Why You Sleep Worse During The Summer And What To Do About It

Have you ever noticed that your ability to fall or stay asleep is impacted during the summer months? If so, you definitely aren't alone. Mindbodygreen points out a few reasons why you might experience sleeplessness during this specific season. The first is simply that your bedroom is too hot. Penn Sleep Center's Philip Gehrman delves further into the issue, per Penn Today. Throughout the day, our body's core temperature heats up and then eventually cools down the closer we get to bedtime. This cooling effect allows us to feel sleepy, so when our bedrooms are too hot, it interrupts this natural process. In fact, the ideal temperature to help our bodies fall asleep is around 65 degrees Fahrenheit, notes Mindbodygreen.

Mindbodygreen points out some additional summer-related issues that have the potential to interfere with sleep. The first is our tendency to stay out later in the evening to enjoy the longer days and warmer temperatures. If we make a habit of this, we miss out on the necessary pre-bed relaxation time that we tend to have more of during the winter, in turn making it harder to wind down and fall asleep once we go to bed. In a similar sense, the extended sunlight during the day impacts our sleep by throwing off our night-day internal clock.

The good news is that there are several things you can do to improve your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep during the summer months.

Do these things for a better summer night's sleep

The first tip to getting a better night's sleep in the summer is to plant a fan or air conditioning unit in your bedroom to cool it down, points out Mindbodygreen. While it might seem counterintuitive, taking a hot bath before bed could also be just what your body needs to lull you off to sleep. Behavioral and social scientist Wendy Troxel explains to Mindbodygreen, "Your body temperature will drop after getting out of the water, which can facilitate sleep onset." You should also consider wearing light, breathable fabrics to sleep in.

The one part of your body that you'll want to cover up during the summer is your feet, per the National Sleep Foundation. In order for our core body temperature to cool down enough to induce sleepiness, we need to let off heat through our skin. Wearing socks can heat up our feet, which allows the blood vessels at the surface of the skin to expand, in turn enabling heat to escape. A 2018 study found that this helped participants fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, and wake up less during the night.

To combat the consequences of longer days and extended daylight, Mindbodygreen recommends setting an alarm about an hour before bedtime. This can remind you to turn off or dim indoor lights and choose a relaxing activity to wind down. You can also use black-out curtains to reduce light in the evening hours.