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Renovation – Don’t Trade Sleep for Longer Summer Days

DesksleepSummer means longer days, warm weather, events, parties, festivals and concerts – all good reasons for us to want to stay up late. There are also other “not so good reasons” that keep us awake at night such as heat, noise and lights.

“Sleep is the best meditation.”  The Dalai Lama

Most of us probably agree with our health professionals that one of the most important steps we can take in order to make sure we enjoy good and continuous health is to get enough sound sleep. Sleep is when we rejuvenate our bodies and minds.  Sleep makes us more resistant to disease by boosting our immune system, keeps us from gaining weight, helps our brains think better and even makes us look younger!

It is a good time to renovate your sleep patterns. Here are some suggestions for you to enjoy the best of the summer long evenings and overcome the obstacles of what keeps you awake.

  • The old simple way of living still works today. It is customary in some European and old world countries to have a siesta. Have a nap after lunch. Whether it’s outside on the beach, inside on your Lazy Boy or even at your desk, a 20-30 minute power nap will have you feeling like you’re starting a brand new day again.
  • Avoid too much alcohol in the evening. Although it may make you fall asleep at first, it could keep you awake a couple of hours later. Drink water or other non-alcoholic beverages between drinks.
  • Socializing with neighbours and friends at night is a favourite summer pass time for many. The conversations can carry on until dawn. If you need to get up and go to work the next day, remind yourself of what could be the cost for staying up late. Remember, many of us will need some down time after an active conversation before we can fall to sleep.
  • Longer daylight also means later bbq dinners and snacks while being outside. To help you have a good sleep, stop eating 2-3 hours before bedtime. Fresh seasonal fruit or something simple and light makes a good evening snack.
  • Sleep in a dark, cool room that’s free from distractions like cell phones, blinking computers, monitors, routers, etc.
  • Fit in some exercise during the day, or take a walk after dinner.
  • Avoid stimulants like caffeine in the afternoon and evening, such as coffee, black tea, chocolate, nicotine.
  • Avoid watching disturbing TV shows, even the nightly news, right before bed.
  • Try to stick to a routine by going to bed and getting up at about the same time.

Some sleep disorders require medical attention. Ask a professional health care provider if you are still tossing and turning every night.