As the weather warms up, here’s how to adjust your bedroom for better sleep
Many of us look forward to the arrival of summer, as the warm weather and lighter nights are a welcome change from the dark, cold days of winter. However, when it comes to sleep quality, summer isn’t necessarily the best time of year.
While winter can still a desire to bundle up and hibernate, the brightness and warmth of summer can inhibit our ability to wind down. However, we aren’t powerless to change this. There are changes you can make in your bedroom to promote better and more restful sleep at this time of year. Let’s take a look.
Adjust your space for the change in temperature
The most dramatic change that summer brings is an increase in temperature. But while this might be welcome when it comes to enjoying a beer in the garden or a walk in the sunshine, its impact on sleep is not so positive.
Our body temperature needs to drop slightly before we can drift off, so warm nights can lead to sticky, restless nights. One simple way to counteract this is to keep a window open to let in the night air. You can also keep your curtains closed during the day to stop your bedroom heating up in the run.
You should also switch out any heavy duvets or blankets for lighter alternatives, and consider having a cool shower before bed to lower your body temperature.
Keep your bedroom as dark as possible
Alongside an increase in temperature, summer also brings longer and lighter days. Our brains are extremely sensitive to light, especially when it comes to trying to sleep, as light can suppress our ability to produce vital sleep-related hormones like melatonin.
Blackout blinds and curtains give you total control over the light in your room, so even if the sun is rising at four in the morning, you won’t have to see it until you choose to open the curtains.
And it’s not just natural light you should be wary of. Avoid looking at bright screens like televisions, smartphones and laptops in the run up to bedtime, as this can also make it more difficult for your body to unwind effectively.
Be wary of allergens
For many of us, summer means having to fight our annual battle with hay fever. Symptoms like an itchy and runny nose, itchy throat and more are hard to deal with at any time of day, but they can make it particularly difficult to fall asleep.
To keep pollen at bay, wash your bedding frequently to get rid of any pollen that may be sticking to it, and try taking a bath or shower before bed to wash away any pollen particles from your body. You could also invest in an air purifier as an effective way to capture particles and cool and circulate the air.
Accommodate for later mealtimes
Lighter evenings, warmer weather and more socialising means many of us tend to eat later in the summer. However, this has a knock-on effect. Eating a heavy meal before bedtime can make it hard to fall and stay asleep comfortably, increasing your risk of experiencing indigestion or heartburn.
As much as possible, try to follow a schedule with your mealtimes and sleep/wake times; a routine you can stick to that gives you enough time to digest your meal and unwind in the evening, while also enjoying the seven to nine hours of sleep per night recommended by the National Sleep Foundation.