Summer is the best time for relaxing, fun, and outdoor adventures. Factors such as the heat, pollen allergies, and dehydration can lead to summer insomnia. If you’re someone who struggles to sleep during the summer months, you’re not alone. This blog post will go over what summer insomnia is, the importance of sleep, signs of sleep deprivation and treatment options using Prime Medical Associates.
What is summer insomnia?
Summer insomnia is a form of sleep disorder that is characterized by a hard time falling asleep or staying asleep during the warmer months. This sleep disorder can be attributed to several factors. One primary cause is the shift in daylight hours, as longer days and shorter nights can disrupt our internal body clock. This is also known as the circadian rhythm. Due to the later sunsets, melatonin production starts later and takes longer to peak which can affect the ability to fall asleep.
Another contributing factor to summer insomnia is that there is a huge increase in outdoor activities. As people spend more time outside engaging in physical activities or socializing, their energy levels and adrenaline may also remain elevated later into the evening. This heightened state can make it difficult for the body to wind down and transition into a restful sleep. With the increased outdoor activities also comes issues such as pollen allergies, leading to another problem when trying to sleep.
Finally, hot temperatures play a significant role in summer insomnia. A cooler body temperature is typically conducive to falling asleep, but with increased heat and humidity, it becomes increasingly difficult for the body to cool down. On top of this, dehydration can be at its highest at this time of year for some people, which also impacts sleep. The yearly struggle to find a comfortable sleeping temperature can lead to restlessness and difficulty falling or staying asleep throughout the night.
Why is it important to get enough sleep?
Sleep is extremely important for maintaining good physical and mental health. It allows your body to heal itself, supports brain function, and helps regulate emotions. Lack of sleep can lead to various issues, such as:
- Decreased cognitive function: Memory, concentration, and decision-making can be negatively impacted by sleep deprivation. Without adequate sleep, functions such as learning, decision making and reasoning can be negatively affected.
- Weakened immune system: A lack of sleep can reduce your body’s ability to fight off infections. Sleeping helps to repair the body, and with a lack of that, our bodies will get sick easier, allergies will be more severe, and recovery time will be extended.
- Mood swings: Sleep-deprived individuals might experience irritability, anxiety, and even depression.
- Weight gain: Insufficient sleep can lead to hormonal imbalances, which can cause weight gain and increase the risk of developing obesity-related health issues.
Sleep deficiency is also linked to several chronic health problems such as heart disease and heart attacks, diabetes, hypertension, lower fertility rates, psychiatric disorders and strokes.
What are the signs and symptoms of sleep deprivation?
Some common symptoms of sleep deprivation include:
- Reduced concentrating and awareness
- Memory problems and forgetfulness
- Mood swings such as increased temper
- Drowsiness/grogginess during the day
- Lack of motivation
- Reduce decision-making skills
- Constant yawning
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s essential to consult a sleep specialist to determine the underlying cause and receive appropriate treatment.
What treatments are available for summer insomnia?
Dr. Arun Rajan and his team here at Prime Medical Associates offer various advice and treatment options for summer insomnia, including:
- Lifestyle modifications: Helping you implement healthy sleep habits in summer such as maintaining a consistent sleep schedule, creating a relaxing bedtime routine, and keeping your bedroom cool and dark. Avoid exercising in excessive heat and stay hydrated throughout the day.
- Sleep studies: In our advanced sleep lab, our certified sleep technicians can monitor your breathing and sleep over the course of a night. A sleep study measures your sleep cycles and stages by recording data from your body as your sleep.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT): This form of therapy focuses on changing negative thought patterns and behaviors that contribute to sleep difficulties.This therapy can include cognitive reconstruction, stimulus control and relaxation training.
- Medication: In some cases, prescription sleep aids may be recommended to help improve sleep quality. There are several forms of medication that can be used to treat sleep related disorders such as melatonin, benzodiazepines and anti-parkinsonian drugs.
How can I schedule an appointment with Dr. Rajan?
If you’re struggling with summer insomnia or any other sleep disorder, don’t hesitate to contact Prime Medical Associates to schedule an appointment. You can reach our office by calling (508) 979-1100.
Don’t let summer insomnia ruin your enjoyment of this beautiful season. Reach out to Dr. Arun Rajan to start your journey towards better summer sleep and improved overall health.