We all love the summer, but when it comes to getting to sleep - well, that's a different matter! We've enlisted the help of our Director of Health & Wellness and Resident Naturopath, Sue Davis, to tell us all how to get a good night's sleep, even in the hottest conditions!
We fall asleep a lot easier in a cool bedroom so hot and humid Summer nights can be a challenge to a good nights sleep.
- Keep your bedroom cool throughout the day by keeping curtains drawn and blinds closed.
- Open windows and use fans or air conditioners to regulate your bedroom temperature
- Ensure your bed linen and covers are light, breathable and made from natural fabrics such as cotton and linen
- Don’t over-dress for sleep, try sleeping in the nude
Have a regular sleep routine
The most important tip for sleep is to keep to a regular sleep schedule every day including weekends. This means going to bed and waking up at the same time every day. When sleep has a regular rhythm, your biological clock will synchronise including all other bodily functions.
Eliminate blue light
We sleep best in a dark room. Electronic devices emit blue light when left on standby through the night and can disturb sleep patterns. Turn off devices before bed or cover with a dark cloth. Consider blackout blinds or curtains to keep street lights from affecting your sleep.
Getting outside in the sun for 15 minutes each morning helps to regulate the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone. This is one of the best ways to keep your circadian rhythms in sync and your sleep schedule on track. Research shows that morning exposure to natural sun light is linked to better sleep, and lower levels of depression and stress. A morning dose of sunshine will help energise you for the day and make you more inclined toward sleep at night
Optimise your Vitamin D levels
A lack of Vitamin D can have a broad impact on health, including an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and depression. Vitamin D is also important for sleep, helping maintain sleep quality and protect sleep quantities. The best source of Vitamin D is the sun. Research suggests that Vitamin D absorbed through the skin lasts twice as long in the body compared to Vitamin D ingested through food or supplements. Summer is the ideal time to increase Vitamin D levels and optimise the amount the body can store for release during the Winter months. Ten to fifteen minutes a day of sun exposure without sunscreen can give your body a healthy boost of Vitamin D.
Foods to help with sleep
Studies show that drinking Montmorency cherry juice daily throughout the day can help with the production of melatonin and aid sleep patterns.
Romaine lettuce and little gem lettuce contain active ingredients that have soporific qualities that can aid a good night’s sleep.
New research suggests that eating kiwifruit may have significant benefits for sleep.
Researchers at Taiwan’s Taipei Medical University studied the effects of kiwi consumption on sleep. They found that eating kiwi on a daily basis was linked to substantial improvements to both sleep quality and sleep quantity. Volunteers ate 2 kiwifruit 1 hour before bed. After 4 weeks of kiwi consumption, researchers found significant improvements to several measures of sleep:
- People fell asleep more quickly.
- People slept more soundly.
- Sleep quality improved.
- Sleep efficiency.