Does the bright sunlight wake you up too early in the morning?
Scandinavian springtime gives you that wonderful feeling of having an extra-long day that spoils you with enough time for both work and play. The sun is up earlier in the morning and by the end of this month the sun sets at almost 10 pm in the evening and going to bed early is not the first thought that pops into my mind on days like these.
Because of all this bright light our bodies do not produce as much melatonin, which is the hormone that makes us feel sleepy, but the challenge is that we still need the same amount of sleep whether it is summer or winter and creating a good sleep routine for the summer is vital for your overall well-being.
The morning light that flows into my bedroom window in the very early hours of the days is what used to be the thing that stole my sleep and also the one thing that in the end inspired me to create The Beauty Sleeper.
I remember visiting my parents years ago, who live in the small seaside town where I spent my childhood, their house overlooks the old harbour and the strong morning light came beaming in the windows accompanied the sound of the seagulls having a great summer morning outside.
I woke up far too early, the house was still quiet and I could not go back to sleep again, since that bright sun light had already stopped my production of melatonin.
In an attempt to get a few more hours of sleep I reached out for the silly little sleep mask that you get for free when you travel that my mum had lying around, but it did not do the job at all. It was far too small and did not stay in place and the fabric got me hot and bothered in my face and that was the very moment when I thought that I could create one better than this.
So, this is where my journey started, I have tested and tried so many shapes and sizes over the years until I realised that keeping it simple, luxurious and in the best fabric possible would be the key. Even more important would be to make it big enough to keep out all lights and with a silk covered soft elastic strap that would keep the sleep mask in place all night long.
Some people prefer the sunrise to be their natural alarm clock and being exposed to that special morning light does makes your body release hormones that are linked to lifting your mood and being the one most important thing to regulate your body’s internal clock. But tomorrow morning the sun will rise 5.28 am and that is too early for me and one of the reasons why I just cannot sleep without my sleep mask.
To wake up in a positive and more natural way consistency is key, most mornings I will wake up approx. fifteen minutes before my alarm clock goes off, since I have worked hard to become a good sleeper with an internal clock that tells me when to go to bed and especially when to wake up again.
The summer ahead I will spend our holiday at our cottage in the countryside, no long-hauls flight will mess up my internal body clock.
I will practice to go slow, keep life simple, spend more time in nature, eat local and surround myself with friends and family.
Here are a few ideas that can help you create your calm and joyful sleep rituals for the summer ahead
- If you are waking up early because of the light, invest in a silk sleep mask to block out all light and secure those eight hours of sleep. The silk sleep mask will also help you to block out the light in the evenings when you want to fall asleep and it still looks like daytime outside.
- Embrace the extra hours of daylight and enjoy an early morning or evening walk or even a swim in the sea if you live near the beach. Exercising in nature is also an excellent way for your mind and body to tune into the natural seasonal rhythms and reset your internal clock.
- Go to bed and get up in the morning at the same time every day, your brain will quickly adapt to this new routine and it will improve the quality of your sleep and your waking hours too.
- Spend less time on your devices and instead of picking up your phone or watching Netflix after dinner, grab a book and find a lovely spot in your garden or somewhere in your neighbourhood. This way no blue light will stop you from feeling sleepy when you approach bedtime.
I hope these self-care rituals will provide you with moments of calm, nurture your body and mind as well as help to ease you into a better sleep in the light summer nights.
XX Lotte Mahony