Summer is most definitely here!

The temperature is rising. For some, this is too hot. For others, this is perfect. Here at Mind BLMK HQ, it very much depends on which office you are in – some (like mine) stay cool (blinds closed and no radiators) whilst others have big windows and are basically just greenhouses. And it’s not just warm in the daytime – nights are really hot and humid too.

This can be a problem. Sleep is essential for your wellbeing and if you can’t sleep because it’s soooooo hot, you may find that you are tired during the day, getting ratty and irritable and finding it harder to concentrate. So what can you do to help?

Keeping your bedroom cool is the big challenge. Many people feel that keeping curtains or blinds closed can be useful – this stops the sun heating the room during the day and means that come the evening, getting the temperature down is easier. Opening windows and trying to get a ‘through breeze’ can be useful, as can a fan (although again, for some, the noise can be a distraction).

Cool showers before bed. Not drinking caffeine. Keeping yourself hydrated (drinking more than usual as your body sweats more, reducing your water levels – a good rule of thumb is that you should have at least one ‘clear wee’ each day!). Not getting sucked in to phones / tablets / television – when you can’t sleep, it’s tempting to have ‘just one game of Candy Crush’ or ‘I’ll just check Facebook’. The problem with this is that the ‘blue light’ that comes from electronics makes your brain wake up. If you can’t sleep, a book is much better!

The other things to consider (and thanks to The Sleep Foundation) are:

  • Sticking to a schedule. Get into a routine where you go to bed at the same time and get up at the same time. After a while, your body will get used to this and it will be easier to get to sleep (and indeed, to wake up!).
  • Bedtime routines that are relaxing. This means different things to different people – relaxing music, reading a book, having a bath, soft lighting – whatever works for you.
  • Avoid napping. Sometimes, a nap can be wonderful. A quick snooze in the afternoon can recharge your batteries and get you going. But it may well also make it more difficult to get to sleep later on, so use carefully….
  • I keep banging on about this, but by golly it works! Exercise every day can help reduce anxiety and depression, help you have more energy and help you sleep better. There are also a shed load of other benefits, so worth considering if you don’t currently exercise. It doesn’t have to be going to the gym, or running marathons – anything that gets your heart rate up, gets you active and makes you a little breathless is all that is needed. Gardening, dancing, walking – whatever works for you.
  • And consider your bedroom. Is your bed comfy? Do you have a pillow that suits? Covers not too heavy but not too light? Is the light from the window in your eyes? Can you change this?

These things can make all the difference and help you get a good nights sleep, making your days so much better.

If you are looking for some things to do to get yourself active, we have a few things coming up this week that might be useful: Yoga Day in Bedford on Wednesday 21st June 2107 and Captains Day at Mowsbury on Sunday 25th June 2017. You can find details by clicking the links or visiting the website.

Don’t forget suncream, hats, water and suitable clothes can also make this weather more enjoyable. Make the most of it – it’s great to be able to get out, enjoy the sun and the countryside and do all those things that are better in the sunshine.