How Summer Influences Sleep
Had enough of the heat yet? As we fully immerse in Summer, which NASA says is on pace to become the hottest year on record, we’re sweltering. Still, we manage to relax outside, hang by the pool, enjoy a drink with an umbrella in it, and hopefully dig our feet in the sand. Days are longer while nights are shorter, so there’s more time to do things and less time to recover from them, but have you ever thought about how summer affects on your sleep? Here’s 4 ways that summer influences sleep.
Raises Core Body Temperature
Studies have shown that during summer nights, body temperature and melatonin (involved in the timing of sleep) tend to be elevated, and occur earlier in the night relative to winter. This is due to length of light exposure, which of course is greater during. Early light exposure in the morning can impact our internal biological clock, shifting the timing of our sleep window.
Vacations Alter Sleep Patterns
Depending on the type of person you are, your idea of vacation is sleeping all day. For others, it means late nights with little sleep. Regardless, it almost certain that it messes with your normal sleep pattern. Some experts suggest to stick within an hour of a regular sleep schedule, easier said than done. Add in traveling across time zones, and you get jet lagged. For kids, forget about it; summer can turn into a three-month long practice of bad sleep habits. Once you get back from vacation, you’ll need a vacation
Believe it or not, not everyone adores summer (hard to believe, we know). During the summer months, weeds and grasses are especially problematic. According to the National Sleep Foundation, allergy symptoms affect sleep dramatically, and to make matters worse, getting a lack of sleep can exacerbate the problems (it’s a viscous cycle, we know). To try and mitigate these issues, try using an air purifier, and closing windows. Also, regularly change sheets more often than you would in winter and shower just before you hit the hay.
Humidity Makes it Hard
No one loves humidity, but we usually take it as a small side effect for all the benefits of summer. While spring and Fall’s temperatures make for a more comfortable sleep environment, the heat and humidity of summer can do the opposite. Feeling hot and sticky can make it difficult for your body to get into deep sleep, in turn depriving you of the benefits and recovery you get from deeper stages of sleep. Use ceiling fans and open windows if you don’t feel like blowing your summer money all on AC. Also, you can take a look at the tips we’ve written up to help you stay cool, we’ve written not one, but two articles on it.