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Simple Summer Sleep Support

It is HOT right now.

And I love that in general and throughout the day time, but night is a different story.
I live in a really old house, and whilst the downstairs is beautifully insulated and stays warm in the winter and cool in the summer with virtually no effort from the heating system, upstairs is a different story.
It's hot pretty much all year round, so much so that last summer my son decided to spend a couple of weeks sleeping in a tent in the garden to escape the heat. Needless to say this isn't ideal for sleep, but I have a few tips that can help if you're struggling too.

1. Wet the sheets


Not really wet, just a bit damp.

I know this sounds weird, but sleeping on damp sheets really isn't uncomfortable and it does make all the difference to keeping you cool. The easiest way to do this is just to pull them out of the dryer or off the line a little early and put them on the bed, but that requires levels of planning to ensure that you do laundry at the right time of day - plus, if you're like me you don't wash everybody's bed linen every day.

So my preferred method is to take an atomising bottle and fill it with water and a few essential oils to support sleep (Bergamot or Cedarwood from last months BOGO offers would be excellent candidates, as would the traditional Lavender and Serenity oils) and lightly mist over the bedsheets before you climb in.

2. Take a hot shower or bath

When you fall asleep, your body's temperature naturally drops. When you're overheated, your body isn't getting it's normal sleep signals. Trick your body into thinking it's cooler than it is by taking a hot bath or shower before bed. Once you're really warm (and damp) you'll start feeling cooler as you return to normal temperature, and your body takes this as a signal that it's time to sleep.

You can enhance the experience by adding some epsom salts and essential oils to the bath, or using the Serenity moisturising bath bar.

I like to leave my hair wet too. You can always style it in the morning, damp hair is cooling (like the damp sheets) and you lose a lot of heat through your head.

3. Cool down with Peppermint

Peppermint oil is a fantastic way to help you feel cooler too. Although we commonly recommend this oil for helping you feel more alert during an afternoon slump, you don't need to fear using it at night if you're feeling hot and bothered.

A damp cloth with a few drops of peppermint wiped across the back of your neck is a great way to cool off. Peppermint touch is a convenient roller that is free with your Loyalty Rewards Order this month, scroll down to the monthly specials on the home page for details. You can roll it on your feet, your wrists or up into the occipital point on the base of your skull/back of your neck for a lovely cooling effect.

4. Get some blackout curtains/blinds

If you want to wind down before the sun goes down, get somewhere a bit darker. The sun is telling you to stay up late, which is fine if you're someone who can go to sleep as soon as the sun goes down, but if it takes you a few hours to drift off, you may need to shut it out a bit sooner.

Get some warm coloured lamps (ideally red, but definitely not cool white) and do some quiet evening reading for an hour before you want to go to sleep.

5. Don't eat late at night!

Just like your body's internal clock responds to sunlight, it also responds to food - and drinks! 

Although it's tempting, with the warm summer evenings and the sun being up so late, to spend several hours over dinner, eating and drinking late into the evening, you're telling your body it's day time, not bedtime. Your liver likes an eating window of about 10 hours a day. Every time you eat or drink more than 10 hours after breakfast, it starts your day time clock again, and doesn't give your body the opportunity to rest properly between being in digestive mode.

If you're feeling snacky, drink some more water (you may just be dehydrated) and the good news is that our CPTG oils are pure essential oils - which are a lipid, with NO carbohydrate at all, so you can add them to flavour your water if you like a bit of change without resetting that internal clock in your liver. Green Mandarin or Clementine are my personal favourites but look for the 'I' symbol on the dōTERRA website to see which oils are suitable for internal use.

You can read more on the benefits of giving your body that long break from food here.

6. Get some Vetiver

No matter what else is going on, vetiver gives me the deepest sleep. I add it to my face cream. This oil is THICK so you aren't going to easily be able to diffuse it unless you add it to something else, that's why I prefer to use it topically. Just add a drop to the palm of your hand, mix it with a blob of your moisturiser and use it like you normally would.

You can also use this oil (along with petitgrain or roman chamomile) internally to promote sleep. Just add a couple of drops to a veggie capsule.

7. Exercise

It can be tempting in the heat to become more lethargic and move less, but this really does impact your sleep cycle. Make sure you get in a good amount of exercise each day to help you feel ready for bed.
 

Outdoor is best, and you can use menthol oils like Peppermint and Air to help you feel cool. Gardening is a great option because it feels like exercise with a purpose. Carrying wheelbarrows of compost around, pruning tall trees, stretching, bending, lifting - it's all great for tiring you out a little.
 

I like to use spearmint, tangerine and lime, in my water. Not only do I drink more because it tastes good, but I actually feel cooler and look less like a tomato when I do!

If you have a sedentary office job, don't be tempted to flop on the sofa in the evening - get out and join a walking group or a fitness class in the park. Ask some friends along and make your social time work for your health too.

8. Diffuse!

Winter, Spring, Summer or Autumn, never sleep without a diffuser on!
Got a partner who snores? Try Air
Need something comforting if you're on edge? I love Pink Pepper and Roman Chamomile.

Generally, Serenity and Balance work well for most people.

9. Don't forget about your supplements

Are you taking your LLV in the morning/lunchtime? I never take it in the evenings as the Alpha CRS+ can keep some people awake. It doesn't affect me too much in the winter, but in the summer when I'm potentially feeling more irritable at night, it's definitely not worth the risk.

Serenity capsules are what you need at night. With L-Theanine to improve sleep efficiency (the amount of time you are actually asleep) and sleep latency (the amount of time it takes you to fall asleep once the lights are off) these capsules are great to have in the house (and you hopefully picked them up on last months BOGO offers!)

I hope that helped.

What are your top tips for sleep in the summer?

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