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Sleep tips for the Toronto summer

It’s only May and 2020 has already proven to be one of the most life-changing years in modern history. The Coronavirus has basically shut down the world and has made us all realise how fragile our lives, bodies, and the economy are. Toronto, a thriving, creative city has been hit with COVID-19 harder than most Canadian cities, with a current toll of over 8,000 cases.

While the once-lively city hibernates, sleep patterns change as much as daily routines, and summer in Toronto brings longer daylight hours and hotter temperatures, further wreaking havoc on getting a Torontonian’s ability to good night’s sleep. If you’re finding yourself laying awake at night, wondering where your long-lost sleep went, read on.

Here are some easy tips for how to sleep well in Toronto during the Summer of Covid-19.

Pick sleep-inducing foods and avoid caffeine

For those who are stuck at home in quarantine, it’s easy to fall into a routine of sipping coffee and eating nutrient-poor snacks while watching TV. While this is fun for a day or two, it can take a toll on your overall health and sleep quality. Instead, stock up (via contactless food delivery) on foods that promote healthy sleep. Such as:

  • Chamomile tea before bed
  • Walnuts for magnesium
  • Tart cherry supplements or powder for melatonin and antioxidants
  • Oily fish for vitamin D and fatty acids

Try to limit coffee to once a day, in the morning. Switch over to hydrating lemon and mint water to combat the draining summer heat.

Get creative, screen-free

While Netflix, movie marathons and video games have been boredom-busters for many of us over the past couple of months, they may be ruining our sleep. The blue light emitted from screens messes with your internal clock and creates unrestful sleep patterns and inhibits deep sleep.

Instead of watching TV, scrolling, or playing games two hours before bed, try these sleep-safe activities:

  • Board games with family, a partner, or roommates
  • Reading
  • Writing (by hand!)
  • Grown-up colouring books or paint by numbers
  • Cooking
  • Listening to music
  • Stretching
  • Sorting out your closet or decluttering your home

Stay cool

If your Toronto home doesn’t have air conditioning and your landlord isn’t keen on making this happen, take action (in a more affordable way). Set up a fan next to your bed and turn it on 30 minutes before you plan on slipping between the sheets. If you’re a fan of white noise, the gentle hum may be an extra sleep-inducing feature. Otherwise, opt for an ultra-quiet fan.

Assess your mattress and pillows

Healthy sleep requires a suitable mattress, especially as you get older (i.e. after 25). A mattress that is too soft will allow your hips and shoulders to sag, resulting in a sore lower and upper back. A too-firm mattress will create pressure points, resulting in achy hips and shoulders.

What’s more, a mattress that is unsupported and too soft will make moving difficult, and won’t absorb movement between coupled sleepers. Figure out your go-to sleeping style, and find a mattress firmness to match.

For hot summers, a breathable, cooling mattress in Toronto will be a lifesaver. Look for breathable foam layers, pocketed springs, cooling gel foam, and moisture-wicking covers to reduce sweating and overheating at night.

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