HOUSTON — Why can it be harder to get to sleep in the summer?
There isn’t a lot of research on this one but people do report having more troubling sleeping during the summer months. According to the New York Times, there is some evidence that seasonal changes can impact your sleep patterns.
Some of that can be attributed to daylight saving time. We are exposed to extra sunlight later in the day after the clock change. More light later in the evenings can suppress our production of melatonin, a hormone that plays a role in telling our body it’s time to get some shuteye.
The hotter weather doesn’t help either.
Your body temperature should fall by a couple degrees one to two hours before bedtime. This internal cooling helps us get that deep sleep that makes you feel well-rested in the morning.
Our more active social lives during the summer can also play a role. While "hot girl summer" can be fun, drinking alcohol and eating later at night can throw off your body’s internal clock.
So what can you do?
You’ve heard it before, and you will hear it again. Establish a healthy sleep schedule and stick to it.
Also give your body time to get in the mood to sleep. That means one to two hours before bed turn of the devices, lower the lights and find a relaxing activity.
If none of this helps and your lack of sleep is impacting your waking hours, it is probably time to seek out a sleep specialist.