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From sundresses and strappy sandals to bikinis and cocktails poolside, summer enables us to shed the clothing layers of winter and is a much-awaited season filled with long sunny days, outdoor gatherings – well, prior to COVID concerns, that is – and warm temperatures. But for many, the season also signals a period for insomnia.
The experts at Sweet Sleep Studio believe that there are specific aspects about summer that can lead to low-quality sleep – and it all begins with the heat and being outside. Indeed, many people experience sleep difficulties at night due to how hot it gets in their corner of the world. What’s more, summer travel can also lead to jet lag that can throw off the sleep schedule and, because of the increase in daylight hours, people are less likely to pay attention to the time, choosing instead to party into the wee hours, depending on their age.
Here’s the thing: You can enjoy everything summer has to offer without sacrificing your sleep. The following represent the top problems that frequently cause summer sleeping difficulties…and our suggestions to help combat them.
We touched on this in the beginning, but it’s worth going into more detail about because it’s a big one. Consider this: The National Sleep Foundation notes that the best temperature for sleep falls between 60 and 67-degrees Fahrenheit, but if you don’t have air conditioning in your home or if your bedroom tends to heat up during the summer, you likely won’t hit that temp sweet spot.
The science explains it in that the body needs to cool down while we sleep so the pineal gland in the brain can effectively release melatonin; essentially, if you’re too warm, your core body temp won’t come down, and a warm room can also bring about sweating and damp sheets, adding to the discomfort.
To feel cool while you snooze in the summer, keep your feet out from under the covers, which will dissipate heat faster because there’s no hair down there.
Increase in Daylight Hours
While an increase in daylight hours – another factor we touched on above – normally brings with it more cheerful attitudes and overall happier feelings, all that extra daylight during the summer can throw the circadian rhythm out of whack, leading to poor sleep.
Several issues can occur here, such as developing a reverse form of Seasonal Affective Disorder, commonly known as Summer SAD, which can manifest as anxiety, lack of concentration and sleep apnea. What to do about it? When there are longer hours of daylight, you may wish to go inside a little earlier if you notice that you are having difficulty falling asleep.
Though things may be, unfortunately, once again turning back towards mask mandates and other restrictions because of rising COVID variant concerns, people are still beginning to travel more than they were a year ago, and all that jet lag can quickly add up to intense sleep deprivation.
We can offer a unique solution to combat jet lag as it pertains to heat related sleep issues: Try an app called Timeshifter, in which you put in your flight times along with your starting point and destination – the app will then tell you when you should be awake, when to skip caffeine and when to sleep.
For more information about how the seasons affect sleep, contact the experts at Sweet Sleep Studio at (913) 309-5963.