Summer is here, and part of the joy of warmer weather is the opportunity to catch those ZZZs in the great outdoors. If your budget or vacation allowance doesn’t stretch toward a trip to one of the country’s fantastic national parks, you can still take advantage of outdoor snoozing from the comforts of home, and there may also be significant health benefits!
Want to nap during the day? Research shows that there are many health advantages to soaking in the morning light directly from the source. The sun is the body’s best source of vitamin D, which has all kinds of health benefits from stronger bones to a faster metabolism and stronger immune system.
Maybe you want to give your kids the fun of a campout in the backyard. A recent study published in Current Biology discovered that sleeping outside for a weekend could reset your biological clock and restore a damaged circadian rhythm.
There are several things to keep in mind in order to adequately turn your backyard into a proper sleep oasis:
- Being bug-protected
- Outdoor furniture status
- Live the hammock experience
- Setting up a tent
- Installing a fountain
- Apply proper sunblock
Protection from bugs
Your kids aren’t the only ones on the move outside. The air is likely to be rife with flying insects, and unfortunately, some of these can bite. Nothing will destroy your outdoor snooze faster than a bunch of bites all over your arms and legs.
You can invest in some bug spray and apply directly to the air or your skin, though citronella candles and tiki torches filled with citronella oil can also be quite effective at keeping bugs at bay.
If you’re ready to snooze now, however, you can always try the trick of using a dryer sheet and rubbing it along any exposed skin. Bugs hate the smell and will stay away, and meanwhile, you smell like you’re fresh from the dryer.
Revamp your outdoor furniture
Of course, you can sleep better if you can kick up your feet somewhere comfortable, and you needn’t invest a fortune. There are many great deals on outdoor furniture sets, so you’ll want to test out what works best for you.
You could even build your own, but just make sure you choose both building materials and fabrics that are weather resistant or have a plan on how to store these items during inclement weather. Materials designed for the inside may be susceptible to mold or sun damage.
Giving your existing furniture a good power wash and replacing the cushions can go a long way towards sprucing up your outdoor sleeping oasis.
Buy a hammock
There’s nothing quite like the experience of a hammock, especially one that rocks in the breeze as you turn the pages of a great novel or sip from your cocktail. These can also be a relatively inexpensive alternative to pricier outdoor furniture.
Many people believe that you need to have trees in your yard in order to place a hammock, but there are many choices out there that are free-standing.
Be sure to check the weight limit before you make a purchase, especially if you are on the heavier side or plan to share your sleep space with a partner. There are plenty of options built for two or more substantial weights.
Set up a tent
What at-home glamping trip is complete without a tent? High-end models add all sorts of features, including built-in air mattresses, and zip-open windows to allow for breezes and star gazing at night. Pick a smaller model just for yourself or your partner to join, or elect to invest in a larger model that the whole family can enjoy.
If cost is prohibitive for your impromptu camping trip, you can also drape a bit of tarp over a bit of rope. Just make sure the edges are secured to the ground so your make-shift shelter doesn’t blow away during a flash rainstorm.
Install a fountain
If you don’t have the advantage of living by the ocean or another body of water, there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy the sound of water lulling you to sleep. It may just require some additional ingenuity.
A small stand-alone water fixture can add a lot to the ambiance of your outdoor paradise, without being terribly difficult to maintain. If you want to commit to the experience, you might also consider digging a pond in your backyard and installing a pump to keep the water moving. (Remember, stagnant water invites bugs!)
Last but not least, if you plan on sleeping outdoors, you should protect your skin from the harmful effects of sun damage. The ozone layer is much thinner than it used to be and this exposes our sleeping shapes to all kinds of dangerous cancer risks.
It doesn’t even matter if there is significant cloud cover, the sun still can pose a danger. So if you’re prone to sweat, make sure you find a brand that is waterproof. And don’t be stingy. Set an alarm so you remember to periodically reapply.
There you have it. With the above tips you have almost every angle covered to set up your sleep oasis in your backyard. So head outside and get ready to soak up some sun and snoozes!