How to Get the Best Sleep of Your Life on the Shortest Night of the Year
June 20, 2018
Author: Shelly Weaver-Cather
The Summer Solstice is tomorrow, which means we’re losing a little more nighttime than usual and about to embark on the longest day of the year. Not to worry—the next few nights might seem short, but we’ve got a handy guide to ensure you’re getting the most out of your sleep tonight, tomorrow, or really any night.
While you’re frolicking around a bonfire or watching the feed from Stone Henge (Check out last year’s Solstice Sunset!) you might want to start thinking about things you can do tonight to ensure you’re waking up ready to tackle tomorrow.
Play it cool The June Solstice brings with it a warmer season—and for some of us that means waking up hot. Cooling down before bed can have a lot of health benefits, namely deeper, more restorative sleep. It makes sense—if you’re body is working to cool you down while you sleep, you’re more likely to be disrupted or woken up than if your body is already nice and cool. Keeping your room between 60-68 degrees can also help your body produce melatonin, which is one of the key hormones to help you sleep. Sleeping in colder environments might even be a solution to insomnia, according to one recent study.
Great sleep is surely worth a few extra bucks on your A/C bill, right?
Hold the phone You should be keeping your phone as far away from your bedtime routine as possible already, but just in case you aren’t (We know, you totally are!) keeping your phone out of your face might be the key to staying asleep longer. The blue light from our phones can have a few negative impacts on us, to say the least.
- Impaired function and memory throughout the day, due to sleep loss.
- Some research implies that blue light can damage our retinas, but results are yet to be conclusive. Researchers are also looking into the effects on cataracts.
- Not getting sleep can build on itself—a few missed nights can actually cause you to lose more sleep due to neurotoxins.
- Light exposure can throw off your internal clock, causing sleep loss, but also leaving you prone to depression.
- Decreased melatonin can also lead to fluctuating hunger levels, which puts you at a higher risk of obesity.
In conclusion—get that phone out of your bed.
Wind down like a pro Creating the perfect bedtime routine takes time, but a few minot adjustments to your evening can make for a blissful transition into sleep. Meditation and mindfulness at the end of a long day can help you prepare for tomorrow without worrying about it all night. Taking a few moments to write down a to-do list for the next day can help clear your head and remove any need to cycle through what awaits you when you wake up.
Reading, listening to music, or catching up on a short podcast can help quiet your mind and prep you for rest. Reading in a different room before heading to bed can help reset your mind as you walk through the door.
If you find that you’re lying awake in bed for hours, waiting for sleep to come might not be the best option. It should only take 20-30 minutes to fall asleep, so getting back out of bed and repeating some of your bedtime routine can help prevent tossing and turning all night long.