Summer is the time for walks on the beach, relaxing by the pool, and enjoying outdoor picnics with family and friends. It’s when you transition from hot coffee to frappuccinos and start the extensive summer reading list you’re quite proud of. However, summer can also be the time for interrupted sleep.
Weather absolutely affects our sleep because our body is transitioning from one climate to another, both in terms of the outdoor environment and your everyday routine.
Here are five ways your sleep can be affected during the summer (and what you can do about it).
1. Warmer Temperatures
As much as we love the summer sunshine, warmer temperatures in your home can cause you to toss and turn at night.
It’s best to set your thermostat around 65 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid waking up sweaty and uncomfortable. Your body temperature naturally drops as you’re getting ready to sleep. If you set your thermostat too high, you’ll end up fighting this process. The same goes for setting it too low (it shouldn’t be lower than 60 degrees Fahrenheit).
If you want to cut costs, you can always have your thermostat set a little higher but also have a fan going to help increase air circulation and keep you cool.
2. Longer Days
While it’s wonderful that we’re getting longer days in the summer, there’s also a downside to the beautiful sunlight.
We look outside and think it’s earlier in the day because the sun hasn’t set. This makes it a tad more difficult to fall asleep as we approach our ideal bedtime because our mind hasn’t had a chance to transition from one part of the day to the other.
The key to this is trying to stick to a regular bedtime routine that always reminds your body and mind that it is indeed time to settle down for the evening. Whether that’s yoga, meditation, or an evening face mask, choose something that will help you relax.
3. School’s Out for Summer
While I’m not a parent myself, I know how stressful the summer months can be. The kids are on vacation from school which means your schedule just got a lot more hectic than it already was.
When your schedule changes, this can cause increased stress and anxiety which of course can lead to insomnia and issues falling asleep.
I think it’s important to remember that you need to take care of yourself in order to take care of everyone around you and that means prioritizing your health. You deserve sleep! Do something for you that will help alleviate any anxiety you may be feeling. Destress with some bath salts and essential oils or allot an hour every day to read a good book. The possibilities are endless.
4. Mosquito Bites
Mosquito bites are just the absolute worst–there’s really no way to sugar coat it. I personally get huge welts all over my legs and ankles that itch uncontrollably and will absolutely bother me at night when I’m trying to fall asleep.
The best thing to do is try to prevent them in them in the first place. I know this is easier said than done but natural bug repellents can actually be super helpful. Tea tree oil is my favorite. It’s quite a potent smell but the mosquitos hate it so that makes me happy!
5. Summer Storms
A mild summer storm can actually be quite relaxing. I like hearing the low-pitched thunder and the rain gently falling on the roof. However, when the thunder and lightning begin raging and the tranquil sounds become loud noises, we’ve got a problem.
Loud storms can disrupt our sleep. One way to counteract this is to use a white noise or sound machine. You’re combatting sudden, jolting sounds with a calm and constant sound that will not disrupt your REM cycle.
A sound machine will mitigate the disturbance of all sorts of noises: car horns, creaks in the floor, loud neighbors, etc.
Hope this blog post was helpful! Have fun this summer but make sure you get the sleep you deserve too.