Sleeping Well in Summer

Sleeping Well in Summer

Long days, busy social lives, and hot weather can all make summer a difficult season to get a good night’s sleep. In fact, short-term insomnia due to external factors can be fairly common at this time of year.1 Summer nights can be full of tossing and turning in bed, being too warm to relax, and too awake to sleep. However, you don’t have to struggle to get a good sleep during the hot season. Read our article below for ideas as to how you can enjoy sleeping well in summer.

Why Is Sleep Affected in Summer?

When summer comes, the sun is out early in the day, and late in the evening. While these bright evenings can mean that you have more time to go exploring, they can actually make sleeping well in summer a challenge. This is because your circadian rhythm is directly influenced by sunlight. The circadian rhythm, or inner body clock, decides when you’re sleeping or awake by controlling the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone. Melatonin is produced when it’s dark outside and is held back when the sun is out. This is why you sleep during the night and are awake during the day. So, when the sun is out for longer into the evening during the summer, the production of melatonin is delayed. This means that you still feel alert rather than tired in the evening. Your body thinks you should still be up and about, so it’s impossible to fall asleep as long as the sky outside is not dark. However, we’ve got good news: you can fix this.

Below, you’ll find some handy tips for sleeping well in summer.

1) Limit Your Exposure to Sunlight at Night-time

The extended hours of sunlight can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, we want to enjoy the longer evenings before being cooped up during the autumn. On the other hand, being out and about in the evening can make getting a good sleep a challenge. This is especially tricky when you have to get up early in the morning. However, you can trick your body into thinking it’s time to wind down by limiting your exposure to sunlight. Draw the curtains to make the indoors darker – our blockout curtains have a 90 – 95% blockout, so you can help the production of melatonin to make yourself feel sleepy. Read more about the benefits of these curtains here. If you have to go outside, wear sunglasses so that you don’t get a boost in alertness from the sunlight.

2) Have A Healthy Sleeping Environment

Your bedroom should be dark, cool, and quiet – this is the best sleeping environment for the best sleep. Make your room dark by investing in blockout curtains. Curtains that are designed to block out light are the best defence against early rises. Not only will they keep your room dark to easily fall asleep, but they’ll also help you stay asleep until your alarm goes off. When sunlight slips into your bedroom in the morning, it can disrupt your body’s production of melatonin and wake you up. No one wants to wake up before their alarm goes off!

Also, make sure you’re not overheating during the night. Your bedding and pyjamas should be light linens as they’re more breathable and will make you sweat less. During the day, we open our windows to keep ourselves from getting too warm. However, this isn’t ideal during the night, as bedrooms should be quiet, and any outside noises could disturb your sleep. Instead, check your bedding. Have a lower tog duvet, and consider investing in cooling pillows or mattress protectors. These are designed with thermo-regulating fabric that removes excess heat, and then releases it if your body temperature begins to drop. This way, you’ll be kept at a steady, comfortable temperature for a peaceful snooze. Have a look at our cooling pillows here, or find our cooling mattress protectors here.

Think about having a fan in the bedroom, too. The DCH6031 Ceramic Cool Air Heater from DeLonghi features a cool blow setting that’s ideal for hot summer nights. This heater is also extremely quiet, so you won’t have to worry about any noise pollution while you try to sleep. Read about its many other benefits here.

If you do live in a noisy area, our blockout curtains are also noise-reducing. By keeping external noises at bay, you can sleep soundly.

3) Take Time to Relax

Summer can be the busiest season as it’s when people socialise more. However, don’t forget to set aside some time for you to relax. Spending an hour winding down before going to bed is a great way to tell your body that it’s time to think about going to sleep. Read a book, listen to relaxing music, or have a soothing bath. Staying away from your phone, tablet, laptop, or even your TV will also help you relax. The blue light that’s emitted from these screens will disrupt the production of melatonin. You’ve already got sunlight keeping you awake – you don’t need technology keeping you up, too. Read more about how technology affects your sleep here.

Sleeping Well in Summer

Long days, busy social lives, and hot weather can all make summer a difficult season to get a good night’s sleep. In fact, short-term insomnia due to external factors can be fairly common at this time of...

