18 Jun How Summer Affects Sleep
According to the National Sleep Foundation, up to 90 percent of people’s moods and energy levels are affected by the changing of seasons. Without question, these effects on mood and energy directly affect sleep habits.
The Huffington Post attributes five major factors to changes in sleep habits during the summer including:
- Temperature. This one is pretty easy to understand. Most people prefer a cool space to sleep, but the rise in temperatures during the summer often interferes.
- Light. The longest day of the year is the first day of summer. Beginning in early spring and lasting through early fall, we see the sun rise and set much earlier and later than it does during the fall and winter months. Here in Mississippi, you can still see daylight between 8 pm and 9 pm.
- Noise. Something about warmer temps and longer days tends to keep us livelier and encourages us to stay outside longer during the summer. If you have neighbors nearby that enjoy entertaining into later hours of the night, you may find it more difficult to fall asleep with the added noise.
- Vacation. During vacation, we often throw out all routines in order to enjoy our time away to the fullest. Likewise, most school children are free from the restraints of an early bedtime routine during the summer.
- Allergies. Seasonal allergy symptoms like a stuffy nose or a cough may keep sufferers awake throughout the night.
What You Can Do to Get Plenty of Sleep
You can fight the effects of summer on your sleep habits with a few proactive steps. Turn your air conditioner down to the mid-to-lower 70’s to keep bedrooms cool and comfortable. Hang black-out curtains in bedrooms to keep light and outside noise out while keeping cool air from your a/c in. If neighborhood noise is an issue, consider adding a white noise machine to your bedroom or wearing earplugs to bed. When you’re on vacation, spend the last night or two readjusting to your normal bedtime routine. If you have children, have them re-adjust to their school bedtime routine in the last days or weeks before school starts back.
To reduce the effect of summertime allergies on your sleep, try showering and changing into fresh clothes before going to bed to wash away pollen and other allergens. You should also wash your sheets at least once a week to get rid of dust mites.
If making these simple changes to your bedtime habits don’t help you get the suggested 7 to 9 hours of sleep adults need, you could be suffering from a sleep disorder. Renew Dental offers a Sleep Apnea Risk Assessment and sleep appliances to help patients with snoring or sleep apnea issues. We’ll work with your sleep specialist to help you get a good night’s sleep every single night. Give us a call to request your appointment today.