As we head into the heat of summer, you may find yourself having more trouble sleeping than usual. This is a common issue for a variety of reasons, but today we have a few solutions to help you troubleshoot your summer slumber.
Why does summer disrupt our sleep?
Excess heat is the primary sleep disruptor in the summer. Colder nighttime temperatures are an important regulator for our circadian rhythms, so hot nights can have us feeling restless.
Other factors include longer days, which can cut into our dark nighttime hours and busier schedules. As we pack our calendar with vacations, beach days, and camping, we might find ourselves following a less regular sleep schedule or sleeping in unfamiliar places. These disruptions all take a toll on our circadian rhythms. Even consuming foods and beverages you normally wouldn’t 一 like sugar, alcohol, or salt 一 will confuse your body and your sleep cycles.
How to improve summer sleep
Unfortunately, there’s no quick fix for summer sleep, but small changes, like keeping your room cool by leaving windows open at night, can make a big difference. Consider getting a lighter blanket for your bed for the summer months and closing blinds in your bedroom during the day to keep things cool. You can also invest in a sleep mask to ensure a full eight hours of darkness.
As far as schedule changes, try to keep your sleep schedule as regular as possible, even when you’re in new places, and improve sleep in new locations by bringing your pillow from home with you to keep things as regular as possible.
When it comes to food, it’s okay to indulge in summer treats, but monitor how much sugar and alcohol you’re consuming and try not to eat or drink these directly before bed. Make sure that even with celebrations, you’re still sticking to a fairly regular diet and exercise routine to properly fuel your body and stay healthy.