1 – Let your skin breathe
Sleeping in full length fluffy pyjamas in the midst of summer should be an obvious no-no as it will only raise your body temperature, disturbing your sleep during the night. However, sleeping in nothing isn’t recommended either as it will keep sweat trapped around your body, preventing you from cooling down properly. That’s why I’d recommend opting for more breathable fabrics such as cotton or silk, however, this approach isn’t just limited to nightwear.
During summer you may also need to take a good look at your bed sheets too. Natural fibres are a good option, as again are cotton or linen. Try to go for lighter colours too – remember, darker colours can absorb sunlight, trapping heat. It’s also worthwhile remembering that, if you suffer from a seasonal allergy such as hayfever, you should be washing your bed linen regularly to prevent pollen from saturating your sheets!
2 – Invest in black out blinds
Summer can stretch out the days meaning that the chances are you’re going to bed when the sun’s still up and waking up in a puddle of sunlight around 6am. This new source of light can be very disturbing for your sleep patterns though, as you’re programmed to respond to sunlight. That’s why, if you want to avoid being woken up around 5am, I’d recommend investing in some good quality black out blinds. These should help to prevent sunlight from interrupting your sleep and make it easier for you to nod off at night.
3 – Keep your windows open
If you’re lucky enough to have air conditioning at home or if you’re away on holiday, you might be tempted to simply leave it on overnight. However, this circulation of dry, cold air can irritate your skin and the mucous membranes in your nose, making you more prone to flare-ups, sore throats and dry nose. That’s why, rather than relying solely on your air con, I’d suggest opening your windows instead.
Now, if you suffer from hayfever this might sound like a recipe for disaster, however, the pollen count is generally lower in the evening and opening your window will allow for a natural circulation of air that should help to cool down your room, enabling you to enjoy a more restful night of sleep.
4 – Shower before you go to bed
In my blog, ‘Too hot to sleep? Cool down with our top tips!’ I discuss a couple of ways to stay cool when the weather heats up. One of my favourites was the idea of cooling yourself down before going to bed by taking a lukewarm shower or bath. Provided you don’t let the water get too hot or too cold, it’s a good way to unwind and cool down and, if you suffer from hayfever, it can help to wash away the residue of pollen. You could, provided you’re not suffering from sunburn, even infuse your bath with some soothing lavender or calming almond oil to help encourage a more restful state of mind.
5 – Address your allergies
As our Hayfever Advisor Louise discusses in her blog ‘Is hayfever affecting your sleep?’ seasonal allergies can have an impact on your sleep patterns. Pollen can linger indoors, especially around your bedding, and some hayfever sufferers do find that their symptoms flare-up at night. It also doesn’t help that many of us have gotten into the habit of allowing our pets to sleep on our beds with us, adding another problematic element if you are sensitive to animal dander.
If you do suffer from allergies of any kind, try to get on top of them – keep track of your local pollen count, invest in natural remedies such as eye drops and nasal sprays and start taking hayfever medicines pre-emptively as the hayfever season kicks off. Our Pollinosan Hayfever Tablets are a good option, even if you only suffer from allergic rhinitis as they contain a blend of 7 tropical herbs which work synergistically to relieve general hayfever symptoms such as sneezing, sore throat and runny nose.
6 – Keep an eye on your holiday diet
The summer holidays can be a great time to get away with your loved ones and relax in new surroundings. Eating out and trying new foods is a big part of the experience but, while I’m not about to say that you shouldn’t, if you’re finding it difficult to sleep at night you may want to consider when you eat your evening meal.
If you’re having a big meal right before bed time it will place an added stress on your digestive system which, as I discuss in my blog, ‘Can sleep deprivation affect your digestion?’ may affect your quality of sleep. Instead, if you are planning a big meal out, try to make sure it’s earlier in the day, ideally before 6pm. This should give your digestive system time to get to work before you have to go to bed. If you are starting to feel bloated or are suffering from other symptoms such as indigestion, you could try a bitter herb remedy such as Digestisan to help relieve feelings of excessive fullness.
7 – Drink plenty of fluids
If you’re going on holiday, the chances are you’re hoping to enjoy a few summer cocktails or beers and I’m not here to stop you. Just make sure you remember to drink plenty of plain water on the side to prevent yourself from becoming dehydrated. Not only will dehydration sap you of energy during the day, it can also affect your body temperature too!
This is because you need to drink plenty of fluids to support your sweating mechanism, your body’s primary way of cooling down.1 If you become dehydrated and don’t replace this loss of fluid, your body may struggle to regulate your temperature, which can leave you rolling around the bed at night, looking for a way to cool down.
8 – Prepare yourself for jet lag
If you are heading overseas this summer, jet lag may already be top of mind. It’s wonderful to travel long distances but, at least for the first few days, jet lag can be extremely disorientating as your sleep patterns try to sync up with a completely new time zone. That’s why I’d recommend trying to prepare for the experience so jet lag doesn’t steal too much of your holiday time or your sleep! You can read about some of my top tips to beat jet lag in my blog, ‘5 tips to beat jet lag.’
9 – Treat sunburn
The sun is out which means that your skin is more vulnerable than ever to the damaging effects of UV radiation which can prematurely age your skin and cause a great deal of pain. I’m sure you’ve all experienced a nasty bout of sunburn which makes it impossible for you to even turn over in your bed at night without experiencing some form of discomfort. That’s why I always recommend taking preventative measures before you head outside, such as sun cream and after sun.
Our skin advisor Felicity discusses the types of suncream that you should be opting for in her blog, ‘How safe is your suncream?’ and, if you’re looking for something to take the edge off inflamed, irritated skin, you could try our soothing Neem Cream. This formula contains natural anti-inflammatory properties, helping to gently combat irritation and supply moisture to even very dry skin.
10 – Herbal helpers
Whether it’s jet lag, sunburn or simply a less than ideal sleeping environment, there’s nothing wrong with seeking a bit of extra help when it comes to getting to sleep at night. That’s why I’m happy to recommend our gentle sleep remedy Dormeasan, which contains a blend of Valerian and Hops. This formula helps you to achieve a deep, restorative sleep without any of the drowsy side-effects associated with traditional sleep medicines. It gradually soothes your nervous system, encouraging feelings of relaxation that enable you to drop off to sleep.