Spring Cleaning for a Healthier Mind and a Healthier Sleep

Spring is synonymous with a fresh start after the cold and dreary winter evenings. There’s no better time to brush off the cobwebs and freshen up – and we always look ahead to spring cleaning. When we think of spring cleaning, we imagine ourselves organising the...

Sleeping Well in Spring

The sun’s shining, the birds are singing, and colourful flowers are blooming. Nature has woken up after winter, refreshed and ready for anything. So why, when the rest of the world is revitalised, aren’t you? Spring can be a hard time of the year for people to get a...

Get A Good Sleep When the Clocks Change

In spring, the clocks go forward one hour. In the autumn, the clocks go back an hour. Not only can this affect how much daylight we get, but it can also interfere with our sleep. Read below to find out why we change the clocks, and how you can continue to sleep well....

Sleeping Well in Winter

Like any time of the year, winter can affect a healthy sleep routine. Short days and long nights make us eager for cosy, quiet, and restful evenings. For many people, winter evenings spent indoors with a blanket and cup of tea help us slow down and relax. However,...

Avoid These Drinks to Sleep Soundly While on Holiday

Avoid These Drinks to Sleep Soundly While on Holiday

Travelling to new places is exciting. We get to explore new sights, new cultures, and local foods and beverages. Rome is best experienced by sipping an espresso at a sidewalk café but, if you want to stay energised for the duration of your trip, it’s important to know how some drinks can affect your sleep. Avoid these drinks to get a good sleep and enjoy your holiday to the full!

1) Caffeine

A cup of tea or coffee can stimulate you as soon as fifteen minutes after you’ve taken your first step. This can be a life saver in the morning if you’re feeling groggy and trying to wake yourself up so that you can enjoy your day of sightseeing. However, drinking coffee or tea in the late afternoon and evening can keep you from falling asleep easily when you go to bed, as the caffeine is likely still in your system. Therefore, you should keep tea and coffee to the earlier parts of the day.

2) Alcohol

Who doesn’t enjoy a glass of wine, a pint of beer, or a refreshing cocktail on a warm evening after a busy day of seeing the sights in a new city? However, drinking too much alcohol in the evening can interfere with your sleep. Alcohol can actually interrupt your circadian rhythm by affecting levels of chemicals that tell your body when it’s time to sleep or wake up. This is why alcohol can make you feel sleepy, but you’ll wake up during the night and struggle to get back to sleep. Drinking alcohol before you go to sleep can also lead to you needing a trip to the bathroom in the middle of the night, further disturbing your sleep. Alcohol-impaired sleep can be disruptive no matter where you are, but it can really put a damper on your daytime energy. Nobody wants this when on their holiday – you want to have fun, but how can you have a good time if you’re exhausted during the day?

3) Fizzy Drinks

People who drink a lot of sugary fizzy drinks tend to sleep for no more than five hours a night – much less than the recommended eight hours we should be sleeping each night! The carbonation in fizzy drinks can cause bloating and stomach pressure, which can trigger heartburn. This can often flare up at night, which can make it tough to get the sleep that you need to feel refreshed during the day. If you don’t feel energised during the day, you won’t enjoy your holiday as much as you’d like to!

Avoid These Drinks to Sleep Soundly While on Holiday

Travelling to new places is exciting. We get to explore new sights, new cultures, and local foods and beverages. Rome is best experienced by sipping an espresso at a sidewalk café but, if you want to stay energised for the duration of your trip, it’s important to know...

7 Tips for A Good Sleep Before Going on Holiday

Who doesn’t love getting away for a break? While you’re counting down the days, your excitement bubbles a bit more the closer you get. However, all this excitement can be harmful for your sleep – especially on the night before you go on holiday, when stress and nerves...

Travel must-haves

Travelling and comfort do not usually appear in the same sentence without the thought of high costs. However, there are many low cost ways to make those long trips that bit more bearable. It really is the simple things that make travel easier and more comfortable. The...

Bed bugs

Upon arrival to your exotic location or downtown hotel getaway, the excitement of a new adventure often permits you to neglect some of the more unpleasant tasks. Bed bugs, two words every traveller dreads. Preparation is key to ensure that you fully protect yourself...

