Insomnia in summer: why it happens and how to solve it

In summer, rising temperatures and lengthening days can change the sleep-wake rhythm, causing insomnia.

The heat, mosquitoes, fatigue accumulated during the day that, instead of stimulating us to a restful sleep, only increases tension. In short, often in summer sleep just does not want to know to arrive, and even when it arrives it is far from good quality.

However, summer insomnia is not a problem that concerns only and exclusively the nine million Italians who, according to recent estimates, have a chronic sleep disorder. Let’s see what causes it and what are the remedies to counteract it.

The causes of summer insomnia

The sleep-wake rhythm is a complex mechanism, regulated by different factors that contribute to vary and alter it, positively or negatively, such as sunlight, outdoor temperature, daily routine, etc. The body’s circadian rhythms are also regulated by internal factors, mainly the production of hormones such as serotonin and melatonin.

In summer the days get longer and with them also lengthens the “natural” waking period. The body temperature, then, which tends to lower with the approach of sleep, drops with more difficulty also because of the heat: all this also influences the production of melatonin, essential to ensure healthy sleep.

That’s why some of us find it harder to fall asleep during the summer, and when it happens it’s often a sleep studded with frequent awakenings, far from a fully restful sleep.

All this negatively affects our psycho-physical balance and also the health of the nervous system, which during the hours of sleep restores its functionality. Fortunately, it is possible to intervene with some simple measures to try to counteract the effects of summer insomnia.

To sleep well even in summer

In the presence of a disorder such as summer insomnia it is necessary in the first place to implement some changes in daily habits. Nutrition should be taken into maximum consideration, preferring light foods (especially at dinner) so as not to weigh down and lengthen digestion, but above all keeping under control the amount of coffee, tea and energy drinks consumed, for obvious reasons related to their exciting effect. For the same reason, chocolate consumption should be kept under control.

Also avoid the intake of alcoholic beverages, which directly affect sleep-wake rhythms and significantly alter the quality of sleep.

To facilitate its arrival, however, relaxing herbal teas such as those based on valerian and chamomile can certainly be useful, but also melatonin-based supplements, to promote relaxation and the natural sleep-wake cycle.

Finally, the importance of factors such as the temperature of the bedroom should not be excluded. In addition, it is important to know how to listen to the signals of your body: forcing yourself to sleep when sleep does not arrive can be frustrating, and the accumulation of tension takes us away from the goal. Better to get up, and postpone until later the well-deserved rest.

Joycelyn Elders is the author and creator of EmpowerEssence, a health and wellness blog. Elders is a respected public health advocate and pediatrician dedicated to promoting general health and well-being.

The blog covers a wide range of topics related to health and wellness, with articles organized into several categories.

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