Summer means the sun rises earlier in the day and sets later in the night. This is especially true for individuals who live in northern states. For some people, summer time means improved sleep because when they wake up, the sun is shining and their body takes it as a cue to be alert and active. This makes it easier for them to fall asleep at night after a long day’s activities.
For other people, summer time means increased planning and a disruption of the schedule they were accustomed to during the other seasons. This leads to difficulty sleeping. Thankfully, there are a few steps you can take to improve your sleep during summer.
Take a Shower before Going to Bed
At the end of an active summer day, you probably feel sweaty, grimy, and gross. Worse yet, if you have been out in the woods or at the beach, your body is likely covered in bug repellent or sunscreen. If you take a few minutes to rinse off in the shower, you might feel more comfortable before you hop into bed. Removing sweat, repellent, and sunscreen can minimize skin irritation, which could wake you up at night.
A cool shower may be preferable to a hot one. A hot shower might increase your body’s core temperature, making it more difficult to fall asleep.
Drink Water Prior to Going to Bed
Water acts as a natural cleanser, detoxifies your body, and improves your digestive system. Consider drinking warm or hot water to increase blood circulation and sweat output. Water increases hydration, which improves your mood and mental strength and can lead to a better night’s sleep. However, you want to be moderate in the amount of water you drink before going to bed. Excessive water consumption will increase your urge to urinate, which may cause you to wake up and interrupt your sleep cycle.
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Avoid Excessive Food or Caffeine before Bedtime
Drinking too much caffeine or alcohol throughout the day can have a negative impact on your sleep. Caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine may leave you feeling jittery and unable to get a good night’s sleep. Alcohol may change your sleep patterns and can make underlying conditions, such as sleep apnea, worse.
Eating heavy meals right before sleeping means that your body is focusing energy and blood supply on digestion. This can negatively affect your sleep patterns. Your body will need to boost its metabolism and its temperature to digest the food eaten before sleeping. This means you will have more brain activity during REM sleep. Some studies even go as far as suggesting that eating heavy meals before sleep may cause nightmares.
Depending on the part of the country you live in, the summer months can mean some hot temperatures. Most people don’t sleep well in the heat, so it’s advisable that you take steps to keep yourself cool. Use a fan or air conditioner. Sleep in breathable clothing and cover yourself with sheets or blankets that allow for air movement.
Summer is such an exciting time of the year. Get the most out of your summer experience by taking steps to improve your sleep