Travel sleep tips for babies and small children

Travelling with small children and babies should be a time of celebration, yet it is often seen as a daunting task. Before you travel, it is important to make sure that you have a well-established nap and bedtime routine. This will make it easier when you are...

Jet Lag and sleep

The ability to travel is one of life’s greatest and sweetest gifts. Whatever reason you find yourself travelling, you can sometimes find yourself on the slightly less favourable side of travel. Jet lag usually visits us during the night. Below, we address the effect...

Wool Products Are Better for the Environment

Wool Products Are Better for the Environment

As both consumers and businesses are becoming increasingly aware of how we’re damaging the earth’s environment, there are always new discoveries as to how we can help the environment. One of these revelations is that wool products are better for us, and our planet.

Wool vs. Plastic Microfibres

You probably know that wool biodegrades in soil, returning nutrients to the earth. However, did you know that recent studies have shown that wool also biodegrades in the ocean? As this is the case, wool does not harm the planet with microfibre and plastic pollution.

Research has revealed that 44% of the public are unaware that microfibres (the microscopic fibres released into waterways when we wash our clothes) often end up in our food.1 We’re effectively eating our own clothes. An estimated 35% of primary microplastic entering our oceans are released through the washing of textiles.2 Studies have found these fibres in our food – from mussels and table salt to honey and beer. Plastic microfibres can also absorb toxic chemicals, with the long-term effect of this on our health yet to be fully established. As wool biodegrades in the ocean, it’s obviously better for our health and the planet.

Synthetic clothing is on the rise, accounting for 60% of all clothing produced as of 2018.3 A survey of over 2,000 people across the UK highlighted that 44% of people don’t know that synthetic fibres, such as polyester, acrylic, or nylon, are actually plastic.4 Half a million tonnes of plastic microfibres a year contribute to ocean pollution, one of the most serious environmental issues that we’re currently facing. Plastic can take centuries to biodegrade, while wool biodegrades in water in a short time. Nicholas Coleridge, Chairman of the Campaign for Wool, affirms that wool is the “right and natural choice”.5

Other Benefits of Wool

Peter Ackroyd, Chief Operating Officer for the Campaign for Wool, believes that you can take care of wool, but that wool will also take care of you. Not only is it easy to look after, but Ackroyd points out that wool “requires less laundering due to its natural cleansing and stain repellent properties”. Plus, Ackroyd highlights that investing in wool will give back lots in return – not just in terms of comfort, but also in longevity and cost per year. Switching to wool would “reduce land and sea-fill waste, whilst also reducing energy and water use”.6

With all these benefits for you and your planet, why not check the label when shopping to make sure that you’re doing your best to avoid polluting the environment?

Avoid These Drinks to Sleep Soundly While on Holiday

Travelling to new places is exciting. We get to explore new sights, new cultures, and local foods and beverages. Rome is best experienced by sipping an espresso at a sidewalk café but, if you want to stay energised for the duration of your trip, it’s important to know...

7 Tips for A Good Sleep Before Going on Holiday

Who doesn’t love getting away for a break? While you’re counting down the days, your excitement bubbles a bit more the closer you get. However, all this excitement can be harmful for your sleep – especially on the night before you go on holiday, when stress and nerves...

Travel must-haves

Travelling and comfort do not usually appear in the same sentence without the thought of high costs. However, there are many low cost ways to make those long trips that bit more bearable. It really is the simple things that make travel easier and more comfortable. The...

Bed bugs

Upon arrival to your exotic location or downtown hotel getaway, the excitement of a new adventure often permits you to neglect some of the more unpleasant tasks. Bed bugs, two words every traveller dreads. Preparation is key to ensure that you fully protect yourself...

Travel sleep tips for babies and small children

Travelling with small children and babies should be a time of celebration, yet it is often seen as a daunting task. Before you travel, it is important to make sure that you have a well-established nap and bedtime routine. This will make it easier when you are...

Jet Lag and sleep

The ability to travel is one of life’s greatest and sweetest gifts. Whatever reason you find yourself travelling, you can sometimes find yourself on the slightly less favourable side of travel. Jet lag usually visits us during the night. Below, we address the effect...

