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3 Pro Tips for Maximizing Summer Sleep

Summertime…and the dreaming’s easy

The days are longer and jam-packed with fun, and the nights are shorter which makes getting quality sleep all the more important—so we can be well-rested for more fun! 

Summer brings with it some special challenges for sleeping, so we’re highlighting three main areas and sharing our best suggestions and tips. Spoiler Alert: many of the products we’ll mention below are discounted during our Summer Solstice Sale, going on now through Sunday June 30, 2024. Look for the starred items* in the lists below and be sure to check them out, because now’s the time!

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1. The Great Summer Bedding Switch-Out

Out go the winter flannels and heavy blankets, and in come the crisp percales and lighter weight layers. And never fear—your wool bedding won’t let you down, won’t leave you in a sweaty puddle, and it allows you to rest comfortably and deeply all summer long. 

Keep in mind—experts recommend sleeping in a cool bedroom environment (ideally between 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit). This may involve air conditioning, and you’ll want layers that keep you comfortable, even though the temps outside are steamy.

Don’t miss these summer favorites:

  • Summer Weight Comforter. Light and fluffy, with just the right amount of insulation to keep the chill off those cool nights, but plenty of breathability so you don’t overheat. 
  • *Merino Wool Blanket. What?! For warm weather?! Stay with us here…this blanket is so soft and luxurious, and it breathes like an absolute dream. We think it’s a fantastic summer layer. 
  • Summer Sheets. Coyuchi’s organic cotton sheets are the next-to-skin layer you’re looking for in summer. We recommend the *300 threadcount percale, crinkled percale, or sateen.
  • Wool Sleep Pillows. If you’re still resting your head on a conventional pillow and wondering why you’re a hot mess, get thee over to our page of wool pillows. Wool is far more breathable than synthetic poly fill could ever be, and it’s a master moisture manager for any sweat or drool you can dish out. 
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2. On the Road

Summer travel is no reason to leave your dreamy wool bedding behind. We’ve got several items that love to come with you so you can sleep soundly wherever you roam.

  • *Travel Pillow. Stuffed with soft EcoWool®, this pillow is a trusty travel companion. 
  • *Stargazer Travel Pad. Perfect for van life, hotel peace of mind, camping, softness for couch surfing, and an extra place to sleep when folks come visit you. Lightweight, easy to carry, and available with or without a cover.
  • Polaris Travel Set. Our deluxe travel set includes the Stargazer Travel Pad, a travel pillow and a *CocoCoir Comfort Pad, and it’s always bundled at a great bulk price. Everything you need for those summer adventures—just grab and go! 
  • Travel Mate Mattress Topper. As the saying goes: “It’s a car, not a backpack.” If it fits, it goes! Take this full size topper with you on your journeys and never go a night without the comfort of wool.
  • Neck Pillow. Our compact and portable neck pillow can turn any pillow into a comfortable one, and provides support in a pinch for long flights and drives. 
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3. Your Healthy Sleep Routine

We get it—there’s too many fun things to do with these long summer daylight hours and we sometimes forget we still need a good night’s sleep. But we’re all growing up now and taking care of ourselves, so it’s important to continue good sleep hygiene habits.

More sun equals more wakefulness and sunlight is a major driver of our circadian rhythms, so a sleep routine can be especially helpful for winding down at the end of these long days. Seasonal variation in sleep routines is perfectly natural, but we don’t want it to get too out of control. Here’s a list of some of our favorite science-backed tips for drifting off to dreamtime:

  • View sunlight by going outside within 30-60 minutes of waking. Face the general direction of the sun, don’t look directly at it. The recommendation is for 10 minutes of exposure on a clear day, 20 minutes on an overcast day, and 30-60 minutes on a cloudy day. Be sure not to wear sunglasses or a brimmed hat while you do this.
  • Wake up at the same time each day, go to sleep when you first feel sleepy in the evening. Our circadian rhythm is just that—a rhythm. It likes consistency. Pushing through our first sleepy signals at night can lead to those annoying 3am wake ups. 
  • Avoid caffeine within 8-10 hours of bedtime. For more on healthy caffeine habits, go here and here
  • Keep the room you sleep in cool and dark, and layer on blankets that you can remove. Our body temperature needs to drop a few degrees in order to bring on sleep, so keep your bedroom temp somewhere between 60-67 degrees. 
  • Drinking alcohol messes up your sleep. As do most sleep medications. We covered alcohol and sleep here, and many of our Healthy Sleep Series posts cover natural ways to invite better sleep instead of needing to rely on medications. 

Then, armed with the above knowledge, create a short and dependable bedtime routine for yourself that can be accomplished most nights. Some other potential ideas:

  • Dim the lights. As mentioned, light is one of the biggest factors and signalers for our sleep cycles, and this goes for the artificial light in our homes as well. Begin dimming the lights as the sun goes down and use task lighting that illuminates your kitchen task or book instead of the whole room. Extra bonus points for candlelight. And if you don’t know by now, now you do—screens are a source of troublesome blue light that signals awakeness to your brain. Wean off of them by 8-9pm, and don’t bring them to bed with you. Note that if you’re a night owl, screen light is especially damaging between the hours of 11pm-4am. If you’re particularly sensitive to light signaling, consider blue blocker sunglasses for the evening hours. 
  • Soak. Taking a bath or shower gives you a curated amount of time all to yourself to unwind, and the body temperature drop afterward helps ease you toward sleep. 
  • Have a cuppa. Herbal teas, particularly with sleep helpers like chamomile, lavender, and valerian, are a lovely nighttime sleep ritual addition. If trips to the bathroom are an issue for you, be sure to drink it a bit earlier in the evening—maybe around 8pm when you turn off your screens? 😉
  • Make it mindful. Read a book. Knit a scarf. Meditate. Put a puzzle together. Begin a gratitude journal. Try some gentle yoga. Just 10-15 minutes of bringing your mind into a quieter state will on-ramp you to dreamtime. 
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Most of All, Soak It In!

Many core memories are made in the summer—chasing fireflies, camping and fishing with loved ones, travel and adventure, and nights spent stargazing. Luckily, with Shepherd’s Dream bedding, bad sleep won’t be one of them! 

We hope your summer adventures are relaxing, fun, and rewarding. If you don’t already, follow us on Instagram, and be sure to sign up for our Ewe’s Letter. We don’t spam or share your email (promise!), only sending out periodic emails with insider deals and interesting tidbits. Plus, you automatically receive $50 off your next purchase of $250 or more by earning Dream Points.

Until next time, sweet dreams!


The information in this article, including but not limited to text, graphics, images, and other materials, are for informational and educational purposes only. No material here is intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult your physician or other qualified health care practitioner with any questions or concerns you may have for your care.

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