly at first but eventually, it will become a habit.
Set a Bed Time Routine
Develop a summer bedtime ritual, if you don’t have one. Things to incorporate into your ritual might include washing your face, brushing your teeth, getting changed, letting out your pets, and so on. Start your routine at the same time each night, and go through each step in the same order. You will find drifting off will be a lot easier.
Skip the Snooze Button
Are you guilting of hitting the snooze button a
few million times before getting out of bed in the morning? We get that it is super tempting to reach over and hit the snooze button just to a few extra minutes of slumber. However, those extra few minutes of sleep are actually hurting your overall productivity.
Hitting the snooze button can leave you feeling groggy and it can take up to an hour and a half to shake it off. So are those extra 5 or 10 minutes worth it? Can’t give up the habit? Allow yourself to hit the snooze button once.
Invest in a New Mattress
How long have you had your mattress? If your mattress is over 8 years old, it should be replaced especially if it is lumpy or caving in. A lumpy mattress or one caving in probably affecting the quality of your sleep. Also, consider switching to a queen or king if your current mattress is too small. If you are always hot when you sleep, opt for a cooling gel memory foam bed. The cooling gel will help keep you cooler at night.
Use Curtains to Block the Heat
During the summertime, the sun tends to make certain rooms warmer due to the increased time that it takes for the sun to go down in the evenings. This can easily make a room in your home a bit warmer than the rest of the house. Our bedroom happens to be the room in our home that tends to heat up thanks to the evening sun. We installed curtains in our room to help block the sun and help keep our room a bit cooler.
Keep the Blinds Closed Too
Don’t be tempted to open the blinds to allow natural light into your home if the sun is directly hitting the windows. The sun peeping through the blinds can easily heat up your room. Even though the A/C is running, it still can take hours for the A/C to catch up and cool off a room.
Dim the Lights
Take advantage of the extended daylight hours and turn the lights down. The lights put off heat even the CFL light bulbs that use less electricity.
Find Alternative Foods to Make During the Summer
Avoid using your oven as much as possible during the summer. The oven produces extra heat and makes your A/C have to work harder to cool off your home before bedtime. Instead, opt for cooking a bunch of meals on the weekend so you are only using your stove one day a week. Plus, you will have quick and easy meals to heat up during the week when you are busy.
During the summer, the slow cooker comes in handy as well. It doesn’t put off much heat and when you get home from work, you already have a healthy meal waiting for you to eat. We also, use our George Foreman grill (we don’t have a bbq grill) to make grilled chicken. If it is too hot, you can also opt to have a smoothie instead.
Sleep in Loose Fitting Clothing
Pick out loose comfortable PJs before heading off to bed. Often times the less clothing that you have on when it is hot outside the better you might sleep. While some prefer to keep clothes on while sleeping, others rather go to sleep in the buff. It all comes down to personal preference and going with whatever makes you feel the most comfortable.
Freeze the Sheets
If you don’t have an air conditioner or it is broken, during the summer temperatures can sometimes feel unbearable even at night. Warm temperatures can make sleeping at night uncomfortable. Next time, fold the flat sheet and stick it in the freezer for 30 minutes. Then take the sheet out of the freezer just before bed and enjoy the cold sheets as you drift off to sleep. Frozen sheets are a great way to help improve your summer sleep schedule.
Spray Sheets with Water
Dampen your flat sheet or a towel with water before you go to bed. You don’t have to soak it in order for it to be effective. Lay down and cover up with your damp sheet or towel. We suggest that you add a waterproof bed liner to cover your mattress to avoid damaging it.
Take a Hot Shower/Bath Before Bed
While it may seem silly to take a hot shower/bath before bedtime, we promise that it makes a difference if you take one an hour before bedtime. This allows your body the chance to cool off before you lay down. However, steaming up the bathroom without venting it can increase the humidity in the air.
Turn Down the Thermostat
During the day, set your thermostat a few degrees higher. We suggest setting it at 80 degrees during the day when you aren’t home. Your A/C won’t run all day long while you aren’t home. Plus, it doesn’t take it long to cool off especially if you can set it to automatically cool your home an hour before you get home. Use a Nest thermostat or another thermostat that you can control your HVAC system even while you are away from the house.
At night, you can afford to run the A/C a few degrees cooler than where you normally set the temperature. We promise you that turning down the A/C at night even a degree or two will make a huge impact on your summer sleep schedule. You will not only be comfortable but you will actually sleep better.
Use Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender essential oil has a calming effect and many people benefit from diffusing it before bedtime. Diffusing essential oils is the most popular way to reap the benefits but it isn’t the only way. Some add a small amount to a piece of tissue and place it under your pillow or you can rub it on your wrists, feet, or temples. Test a small amount on your skin prior to using several drops or even use a carrier oils such as coconut or almond oil to dilute it.
Do declutter your room. Not only will you feel better about waking up to a clean room. But you also help prevent dust and other allergens from settling down into your room.
Turn Off Electronics
Most experts recommend that you keep all electronics out of your bedroom but we know how hard this is to accomplish. Before bed, I’m guilty of using my phone until I get sleepy. But I also know that I can easily get carried away and end up staying up an hour or two longer than expected. If you do use your phone or wind down with the television on, set a timer and turn it off when your time is up. This will prevent you from playing another game of candy crush, staying up to find out who wins the baseball game, or become lost in the black hole called Facebook.
Are you tired of dealing with insomnia during the summer? Exercise works in several different ways to help you improve your summer sleep schedule. While you are exercising your core body temperatures increases and as your body cools down, your body temperature dropping back off is thought to help improve your sleeping habits.
Exercise releases endorphins that are known to improve depression and anxiety symptoms, reduces stress, boosts self-esteem, improve your sleep. Plus, exercise has added health benefits too.
Between warmer temperatures and busy summer schedules, it can easily mess up your sleep schedule. Sleep is super important and you should make it a priority to ensure that your summer sleep schedule doesn’t have to suffer.