It's lovely when the evenings start to get longer and there are a few more hours of sunshine - or light at least - in the day. During the winter months, darkness when we leave the house in the morning and darkness when we get home can be pretty draining, and not necessarily the most conducive to a cheerful mood and a spring in our step.
But one good point about pitch-black evenings is that it's much easier to nod off at bedtime; although, of course, that could have something to do with the lack of light outside making you feel more sleepy too.
As such, that's one drawback of lighter nights: difficulty getting to sleep. When it's still light outside - which it can be up until 10pm or later in the height of summer - our minds are tricked into thinking it's still daytime, which can mess up our body clocks.
There are a few tactics you can try to help yourself nod off a little more easily on lighter nights, however. Here are our top tips:
Create a bedtime routine for yourself
We all know the importance of establishing a bedtime routine for small children to help them to understand when they're meant to go to sleep, and doing the same for yourself could be an effective way of helping you to nod off on lighter evenings.
Making yourself a hot milky drink before bed, or a chamomile tea, will help to induce a feeling of sleepiness; chamomile is known for its natural calming qualities, so is great for helping you get to sleep.
Image credit: Wand_Prapan via iStock
It's also wise to limit your screen time for at least half an hour or so before you want to be asleep. The artificial light from our smartphone and tablet screens can trick us into feeling more awake than we actually are, leaving us struggling to drift off. Instead, try reading a book or magazine, which will be kinder on your eyes.
Control the darkness
While you unfortunately cannot control the weather, you can control how much light is making its way into your bedroom.
Curtains with a blackout lining are brilliant for keeping the light out, and are very popular with shift workers, who need to get their beauty sleep during the daytime.
Investing in a sleep mask that covers your eyes could also help, shutting out any light and allowing you to drift off much more easily.
Don't underestimate the power of lavender and chamomile
Chamomile is not the only plant known for its soothing properties; when combined with lavender, it can create an incredibly calming aroma. That's exactly why we've included these two scents in our Sleep Easy range, which is part of our Home Solutions collection, and is designed to help you enjoy a peaceful night's sleep, no matter how stressful your day or how bright the weather.
If you're having trouble getting to sleep at night, place our Sleep Easy Reed Diffuser on your bedside table, and the soothing fragrance of lavender and chamomile will wash over you as you shut your eyes, sending you on your way to a deep, refreshing slumber.
You won't need this extra help every night, so you could keep our Sleep Easy Room Spray close to hand instead, simply spritzing a little on your pillow or around the bedroom on those evenings when you really need a good night's sleep.