Thanks to the wonders of great British Summer Time, our days are basking - nearly everyday - in increasing amounts of summer sun. Just like the nation’s pub gardens, our vitamin D levels enjoy a better opportunity to revitalise during the now 16 hour daily divide between sunrise and sunset.
But one chapter of our routine isn’t quite so thankful for the excess hours of light; our sleep can actually suffer quite substantially from the influence of stray beams and mother nature’s early rise.
Whether you’re an early bird or night owl, there’s no escaping the intrusion of a wider day; but there are plenty of ways you can avoid it.
We’re hitting snooze on a bedroom full of light at 5am, and the restless not-quite-dark of bedtime, as today we’re sharing our tips and tools to rebalancing your body, resetting your sleeping pattern, and taking back control over what wakes you and when.
Why Are Lighter Days Bad For Sleep Quality?
The routine of the body - not just the times we wake up and go to sleep, but the time at which our internal core begins to function - balances on the edge of light’s influence.
When the brain detects the arrival of sunlight marking the beginning of new day, it’ll instinctively begin to wake up our internal organs. Likewise, when our system detects the onset of evening, a similar reaction takes place whereby the body gradually begins to put each little piece of itself to rest.
Even when the eye is closed at night, the retina retains its natural ability to read the amount of light present in your environment.
When light is detected earlier, the circadian rhythm - sleep’s clockwork operator - sets back your core wake-up to an earlier time. Vice versa, when it’s still light outside at bedtime, this rhythm gets pushed forward to a later o’clock. The amount of darkness needed to achieve quality sleep just isn’t available.
Although there’ll be no sudden shock to the system when this seasonal solar occurrence takes place, the physical and mental long-term effects our system experiences as a result of sleep deprivation split between longer days are certainly seen.
The Key To Achieving Better Sleep During Lighter, Longer Days
1. Be Stricter On Screen Time
The blue light found in LED screens is notorious for prolonging our descent into decent sleep. This is because the influence of the light negatively impacts the rate at which our body is able to produce melatonin - the hormone responsible for regulating the circadian rhythm and inducing tiredness and sleep.
Being more conscious about using screens around bedtime and in the evening won’t stretch the amount of time you spend lying awake to any longer than it needs to be. This absence of digital light will also realign and restore your natural REM sleep cycle.
2. Invest in Quality Blackout Tools
An on-the-tin solution to blocking out intrusive rays of sunshine would be to invest in blackout technology; something that would be able to offer complete pitch-black darkness during times of shut-eye.
Our curtains come as a clear saviour in their ability to clear the room of light, and their blackout, heavy-duty counterpart is especially skilled in this regard. But going to all the hassle and expense of sourcing and installing the right curtains and blinds seems futile when you can just claim your very own 3D Blackout Sleep Mask with one click!
Our signature mask, aside from being one of the very first products we launched, is designed specifically to keep those stray beams of light at bay. Aside from providing total darkness in times of rest, regardless of how bright it may be around you, their carefully domed design exists to protect your eyelashes - real or extensions - from the impacts we experience SMUG’s latest Contoured 3D Blackout Sleep Mask in our slumber. And the best thing about these sleep saviours is that they come in a whole rainbow of different colours and patterns; our latest cow print design definitely has to be our favourite yet!
3. Set the Scene
Building on the two previous points, it’s important to remember that setting the perfect
sleeping scene is the key to beating the intrusion of the summer sun. Even the savviest of sleepers sometimes underestimate the true power of setting the scene for sleep, and it’s important to remember that the items, fabrics and set-up surrounding you as you snooze can pose just as much disruption as the rising summer sun.
This is why it’s just so vital to read the room, and surround yourself with items that feel ‘just right’ for you and how you want to experience rest. Following this advice will guarantee you a one-way ticket to undisturbed sleep! When we’re looking to set the perfect sleep scene, we always tend to reach for a pair of smooth satin pillowcases, a Lavender Pillow Spray, and maybe a soothing body wrap or two right just before bedtime.
4. Be More Active
Although the longer, brighter days will most likely cause disruption to our sleeping
pattern, this shouldn’t mean that we don’t exploit the excess sunshine for all that it’s worth! As we’re all probably aware, there’s a strong correlation between our level of exercise and our quality of sleep; the more physically tired we make ourselves, the easier we’ll find our nighttime transition.
Alongside this point, it’s also worth noting that partaking in regular daily exercise, even at its lowest level, has been strongly documented in being able to boost our levels of self-esteem, and the health of our mental state. So here’s a call to utilise the wider day and seize the increased opportunity to exercise in the surroundings of the great, sunny outdoors!
5. Eat Your Way to Deeper Sleep
Alongside exercise, eating the right amounts of the right ingredients at just the right time presents itself as a sure-fire way to beat the intrusively longer days, and secure an undisturbed night of quality rest. This is because, although the body is naturally capable of producing melatonin itself, there is an abundance of this miracle sleep inducing hormone to be found in everyday ingredients!
Everything from chicken, turkey, and most red meats, to cabbage, almonds and milk all store their own powerful levels of melatonin, and our studies have demonstrated how ingesting such ingredients an hour or two before bedtime can impose superior levels of quality rest thanks to the heightened levels of the hormone in your system. Such a level of self-care and internal regulation stands unshakable in the face of even the sunniest setting!
We hope that our list of tips and tricks has been able to shed light - pun intended - on the tools available to you in the age-old battle between British Summer Time and the experience of quality sleep. No matter the season, it’s crucial to remember that your sleep can be as methodical, undisturbed and rewarding as you’d like it to be; all year round!