Epilepsy and Sleep

Epilepsy and Sleep

Epilepsy is a common condition that affects the brain and causes frequent seizures. These seizures are bursts of electrical activity in the brain that can temporarily affect how the brain works. Not only can these seizures interfere with everyday life, but epilepsy can also lead to poor sleep quality.

What Are the Symptoms of Epilepsy?

Epilepsy can start at any age, but it usually starts either in childhood or in people over sixty. While it’s a lifelong condition, it can sometimes get better slowly over time.1

People with epilepsy do not experience the same seizures, as seizures can affect people in different ways depending on which part of the brain is involved.2 However, possible symptoms include:

  • Uncontrollable jerking and shaking, called a ‘fit’
  • Losing awareness and staring blankly into space
  • Becoming stiff
  • Strange sensations, such as a ‘rising’ feeling in your stomach, unusual smells or tastes, and a tingling feeling in your arms or legs
  • Collapsing
  • Passing out and not remembering what happened3

How Does Epilepsy Affect Your Sleep?

There is an inherent relationship between sleep and epilepsy.4 Sleep activates the electrical charges in the brain that result in seizures, and seizures are timed according to the sleep-wake cycle. For some people with epilepsy, seizures can occur only during sleep. When seizures occur during sleep, they can cause sudden awakenings that are sometimes confused with insomnia.5 However, people with epilepsy may not know that they have seizures while they sleep. They may suffer from daytime fatigue and difficulty concentrating without knowing why.6

There are several stages of sleep, including Rapid Eye Movement (REM) Sleep and Non-Rapid Eye Movement (Non-REM) Sleep. REM sleep is important as it’s when your brain processes your emotions, files away your memories, and relieves your stress. As stress can sometimes trigger seizures, getting enough REM sleep is helpful for someone with epilepsy. Non-REM Sleep is the most restorative sleep stage, and is important for restoring normal brain functions.7

If you have a seizure while you’re sleeping, it’ll affect your sleep for the rest of the night: you won’t be able to fall into a deep sleep, and you’ll wake up more often. Your REM Sleep is greatly reduced and could even disappear. If you have a seizure when you’re awake, this can even reduce your REM Sleep the following night. Also, having seizures during the night can lead to less deep Non-REM Sleep.8

For people with epilepsy, sleep problems can be a double-edged sword; epilepsy disturbs sleep, but sleep deprivation can aggravate epilepsy.9 Also, the drugs that are used to treat epilepsy can disturb your sleep. As lack of sleep can cause seizures, getting a good sleep on a nightly basis is incredibly important for people with epilepsy.

How Can You Get Enough REM Sleep?

Controlling your seizures may help you to get enough REM sleep.10 Some ways for you to do this are:

  • Take your medicine
  • Identify and avoid seizure triggers (i.e., stress, alcohol use, lack of sleep)
  • Have regular reviews of your epilepsy and treatment11

If your seizures are not controlled, try to catch up on any missed sleep, especially in the day or two after a seizure.12

Epilepsy and Sleep Disorders

People with epilepsy have a higher chance of also having a sleep disorder than those without epilepsy. These can include Sleep Apnoea, Restless Legs Syndrome, Narcolepsy, and night terrors.13

Tips for Getting More Sleep

There are some things that you can do at home that may help you get more sleep.

  • Keep a consistent sleep-wake cycle – go to bed at the same time every night, and wake up at the same time each morning, including weekends.
  • Limit your caffeine intake – avoid caffeine late in the day.
  • Avoid alcohol.
  • Have a relaxing bedtime routine – write a ‘to-do’ list, do some relaxation exercises like mindfulness, listen to relaxing music, read a book, or have a warm bath or shower.
  • Have a healthy sleep environment – your bedroom should be dark, quiet, cool, and tidy. Check out our blockout curtains that block 90-95% of light here.
  • Avoid technology – don’t watch the TV or use your phone, tablet, iPod, or laptop within one hour of going to sleep. These screens emit a blue light that further disturbs your sleep. Read more about how technology affects your sleep here.

While these are some ideas for how you can help to improve your sleep at home, the best way to improve your sleep quality if you have epilepsy is to consult your doctor. Your doctor will know the right treatments for you, and may help to identify what triggers your seizures. By doing this, you’ll have a better chance at getting a good sleep again.

