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Summer blues: the unexpected effect of long summer days on our sleep

Summer blues

Summer is a season many of us eagerly await. The long days, warm weather, and abundance of outdoor activities make it a wonderful time of year. Yet summer can also bring some unexpected challenges, especially when it comes to our sleeping habits. A phenomenon we can call the 'summer blues' occurs when the long summer days disrupt our sleep-wake rhythm.

Disruption of our sleep rhythm

In the summer months, the days stay lighter for longer, which often tempts us to stay up later than usual. We enjoy the extra hours of daylight and take the opportunity to spend longer evenings outside, meeting friends or simply relaxing in the evening sun. While this can be very pleasant, it can also lead to a disruption of our natural sleep rhythm. Our internal clock, or circadian rhythm, is affected by light. Lots of summer light, especially in the evening, can send signals to our brain that it is not yet time to sleep, keeping us awake longer.

This problem is exacerbated when we are woken early in the morning by the bright morning light shining through the windows. This strong morning light can pull us out of sleep before we have had sufficient rest. As a result, we often do not get enough hours of sleep, which can lead to fatigue, irritability and a general feeling of malaise during the day - the so-called summer blues.

Practical tips

To counter this, there are some practical tips you can follow. First, try to keep a consistent bedtime, even during summer. This helps your body maintain a regular sleep rhythm.

In addition, it can help to keep your bedroom dark with blackout curtains so that early morning light does not wake you up too early. Finally, try to limit the use of bright-screen electronic devices in the evening, as they can mimic the effect of natural light and disrupt your sleep.

Summer can be a great time, full of fun and adventure. By paying attention to your sleeping habits, you can ensure that you are well rested and can make the most of all that the season has to offer.

Want to know more about our biological clock? Then read on...

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