Summer can wreak havoc on your family’s sleep schedule. Not only are your kids off their schedules from school, but the longer days, heat, and humidity can also make it hard to fall asleep. Fortunately, solutions could be easier than you think. If you’re lying awake at night and you feel tired during the day, consider making the following three changes to improve your sleep quality.
Use the Long Summer Days to Your Advantage
Summer means the sun shines later in the evening, and depending on where you live, the evening could be the only time temperatures are cool enough to go outside without getting burned. Spending time outside balances your circadian rhythms. Essentially, this biological process tells your body when it’s time to wake up and when you should get tired. When the heat of summer starts bearing down and the temperatures are too hot to go out, wait until the evening to get time outdoors. Consider going for a walk and exploring nature, or play a game in your backyard.
Earlier mornings can also help, as spending some time outside before the sun is high in the sky and the temperatures increase can help you wake up for the day.
Open Your Door to Improve Airflow
You may like sleeping with the door closed to give yourself more privacy and block out distractions such as home noise and hallway lights. However, closing doors can also restrict airflow and limit how cool your room could be, which could leave you tossing and turning in a hot and stuffy room.
To test the airflow, step out of your room at night or when you wake up in the morning and see if you notice a temperature difference. If the hallway feels cooler than your room, then the airflow is limiting how cool your room can get. Along with opening the door at night, you can also try other tricks with your home’s HVAC system to stay cool such as checking to make sure your furniture isn’t blocking the air vents or using lightweight bedding instead of a comforter.
Create a Bedtime Routine
While your kids are out of school for the summer, you may be tempted to let them stay up late watching movies or playing with friends. While you can certainly be more flexible with bedtimes, try to stick to a regular sleep schedule and follow the same bedtime routine.
Completing a bedtime routine, such as brushing teeth and reading a bedtime story, triggers a response in the brain that signals it’s time to wind down. By going to sleep at the same time or close to the same time each night, their bodies can start automatically getting tired during that time. This way, you won’t have kids who want to stay up until midnight and not have the energy to get up in the morning.
If your family is struggling to sleep during the summer, try to understand why. Your family’s sleep schedule could be off because of school or environmental factors such as your room temperature. With a few small changes, everyone in your home can get a good night’s sleep.