Home Rise and Shine Snoozing in Summer: Do I Need a New Routine?

4 min.

22 June 2022

Snoozing in Summer: Do I Need a New Routine?

With summer fast approaching, we’re already reaping the benefits of longer, brighter days and warm summer nights. However, sleeping in summer can be difficult for those who are used to the colder climates we have for most of the year, so should we be adapting our sleep routine for a better night's sleep?

How does summer affect sleep?

Body temperature

Why is it so difficult to sleep when it's warmer outside? When the temperature drops, your body is predisposed to sleep. In fact, as bedtime approaches, your core temperature dips somewhat as part of your body's alertness and sleep schedule, known as your circadian rhythm. However, lowering your internal temperature is more difficult when the ambient temperature is high, and even more difficult when there is humidity added to the equation.

Sunset

Light and darkness are important variables in sleep regulation. The region of the brain that governs hormones like melatonin and body temperature is stimulated by light. This has an impact on whether we are sleepy or awake. Melatonin signals sleepiness, and its levels rise when the sun sets and stay high for roughly 12 hours.


In most parts of the world, daylight hours rise in the summer while dark hours increase in the winter. At summer solstice, Finland, for example, has nearly 24 hours of daylight. Other variables, such as nighttime exposure to artificial light from devices, can also disturb these natural hormonal rhythms. Experts advise that you avoid using any electronic devices for at least one hour before going to bed.

Daytime activity

During the summer, people are typically more active at night than they are during the cooler seasons. Summer evenings provide more opportunity for social activity than winter evenings due to longer days, hotter weather, school breaks, and holidays. However, this can be referred to as social jetlag, a discrepancy in a sleep pattern which can have certain risks, such as:


  • Disturbed sleep (insomnia, early waking or excessive sleepiness)
  • Daytime fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating or functioning at your usual level
  • Stomach problems 
  • A general feeling of not being well
  • Behavioural problems
  • Metabolic risk

Brain activity levels vary seasonally, according to researchers. Our brains are more engaged in the summer and less active in the winter, owing to old survival instincts. Participants' attention and focus peaked at the summer solstice and dipped on the shortest day of the year, according to this study.

Summer sleep tips

Limit exposure to sunlight in the evening

Summer's longer days can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, exposure to sunlight enhances your mood and alleviates SAD symptoms (Seasonal Affective Disorder). On the other hand, sunlight delays the release of melatonin in your body, making it more difficult to fall asleep. It can be light outside until after 10 p.m. in some areas. For many people with early morning schedules, that is simply too late.

Avoiding exposure to sunshine can "trick" your body into believing it's time to sleep. Start an indoor evening routine two hours before bedtime by drawing the blinds and keeping a consistent indoor evening routine. If you must leave the house, wear sunglasses to prevent the sun from heightening your alertness.

Alter your sleep environment

Early morning sunrises are best avoided by using blackout curtains. You can easily find ordinary blackout curtains online or in your local home furnishing retailer. 


If you live in a noisy setting, consider buying a fan or a sound machine. White noise can help people sleep by masking disruptive sounds. Not only can they help you to fall asleep, they can help you to stay asleep, and they may even train your brain to recognise when it's time to sleep.


Head to our sleep wellness collection to find out more about creating a better sleep environment to awaken your best.

Keep cool

The temperature can also disrupt your sleep cycle, as your body temperature must drop gradually before you fall asleep. Keeping curtains drawn during the day to block out direct heat and opening windows and doors to create a breeze during hot weather.


You can also reduce your core body temperature by taking a cool shower or bath before bedtime and drinking plenty of cold water throughout the evening.

Avoid allergens

Another reason why sleeping in the summer can be difficult is because it is allergy season. Pollen control is essential if you suffer from hay fever. Close the windows, use a pollen screen on the windows, or install an air purifier to trap the particles while cooling and circulating the air.

Invest in the right mattress and pillow

Your bed can have a significant impact on how comfortable you feel during slumber. Thick foam mattresses have a tendency to absorb and trap body heat, making you feel overheated. Other mattresses, like the Emma hybrid cooling mattress, help you to sleep cooler due to features like innovative cooling technology and thermal conductivity. Certain varieties of pillows can trap heat, while others, such as latex, ventilated foam, and wool, give better temperature management. Your bed can have a significant impact on how comfortable you sleep. 


For more information about the link between sleep and health, visit our sleep health collection.


At Emma, you can find everything from mattresses and pillows to the most advanced sleep accessories, backed by science to help you get a better night’s sleep and awaken your best. Our advanced sleep technology is intertwined with ultimate comfort and relaxation, so you can sleep soundly all night long.

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