That may be beneficial to summertime fun, but not so good if you enjoy your time with the “Sandman.” In fact, the lengthening of days toward the summer solstice may be stealing your sleep time and lessening the quality of that sleep.
Not only is daylight’s impact felt on the ability to fall asleep, but it stimulates the waking hormones even while you sleep – meaning you awake earlier because the sun rises earlier. Most affected are those who must go to bed early and wake early because of their jobs. “Individuals who go to bed while it is still light outside may find it much more difficult to fall asleep during these longer days,” Dr. Hamadeh said.
A compounding summertime sleep factor is heat. “Rising body temperature promotes alertness,” Dr. Hamadeh said. “That’s why people who sleep without air-conditioning have a greater difficulty falling asleep and less quality sleep. Their bodies often do not move through the full, four-stage cycle of sleep. They are just too warm throughout the night.”
Add to this summertime mixture the increased noise that comes with people remaining outdoors for longer periods of time, and you have a recipe for poor sleeping conditions.
As a solution, Dr. Hamadeh offers several tips:
Invest in dark shades. Creating darkness in one’s sleeping environment can “trick the body” and put the circadian rhythm into more of a sleep mode.
Turn on the air-conditioning or, at the very least, find as cool and comfortable a place as possible to sleep.
No matter the season, follow your normal sleep-wake schedule. A regular schedule helps maintain a regular circadian rhythm.
And, if noise is a problem in your neighborhood, buy a good set of ear plugs.
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About Advocate Christ Medical Center Advocate Christ Medical Center is part of Advocate Health Care, which is one of the nation’s leading health care networks. A not-for-profit, 694-bed, premier teaching institution with more than 1,000 affiliated physicians, Christ Medical Center is a leader in health care and one of the major referral hospitals in the Midwest in a number of specialties, including cardiovascular services, heart and kidney transplantation, neurosciences, oncology, orthopedics and women’s health. The hospital also has one of the busiest Level I trauma centers in Illinois providing emergency care for more than 95,000 patient visits annually and is a leader in breakthrough technologies, including eICU® (electronic intensive care unit) monitoring, robotic da Vinci Surgery System® and CyberKnife® Radiosurgery. For the last three years (2012-2014), the medical center has been named to the Truven Health 100 Top Hospitals® list. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the medical center among the nation’s leading providers for cardiology and heart surgery and for geriatric medicine and ranked it overall as being among the top hospitals in Illinois. The hospital is also recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) as a Magnet Center. Magnet status represents the highest honor in the nursing profession. To obtain more information or to visit our newsroom, log on to: www.advocatehealth.com/christ.