Do you find it more difficult to rest well in summer? Don't worry, it's more common than you think. Luckily, science knows very well what causes it, so you can easily find a solution.
Along with the good weather and vacations, summer also tends to bring us something less enjoyable: summer insomnia. Have you noticed how during June, July and August you find it harder to fall asleep and don't wake up rested enough? Well, you're not alone.
In fact, according to several studies, in places where there are more daylight hours, up to 45% of people admit to sleeping less than 6 hours a night. The average American loses up to 20 minutes of sleep a day in the summer. It doesn't sound like much, but the cumulative effect over the entire summer translates into several hours lost over the season.
Why can't I sleep in the summer?
Well, the answer is easy: light.
But not just in the way you imagine. Light is a key factor in regulating our biological clock –also known as circadian rhythm. The way light helps us regulate our sleep-wake patterns is through melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that our body secretes when the light begins to fade and helps us enter a sleepy state. Its peak is reached when it is completely dark. When the light starts to shine again, melatonin production is blocked and we wake up.
When summer arrives, this cycle is completely disrupted. In northern hemisphere countries, especially those further north, daylight hours are extended by several hours. Night comes later and the day starts earlier. This causes melatonin production to start later –even as late as 10 or 11 pm– and to take longer to peak. When we finally sleep soundly, the sun comes out again and melatonin is blocked, causing us not to get enough rest. This is what we call summer insomnia.
How to deal with summer insomnia
If it's the light that's causing summer insomnia, the best way to combat it is darkness. Introducing Eye Mask, the first true 3D ergonomic eye mask that provides 100% blackout.
Designed according to the three-dimensional shape of the face, Eye Mask fits perfectly on any head, making it impossible for light to penetrate through any slit. Absolute black.
That's why Eye Mask is the best sleeping companion in summer –or when you're sleeping in bright places, like on an airplane. By putting on Eye Mask when you go to bed, your body will start secreting melatonin, signaling your brain that it's time to sleep. No matter if the sun comes out in the morning, the 100% blackout won't let the hormone production stop you. It will only be the alarm clock that tells you it's time to wake up.
Other tips to deal with summer insomnia
If you suffer from summer insomnia, there are another tiny changes in your habits that can help you sleep better –and not only during summer time!
- Keep a schedule: Consistency is key to keeping your sleep pattern balanced. Try to go to bed at the same time every day –even on weekends– and your body will learn to switch on and off naturally.
- Keep it cool: if you have air conditioning or a fan, turn it on for a while before you go to sleep so that your bedroom is approximately 21ºC/67ºF. It is also a good idea to use light fabric sheets and pajamas.
- Avoid naps: It's normal to be tempted to take a nap, especially when the summer heat is strong. But if you have trouble sleeping at night, a nap will only further disrupt your internal clock.
- Exercise (at the right time): Moderate exercise during the day is one of the best things you can do for your sleep at night.
Summer is one of the best seasons of the year. Don't let summer insomnia keep you from enjoying it.
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