Epilepsy and Sleep

Epilepsy is a common condition that affects the brain and causes frequent seizures. These seizures are bursts of electrical activity in the brain that can temporarily affect how the brain works. Not only can these seizures interfere with everyday life, but epilepsy...

What Is Sleep Bruxism?

Sleep bruxism is better known as teeth grinding or jaw clenching. It’s a sleep-related movement disorder that’s often linked to stress or anxiety. While people can grind their teeth during the day, sleep bruxism is a bigger health concern. People with sleep bruxism...

What Is Hypersomnia?

We all have those days where we can’t seem to wake ourselves up. However, for some, it’s a serious issue. Hypersomnia is a condition in which you feel excessive daytime sleepiness and struggle to stay awake during the day, even after long stretches of sleep. People...

Five Ways Exercise Helps You Sleep

We all want to be healthy – but sometimes the thought of going for a walk or heading to the gym just makes us want to curl up on the sofa and flick through the TV. It can be hard to motivate ourselves to exercise, especially if we convince ourselves that we’ll just...

Is Sleep Important for Your Health?

We all make sure that we look after ourselves. We eat well and try to fight the temptation to eat sugary or fatty foods – a hard battle to win. We exercise often, whether it’s a vigorous workout at the gym or it’s a walk with your furry friend. We watch what we drink...

Diabetes and Sleep

The quality of our sleep is closely linked to any health conditions we have – if we’re not feeling our best, we’re not sleeping our best. Diabetes is no exception. Sleep can affect your blood sugar levels, and blood glucose control can affect your...

Sleeping with Multiple Sclerosis

Poor sleep is common in people with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), with about 50% of people with MS reported to experience some form of sleep disturbance. However, sleep disorders are still...

Does Sharing A Bed Affect Your Sleep?

An estimated 60% of us share a bed with someone else. It’s completely normal, just a part of everyday life. Yet, it’s possible that sharing a bed can affect your sleep. Obviously, if the person...

What Is Sleep Bruxism?

What Is Sleep Bruxism?

Sleep bruxism is better known as teeth grinding or jaw clenching. It’s a sleep-related movement disorder that’s often linked to stress or anxiety. While people can grind their teeth during the day, sleep bruxism is a bigger health concern. People with sleep bruxism may be unaware that they’re grinding their teeth, but it can interfere with the quality of your sleep. Your body needs to relax while you’re asleep, but tooth grinding involves tensing the muscles. This keeps you from relaxing to get the deep, restful sleep that you need. Read below to find out more about sleep bruxism, and how you can relax to get the sleep that you need.

What Are the Symptoms of Sleep Bruxism?

While people are often unaware of grinding their teeth while asleep, there are some symptoms that you can look out for. These include:

  • Facial pain
  • Headaches
  • Earache
  • Pain and stiffness in the jaw joint and surrounding muscles
  • Toothache
  • Worn-down teeth
  • Broken teeth, crowns, or fillings
  • Changes in the shape of your teeth
  • Disrupted sleep for both you and your partner

Facial pain and headaches tend to stop after you stop grinding your teeth, and tooth damage usually only occurs in severe cases.

What Causes Sleep Bruxism?

The exact cause for grinding your teeth while you sleep is not known, but it’s usually linked to other factors, such as stress and anxiety, sleep disorders, medicines, or your lifestyle.

1) Stress and Anxiety

Teeth grinding is most often caused by stress or anxiety, and many people are unaware that they’re doing it. While sleep bruxism usually happens while you’re asleep, it’s possible that you could be grinding your teeth during the day when you’re stressed, anxious, or even just concentrating.1 70% of sleep bruxism cases are linked to anxiety and stress, with bruxism also occurring at a higher rate in adults who are prone to intense emotions, or have hyperactive personalities.2 People may develop sleep bruxism as a coping mechanism – similar to biting your nails, lip, or cheeks.3

2) Sleep Disorders

If you snore or have a sleep disorder, such as Obstructive Sleep Aponoea (OSA), you’re more likely to grind your teeth while you sleep.4 You’re also more likely to grind your teeth if you:

  • Talk or mumble while you sleep
  • Act violently while asleep, such as kicking out
  • Have sleep paralysis (a temporary inability to move or speak while waking up or falling asleep)
  • Experience hallucinations (you see or hear things that are not real while semi-conscious)5

