After a long, sweltering summer day, the one thing your family needs is some refreshing sleep. But summer can spell trouble for the family’s shut-eye time.There are various issues that could be causing sleeplessness during the hot months of July and August.
First, when temperatures are high, even in the evenings, it can be challenging to relax enough to fall asleep. Instead, you or your kids may spend what feels like hours rolling about, feeling hot and increasingly frustrated.
Second, because of the longer days and more sunlight hours, our bodies’ circadian rhythm gets thrown off.
Additionally, there are non-season specific issues that might be keeping you or a member of your family up at night. For example, if your partner has sleep apnea, it could mean sleepless nights for you. Sleep apnea treatment from a dentist might be the key to more restful nights because, according to Celebrity Dental, some of the more common signs of sleep apnea include loud snoring among other symptoms.
But if yours are summer-related sleep difficulties, we have a couple tips here that help alleviate some of the stress from your nights. Try out these methods for better sleep for you and your loved ones.
Dealing with hot evenings and nights
Sleep experts believe that the temperature that helps a person fall to sleep, and stay asleep, is between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit. So if your and your children’s rooms are cool, you will all be able to fall asleep faster. But since evening temperatures during the summer are often above this range, what’s a family to do?
It often pays to shell out a little more when it comes to running the AC than to deal with family crankiness the next day due to a sleepless, restless night. If your AC is out of order, or you do not have that option for some other reason, set up a nighttime camp on the first floor of the house. During the day, hot air rises to the upper floors of your house and the upper rooms are the last to cool off when evening comes. Or, if you have a basement rec room, consider designating that room as your sleep-time quarters for the whole family during the summer months. It can be a slumber party for all!
Another tip is cooling down the house from mid-afternoon. You can do this by drawing the shades, to keep the heat from making its ways indoors.
Additionally, if you sleep in a room with a strong cross breeze, this can help you drift off, even if temperatures are high. A wet towel placed over your head in a room with a cross breeze or a fan can also help lower your body temperature.
Handling the longer days
When the days grow long, our circadian rhythm gets disrupted as the hormones in our bodies that tell us its sleepy time no longer do so at regular hours. This is because melatonin production, the hormone that helps us fall to sleep, is interrupted when we are exposed to light at the wrong times.
So even if your thermostat is set to cool, what is a family to do when sunset is at 9 PM, which is well past the little ones’ bedtime?
Create nighttime indoors, even if it is still bright as day outdoors. Do this by purchasing thick, sun blocking curtains. Two to three hours before you want your kids to go down, close all the curtains and dim the lights throughout the house. It might also be wise to avoid screen time before bed if you are serious about protecting your sleep hours. The light from iPad, computers, and television screens can cause wakefulness.
Even having a light on in the bathroom can be detrimental to going back to sleep. So consider replacing the bathroom bulb with a red spectrum light bulb. Light at this wavelength does not disrupt melatonin production, and in fact might even prompt it.
Depending on the type of bulb you purchase, the red light does not necessarily glow red in color. There are types of red spectrum light bulbs you can buy that look like regular light, even though the spectrum is red. Sleep plays an essential role in helping each member of your crew enjoy the summer to the fullest. Using these tips should help the whole family enjoy good sleep hygiene and the benefits that accompany a night of deep sleep.