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Why Is It Hard to Sleep During Summer?

The warm summer air and humidity can throw a wrench in our sleep schedule. But how does the warm weather interfere with the quality of our sleep?

Aarushi Chadha
Summer can can wreak havoc on our sleep schedule
Summer can can wreak havoc on our sleep schedule

While summer is great for our social life, it can wreak havoc on our sleep schedule. David Brodner, a leading sleep specialist in the United States of America said in an interview that there are biological and sociological factors that affect our sleep patterns in summer. Melatonin is a hormone that regulates our sleep-wake cycles. The production of melatonin in our body is regulated by sunlight, which triggers our brain to stay awake.

Our melatonin levels begin to rise as it gets darker. The rise in melatonin levels tells our brain that it is time to sleep. During the summer, as the day gets longer and longer, melatonin production is delayed. Therefore, our body doesn’t feel like sleeping until later in the evening. Temperature is another factor that affects our sleep schedule.

It can be really hard for us to feel comfortable when it becomes really hot. This is because when our body prepares us for sleep, it reduces it is temperature and that is not possible when it’s particularly hot. Summertime also sees an increase in alcohol consumption which reduces our ability to achieve a deep state of sleep.

Health Impact of Sleep Deprivation:

  1. Memory issues- Sleep deprivation can have a negative impact on our short and long-term memory. This is because while we sleep our brain processes new information and helps us form connections that will help us remember.

  2. Issues with mood- Sleep deprivation can make us quick-tempered and emotional. When left untreated it can even lead to mood disorders like anxiety or depression.

  3. Weakens the immunity system- Sleep deprivation weakens our immune system’s defences against common viruses.

  4. Low sex drive- Lack of sleep can lead to a low sex drive.

How to improve your sleep schedule during summer?

  1. Stick to a consistent sleep routine- You can adjust your sleep pattern to your desired bedtime by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, even if it’s a weekend.

  2. Decrease your exposure to light- Exposure to sunlight for prolonged hours delay melatonin production in our body. Therefore, try to decrease your exposure to light during the day by drawing the curtains during the daytime and not sitting in a bright room at night.

  3. Avoid exercising before bedtime- Try to avoid participating in high-intensity workouts at least 4 hours before bedtime as it can increase our energy level and stop our body from relaxing and cooling down.

  4. Go outside in the morning- Underexposure to sunlight can hinder our sleep pattern just like overexposure to sunlight. The morning sun helps strengthen our circadian clock and helps our minds stay alert. It also promotes better sleep at night.

  1. Avoid eating a heavy meal- Eating a heavy meal tends to make our body feel warmer which is counterintuitive if you wish to induce a good night’s sleep. Therefore, people are advised to either eat dinner early in the evening or have a light meal.

  2. Adjust the temperature- In order to prepare for sleep, our body cools itself down. When the temperature runs high during summer, it becomes hard for us to sleep in a room that is not ventilated properly. Use a fan, air conditioner, or cooler, or even open the door or window for proper ventilation. Other than the warm air, humidity can also keep you from falling asleep.

  3. Shower right before sleeping- Showering one or two hours before sleeping has a natural cooling-down effect on our body. Therefore, showering right before sleeping can induce a good night’s sleep.

  4. Sleep in comfortable clothes- Try wearing loose-fitting pajamas and a shirt to bed. Also, use thin bedsheets and a comforter.

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