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Skinny Dipping and 7 Other Sleep-Boosting Summer Activities

The benefits of the summer activities you might be overlooking. 

Jun 04, 2021

Getting outdoors this season and soaking up the sun is especially important for our sleep and wellbeing after a season indoors. The sun’s rays provide essential nutrients, promote healthy hormone production, and keep our circadian rhythm in check. We’ve got some ideas on what you can do and why you should do it!

 

Skinny Dipping

Swimming in the nude might sound terrifying to some and blissful to others. Exposing your body to the sun (safely!) helps you soak in vitamin D, an essential nutrient that promotes bone and brain health. As one study shows, low levels of vitamin D and a lack of sun exposure lead to poorer sleep quality and shorter sleep cycles. But the benefits of swimming naked go far beyond sleep. Spending time naked (whether in nature or in the comfort of your own home) have proven to boost one’s sense of self, body image, and confidence. 

 

 

Sunbathing

Many of us know what sleep is like after a day outdoors. Usually amazing! Much like skinny dipping, the benefits of sunbathing lie in soaking up all the light and vitamin D your brain and body need to function healthily. So grab your fave beach towel, a few snacks, and spend time relaxing in the sun. It can increase your brain’s production of serotonin-the happy hormone-proving to be a mood-boosting activity and energizer. Remember it’s important to stay hydrated, though, to avoid sun-induced sleepiness and save your rest for bedtime. 


A Morning Stroll

Breaking your dark and cool sleep with exposure to the bright, warm sunlight helps you maintain healthy circadian rhythm and maximize the benefits of your sleep. Why? Well because light interrupts our production of melatonin, the hormone that helps us sleep, and promotes alertness and focus, instead. Plus, if you’re worried about your ultraviolet radiation intake from sunlight, the morning sunlight tends to be the safest and lowest on the UV exposure index. 

 

 

Take A Hike

Exercise is known to promote positive moods and better sleep. This is because through physical activity, our body releases endorphins that energize us and keep us awake. Exercise also increases our body’s core temperature which is great for producing adrenaline but the sleep-boosting benefit lies in our body’s cooling down process. So, hiking in the spring and summer is a great way to get your endorphins up, get your healthy dose of sun exposure, and prepare you for a good night of rest.  


Bike Around

Before hopping in a car or train this summer, weigh out the benefits of biking. Like hiking, biking is a great form of exercise that promotes healthy brain and body function. But it’s also a super practical way to increase your exposure to sunlight and exercise this season- both of which have proven to increase the quality of sleep. If you’re going to be out and about this season, consider biking!


Go Camping

Camping promotes a digital-detox that might be harder to achieve when at home. Blue-light from phones, computers, and TVs have shown to have damaging effects on our quality of sleep and the length of time it takes us to fall asleep. Being outdoors for a day or two can help our bodies recalibrate to natural light cycles which ultimately supports our body’s internal sleep-wake clock backed by serotonin and melatonin production. Research also shows that the great outdoors can have a positive effect on our mental and physical health by promoting peace, quiet, and fresh air. 


Have A Picnic

Opting for a picnic rather than a meal indoors is another practical way to get down with nature and benefit from the sun. We’ve all got to eat, anyway! Taking your meal outside, whether to a park, your porch, our requesting outdoor dining at a restaurant, doubles the benefits of eating a good meal!

 


 

Work By A Window

Taking advantage of being outside in the summer is a no-brainer. But you don’t have to wait til you have the time to reap the benefits of sleep-boosting summer activities. Working, reading, eating, and whatever else you love to do can be done near a window! This is quick and simple solution to accessing sunlight and fresh air will boost your energy, improve your focus, and get your body on the right cycle for a better quality sleep.


Written by Cybele Ramirez

Cybele is a freelance writer covering all things culture and lifestyle. She’s also a content strategist in the tech startup space and mastering Media Studies at The New School. You can find this native New Yorker canoodling her two dogs, trying out a new recipe, or on IG @cybelina.

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