As a nation, we are poor sleepers. Whether due to stress, heat, next-day plans, or discomfort, according to a recent survey, only 5% of people always wake up feeling refreshed.
We all know the benefits of sleep, but that doesn’t always mean we take action to improve our sleep habits. This can lead to ongoing sleep stress, negative sleep talk, and potential physical and emotional health risks.
Sleep and fatigue are two of the main challenges of those seeking support from Cavendish Cancer Care. We help lower sleep stress, build routines and provide techniques to relax and distract.
Sleeping in summer can be even more difficult so this month we wanted to share some tips with you to get a good night’s sleep.
In summer months both our sleep quality and quantity can be affected, mainly due to light and heat. The light tricks us into thinking it’s still daytime, and who hasn’t been tempted to make the most of longer brighter days? But long summer days can delay melatonin production (the sleep hormone) and impact our sleep-wake circadian rhythms. Our sleep-wake cycle also reduces our body temperature as we prepare for sleep, with an ideal bedroom temperature between 16-18C. Too much heat can make sleep difficult, whether at home or on holiday.
Here are our top summer tips to getting a good night’s sleep:
- Stick to your usual routine (time not light dependant) as much as possible
- Dark / Dim is key for melatonin production. Turn off screens, use blackout curtains, and even try a sleep mask.
- Daytime light is your friend. Natural sunlight in the morning can help your sleep-wake cycle.
- Moderate exercise during the day is great to help sleep, but not too close to bedtime.
- Keep cool; have cold water close by; keep windows and curtains closed in the day; use natural bedding (cotton, linen) which can give better breathability; consider a fan; chill your socks in the fridge to help lower body temperature.
Chloe offers wellbeing sessions to local companies, including ‘Improving Sleep’. All services provide funding to Cavendish Cancer Care.
To find out more, contact Chloe.Angus@cavcare.org.uk.
Cavendish Wellbeing, part of Cavendish Cancer Care, provide wellbeing services to local businesses including bespoke online platforms, Mental Health First Aid, focus talks and guided sessions. This service helps to provide Cavendish Cancer Care with funds to continue delivering essential support to those affected by cancer in the local community.