With daytime temps in the triple digits and nighttime lows barely dipping below 80 degrees, summer can make getting the sleep you need particularly challenging.  The majority of us are already suffering from some level of sleep deprivation at least once and awhile.  Add in the complications summer brings and it is a wonder any of us are getting a good night’s sleep.  Here are some of the most common things stealing summer sleep and what you can do to sleep through the night, every night.


1.     Long Days and Short Nights

Summer days aren’t just hot, they are also long.  Consider this example; an adult who needs 9 hours of sleep a night must get up for work at 5:00AM.  This means that in order to get the right amount of sleep, he would need to go to bed at 8:00PM.   This time of year, that means the sun has only been down for about 20 minutes and it isn’t even full dark yet.  No matter how tired you are, it is difficult to go to bed and fall asleep when it is not dark outside.  On the flipside, someone who goes to bed later may have trouble staying asleep when the sun comes up at 5:30AM.

Beat this sleep thief by blocking out your windows so you don’t notice whether it is light outside or not.


2.     More Noise than Normal

Summer means parties, people outside by the pool, and people outside in general.  It means sleeping all night with the AC on.  It often means more noise than normal.  This can make it difficult to fall asleep and challenging to stay asleep all night.  It only takes one neighbor with a late night party to impact your sleep for the whole week.

Invest in a white noise machine or earplugs that you can use all year long so that the amount of noise remains consistent and supports sleep.


3.     Time Away from Home/Travel

Summer is the time for road trips, camping trips, vacations, and long weekends away.  Unfortunately, departing from your normal routine can wreak havoc on your sleep schedule.  The best way to safeguard your sleep all year long is to stick to a standard routine never deviating in the time you go to bed or get up by more than an hour or so.  But most of us don’t do this when we are on vacation.  We are up visiting with family or unwilling to miss out on making the most of the time we have away from home.  Changing our sleep patterns while on vacation steals sleep while we are away and even more so when we get home.

The key to overcoming this challenge is to stick to a schedule while away from home or allow time towards the end of the trip to ease yourself back into your regular routine.  The same thing works for helping children get ready to go back to school.

The bottom line is that you can get the sleep you need regardless of the season as long as you modify your environment or your schedule to accommodate any seasonal changes and challenges.


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