With longer days, hotter nights and so much going on, summer can really impact your sleep. Thankfully, with a few simple changes to your routine, you can balance rest with all that fun. Read on to learn how to sleep better in summer, no matter how hot it gets.
1. Block out the light.
The extra-long days and later sunsets are quite welcome in summer – until you have an early morning wake-up call and try to hit the hay while it’s still light out. In addition to having major FOMO (fear of missing out), your body can struggle to get the message that it’s bedtime when the sun is taking its sweet time setting. That’s because the waning light signals to your body that it’s time to release the hormones that ready you for bed. Those lingering rays at 9:45? They’re telling you to stay up – it’s still daytime!
Exposure to bright light, artificial or natural, a couple of hours before bed will delay P.M. sleepiness. Use the summer sun to your advantage at the end of day. Turn off bright overhead lights, put your phone on “do not disturb” mode and let the sunlight become softer mood lighting.
When you do head to bed, close the blinds or curtains and make a sleep mask part of your routine.
2. Summer hours don’t apply to bedtime.
While we fully support “summer hours” at the office to squeeze all the fun you can out of the season and establish better balance between work and life, try not to let that mindset carry over to bedtime. Maintaining a consistent schedule all year round, both on weekdays and weekends, can help you keep your circadian rhythm in tune. While an irregular sleep schedule sometimes can’t be helped (we’re looking at you, parents of young kids!), it will impact your daytime sleepiness and overall fatigue.
Back in 2009, a study of university students in Taiwan found that a more irregular bedtime was “significantly associated with a decrease in average sleep time per day.” Habits like drinking alcohol before bed, using bed for things other than sleep and sex (even Netflix binges) and lengthy naps during the day also impacted their sleep schedule.
3. Choose the right bedding.
Being too hot in bed is almost guaranteed to keep you up at night – and is there anything worse than waking up drenched in sweat because you piled on too many covers and clothes? A better tomorrow starts tonight, so it’s extra important to get your bedding dialed in. This can really help as you work to find out how to sleep better in summer.
Consider this permission to do a little retail therapy if your budget permits. Just as you have different clothes to keep you comfortable in winter and summer, you should also have different bedding. As we recently shared, upgrading your linens is one of the 11 things to try to (finally) get a good night’s sleep.
In summer, swap your thick duvet for a light coverlet, and pack the cozy flannel sheets away until the Winter Solstice. Reach for lightweight cotton sheets or a stay-cool, high-tech fabric like these cooling sheets that earned the Good Housekeeping nod of approval.
If your mattress is made of memory foam, that marshmallow-y comfort can run hot. Consider adding a cooling mattress pad or skipping all but a top sheet.
4. Rethink your iced coffee habit.
Maybe it’s the ice or the straw or the oversize servings, but there’s something so irresistible about iced coffee in summertime. They taste so good going down – until you’re lying awake feeling jittery at 11 p.m.
Swap your iced coffee for a caffeine-free herbal tea to keep your cool and quench your thirst. Try chamomile if you’re amped up, peppermint for extra coolness or hibiscus for a fruity treat.
And lean on cooling foods like watermelon and cucumber – another Traditional Chinese Medicine tip that is so easy to bring into your busy modern life!
Since mornings aren’t complete without coffee, but you need to fight fatigue with more than just caffeine, reach for Good Morning Sunshine™ coffee + adaptogens. Feel free to ice it down if you prefer! Either way, you’ll need a pod – not a pot.
Pro tip: Love iced lattes? Freeze your favorite creamer in an ice cube tray, then add to your freshly brewed mug of Good Morning Sunshine to get all the flavor of this premium smooth brew (plus the earthy spice of ginseng) without diluting a single drop!
5. Cool down before bed.
Struggling to keep your cool all night? Give yourself a head-start with a quick shower. Avoid icy-cold water, which could wake you up, but keep it cooler than usual. This tip is especially helpful if you’ve spent time in the sun and feel flushed. Another good reason to rinse off under a cool shower at night? You’ll wash off all the layers that making being outside in the heat more tolerable – like bug repellent and sunscreen – as well as sweat and grime.
After your shower, grab some crisp, clean pajamas (or not, if that’s how you are comfy) and slather on your favorite relaxing lotion or oil (lavender and clary sage are both good bedtime scents). Then slide into bed and you’ll be ready for your winddown routine.
6. Get a sleep “divorce.”
Even the most die-hard snugglers tend to need a little more personal space on hot summer nights. There’s no shame in decamping to the guest room or couch when you feel too hot sleeping next to your sweetie (or when your bed gets overtaken by kids and pets).
Sleeping in separate beds is no longer troublesome or “retro.” Sleep “divorce” is a harsh name for the practice, which has been cited by researchers as a way to both help relationships and sleep issues. (The two tend to go hand in hand – who doesn’t get cranky after a sleepless night?)
Perhaps before you broach the subject with your partner, you rebrand it as a “sleep stay-cation” or a “sleep trial separation”? If you sleep well, you both win – and you’ll likely be in a better mood in the morning!
7. Give yourself some help.
Summer is the season that so many of us wait all year to savor – if that sounds like you, sleep might be hard to come by. Don’t go it alone. Give yourself some herbal support!* Keep fast-acting Hello Dreams™ sleep strips with Melatonin & Calm Down™ herbal blend on your bedside table, right next to your fan remote and your sleep mask. (This is our top tip for learning how to sleep better in summer!)
Place one on your tongue about 10 minutes you want to drift off for the night. The refreshingly minty and herbal strip will melt away, and you’ll start to feel the day melt away. They’re formulated to help you sleep deep and awake restored, so make them part of your summer routine.*
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.