The longer, hotter days and warmer nights of summer can disrupt sound sleep patterns and result in troubled slumber—lying awake tossing and turning. The farther north we are, the more daylight hours we experience, which can make deep, restful sleep difficult. So we’ve suggested some summer sleep solutions.
It seems the natural sunlight we enjoy more of in the summer is very different from artificial light. And this affects special receptors on our retinas that aren’t involved in vision, but are connected directly to our circadian rhythm or ‘body clock.’ This tells us what time to sleep at night and wake in the morning. It also controls our temperature, blood pressure, digestion and hormone production.
Light in the evening delays the release of melatonin, which is one way our bodies signal it’s time for sleep. Melatonin controls our sleep patterns and other important metabolic functions. But we need enough darkness for our pineal glands to produce it.
10 Summer Sleep Solutions:
- Get more natural sunlight during the early part of the day.
- Minimize light exposure, both natural and artificial, for a few hours before bed.
- Wear dark glasses towards the end of the day if you’re outside.
- If your bedroom is noisy, invest in a white noise machine or use an air filter or fan.
- Commit to turn off electronics and light-generating gadgets at least half an hour before bedtime.
- Listen to relaxing music or read a book before bed—catch up on your summer reading list. What are those books you’ve wanted to read but never have time?
- If heat is a problem, use a fan, take a cool shower before bed, wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothes and use light 100% cotton sheets and pillow cases.
- Before going to bed, make a list of worries, future errands, tasks and other things that are on your mind. Then put it aside for the morning.
- Read and meditate on a Scripture topic or verse before turning in. I like to read a psalm and then think about it as I drift off to sleep.
- Listen to “In His Everlasting Arms.” I’m told that few people ever get to hear the end of the audio before falling into a deep peaceful sleep.
What are your summer sleep solutions? What helps you fall asleep in the summertime?