Aahh sleep—it restores and refreshes body and mind. It also helps you concentrate at work and play and control cravings for unhealthy foods. If you’re sleeping poorly night after night, it can lead to long-term health problems such as obesity and heart attacks.
In the summer, light and heat can leave you tossing and turning. These easy tips will help you get the zzz’s you need:
1. Go dark
Light controls when, how long and how deeply we sleep, making it critical for quality sleep, says Dr. Charles Samuels, medical director of the Centre for Sleep and Human Performance in Calgary. You can try heavy curtains or eyeshades to block out the sun.
2. Cool down
Temperature can be the difference between a good or bad night’s sleep. Try replacing winter bedding and sleepwear with lighter fabrics; cooling your home with a fan, a lower thermostat setting or open windows (if it’s noisy outside, earplugs can help).
3. Gear down
Light from smartphones, tablets and other devices can disrupt your natural sleep rhythm, leading to poor sleep. “Turn off your tech at 8 o’clock and leave it alone,” Samuels recommends.
4. Exercise to sleep
Gentle exercise after dinner, such as walking, yoga or stretching, can help prepare your body for sleep.
5. Stick with it
A bedtime routine, whatever it is, helps signal your body that it’s time to sleep.