Explainers How to get to sleep when it’s light outside...

How to get to sleep when it’s light outside – tips for adults, babies and children

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SUMMER time sleeping can be difficult as the early morning and late evening sunshine can cause disaster with our sleep schedules.

But don’t fret – there are plenty of top tips you can follow – and you’ll have the kids and yourself off to sleep in no time.

Trying to sleep in the daylight can be difficult for those used to the winter darkness
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How can you get to sleep in the daylight?

While our bodies are programmed to be up when the sun rises and sleep when it sets, that is not always a healthy routine, especially for children who need 10 to 12 hours of sleep.

The best way to kick-start sleeping when it’s light outside is to recreate the same restful environment for sleep as you would in the evening.

Block out as many external stimuli as possible, so invest in blackout curtains, window shades or an eye mask to trick your brain into thinking the sun has gone down.

To start winding down, use dimmer lights and draw curtains in the evening – turn off the main lights and use lamps to help slowly lull you into a relaxed state.

Children can find it difficult to sleep in the daylight, so adjusting sleep times can encourage them to stay in bed
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What if you can’t stop the light coming in?

Even if you can’t block out the light it’s important to stick to a schedule, so try not to stay up late or wake up depending on the light – and try and stick to your normal bed time.

Despite your body wanting to get up, ensure you stay in bed at the scheduled times and keep away from technology or direct eye-contact with light as this can over stimulate your brain.

Using a white noise machine, which creates a gentle sound to distract you from the outside, or recorded sounds of the ocean, a forest or a river can help you relax too.

It’s also important to keep your room at the right temperature as being too hot can also keep you awake.

Sticking to your schedule is important to help your children get the right amount of sleep in the summer
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How can you encourage your children to sleep in the daylight?

Teaching your child that darkness means bedtime will set you up for disaster when it comes to summer, as an early bedtime is bound to take place in the light.

Encouraging your children that bedtime occurs at a particular time rather than when it gets dark will help them understand that sleep must happen between particular hours.

Investing in blackout blinds or curtains is the best way to ensure your child won’t wake up during the sunrise, as well as avoiding screen time and artificial lights when they are awake.

Finally, just as you would with yourself, don’t break routine – but if you find them rising as the sun comes up, try shifting bedtime later or adjust any nap times.


For more hints and tips on coping this summer, check out these 12 simple tips on how to keep cool despite the weather.

Or find out how you can sleep easier in the heat, with 12 tricks on how to sleep easier in the hot weather – including kicking your partner out the bed!

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