3) Medicines

Sleep bruxism can sometimes be a side effect of certain types of medicine. If you’re grinding your teeth while you sleep, talk to your doctor about any medication you’re taking to find out if this could be the cause.6

4) Lifestyle

Other factors that can lead to teeth grinding, or make it worse, are:

  • Drinking alcohol
  • Smoking
  • Using recreational drugs, like cocaine
  • Having a lot of caffeinated drinks, such as tea or coffee (at least 6 cups a day)

Treatment

You should go to your dentist if you have:

  • Worn, damaged, or sensitive teeth
  • A painful jaw, face, or ear

If you sleep with someone else in the bed, ask them if they’ve noticed you making a grinding sound while you sleep. This can also be a sign of sleep bruxism, and you should go to the dentist if you’re making this sound during the night.

Your dentist will check your teeth and jaw for signs of teeth grinding. They’ll determine what treatment you need depending on how damaged your teeth are, or if there’s a threat of infection or a dental abscess.7

There are a few different ways of treating teeth grinding. The most common one is a mouth guard, or mouth splint. Mouth guards and splints even out the pressure across your jaw and create a physical barrier between your upper and lower teeth to protect them from further damage. They’re made of rubber or plastic, and can be made by your dentist to fit your mouth. You may be able to buy a mouth guard in your local pharmacy, but a custom-made mouth guard from your dentist will fit better, and be more effective.8 While mouth guards and splints will not stop you from grinding your teeth, they’ll reduce pain and prevent tooth wear, as well as protect against further damage.

Other treatments for teeth grinding are designed to reduce your stress or anxiety, like Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT).9 If you’re grinding your teeth due to stress, you should visit your doctor as they’ll be able to help you manage your stress and, through this, you’ll grind your teeth less.

Can You Help Your Stress Levels?

If you’re grinding your teeth due to stress and anxiety, there are some ways you could manage this at home:

  • Maintain a consistent bedtime and wake-up time to make sure you get the required hours of sleep you need.
  • Try meditation, yoga, and deep breathing exercises – read more about these here, or have a look at our ‘Mindfulness and Sleep’ article to find out how mindfulness can help you to relax.
  • Avoid hard foods and chewing gum – this can keep jaw muscles more relaxed.
  • Have a relaxing bedtime routine – have a warm bath, read, or listen to relaxing music, and avoid looking at screens for an hour before going to sleep.
  • Reduce, or eliminate, your caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine intake.

While these are some ideas for how you can reduce your stress, the best way to help yourself is to talk to your doctor. Your doctor will help you manage your stress while maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and good sleep hygiene.

Epilepsy and Sleep

Epilepsy is a common condition that affects the brain and causes frequent seizures. These seizures are bursts of electrical activity in the brain that can temporarily affect how the brain works. Not only can these seizures interfere with everyday life, but epilepsy...

What Is Sleep Bruxism?

Sleep bruxism is better known as teeth grinding or jaw clenching. It’s a sleep-related movement disorder that’s often linked to stress or anxiety. While people can grind their teeth during the day, sleep bruxism is a bigger health concern. People with sleep bruxism...

What Is Hypersomnia?

We all have those days where we can’t seem to wake ourselves up. However, for some, it’s a serious issue. Hypersomnia is a condition in which you feel excessive daytime sleepiness and struggle to stay awake during the day, even after long stretches of sleep. People...

Five Ways Exercise Helps You Sleep

We all want to be healthy – but sometimes the thought of going for a walk or heading to the gym just makes us want to curl up on the sofa and flick through the TV. It can be hard to motivate ourselves to exercise, especially if we convince ourselves that we’ll just...

Is Sleep Important for Your Health?

We all make sure that we look after ourselves. We eat well and try to fight the temptation to eat sugary or fatty foods – a hard battle to win. We exercise often, whether it’s a vigorous workout at the gym or it’s a walk with your furry friend. We watch what we drink...

Diabetes and Sleep

The quality of our sleep is closely linked to any health conditions we have – if we’re not feeling our best, we’re not sleeping our best. Diabetes is no exception. Sleep can affect your blood sugar levels, and blood glucose control can affect your...