Insomnia in the Summer: More Sunlight and Less Sleep
As the days grow longer, it is harder and harder for me to sleep. I need time to wind down at the end of the day, and my body will not start this process until the last bit of daylight is gone. Now that it is still light until almost 9:00 PM, it is much harder for me to get to sleep.
I love the longer days of summer. It gives me more time for outdoor activities. Even when it is too hot to be outside, those extra hours of sunlight allow me to enjoy the view from my window for longer periods of time each day. The problem is those longer days mean I am awake later and later.
Winding down at the end of the day
It generally takes me several hours to wind down to go to sleep. I lie in bed and stare at the ceiling for ridiculous amounts of time. It does not matter if not one bit of light enters my bedroom. If I know it is still light outside, I cannot go to sleep.
Knowing this is the case, you would think I would be up as soon as the sun comes up, or I would get up one of the many times I wake up after sunrise. You would be wrong to assume that.
Once I finally go to sleep, the only way I am going to be wide awake is if I have a room full of sunshine. Blackout curtains prevent that from happening.
Sunlight keeps me alert and awake
There is something about knowing it is not yet dark that makes my mind think it is far from bedtime. As a kid, I remember being told to go to bed at 7:00 PM. The sun was still up, and it did not get dark for several more hours. It made no sense to me then, and it makes no sense to me now. You should be awake in the daytime and asleep at night.
I am not someone who goes to sleep at 10:00 every night. I go to bed at that time almost every single night, but I am usually awake until 2 or 3 in the morning. Now that the days are longer, I am finding it hard to go to sleep before 4 or 5 in the morning. If I am still awake when the sun comes up, it is extremely difficult to get any sleep at all. The longer it takes to unwind, the longer it takes to go to sleep. As long as there is light outside, I cannot start winding down to sleep.
I cannot sleep when it is hot
Of course, the summer months bring another issue that interrupts sleep. Temperature changes, especially when the temperature rises, disturb my sleep. Even a slight change in the temperature in my bedroom wakes me. If the temperature rises more than 5 degrees in my room, I will not sleep.
It is impossible for me to sleep when I am hot. It is hard for me to go to sleep or stay asleep if I am warm. With longer hours of daylight, it stays warmer later into the night. If my air conditioning cannot bring my room down to a delightful 60 degrees Fahrenheit, I will not sleep well.
Do you have trouble sleeping during the summer months? How do you deal with the changes?
Do you have any other health conditions besides insomnia?