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Tips to Sleep Well—and Wake Rested—All Summer


With so many more opportunities to explore the outdoors, hang by the pool, or enjoy a meal al fresco, who seriously wants to waste time sleeping in during the summer months? Here’s how to make the most of your night’s sleep during the warmer weather—and wake up ready to get back outside.

Lighten up your bedding.

It’s the most obvious place to start, and for good reason: the cooler you are, the better you’ll be able to sleep. That’s why your summer bedding should have a foundation of crisp, lightweight sheets (top sheet optional) paired with either a blanket in breathable natural materials or an organic year-round quilt with the added benefit of keeping you comfortable long after the dog days of summer.

Cool Points: Store away anything that adds heat, like heavy throw blankets, dense pillows, and stuffed animals.



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Exercise earlier in the day.

Because physical activity raises your body temperature—which can make it difficult to fall asleep if it’s too high at bedtime—aim to exercise during the morning hours or in the late afternoon. If your schedule only permits evening activity, try to finish up at least an hour before bed.

Cool Points: Soothing stretches can help you relax at bedtime and feel more rested when you wake. Try out yoga poses for often-tight areas like shoulders, hips, hamstrings, and the lower back.




Stick to a regular routine.

Longer summer days bring a million reasons to stay up late (think block parties, baseball games, outdoor concerts, even vacations). And while celebrating into the wee hours is perfectly fine every so often, you’ll feel your most rested if you keep the times when you go to bed and wake up in the morning consistent for the majority of the season.

Cool Points: No matter what time you turn in, try to give yourself at least 30 minutes to wind down your day.



Wash your sheets more often.

Summertime translates to more sweat during both the day and the night. That means the extra perspiration and oils produced by your body builds up on your sheets—and can make them feel hotter than normal. During cooler months, it’s okay for sheets to stay on the bed for up to two weeks. But in the summer, wash them once per week for a better sleep experience.

Cool Points: Don’t have the time to wash your sheets that often? Try to at least throw your pillowcases in the washer one time each week.



Watch when you eat…

Nothing epitomizes summer like hot dogs, popsicles, and lobster rolls. But partaking in the feasts of the season just before bedtime will naturally prompt digestion—which can increase your body temperature and disrupt your sleep. For a better night, make sure you finish a big summertime meal within an hour and a half to two hours before you hit the hay.

Cool Points: If you’re still hungry at bedtime, consider a piece of organic fruit (try bananas or kiwi) or a handful of almonds or walnuts.


 

….and when you drink.

What’s better on a balmy day than a margarita, cold beer, or iced coffee? This season’s favorite drinks are perfect during warmer weather—but can hinder your shut-eye. For more restful night, limit your alcohol intake in the evening (as it contributes to low-quality sleep and can make you feel hotter) and cut off caffeinated beverages well before dinnertime.

Cool Points: Sipping organic herbal tea is a calming bedtime ritual. In the summer, opt for iced versions of lemon verbena, chamomile, or lavender.

 

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Tame those allergies.

Days spent outdoors can wreak as much havoc on allergies (hello, pollen and ragweed!). If you’re constantly sneezing or battling a runny nose—and the lack of sleep they can bring—consider resting your head on pillows, bedding, and even a mattress made of organic materials that are naturally hypoallergenic. It’s also smart to vacuum and dust once a week.

Cool Points: Showering before bed can help, too. Not only does it cool you down, but it also washes away any pollen brought in on your hair and skin.

 



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