The summer sun can be wonderful, but it can bring some interesting complications to your ability to get adequate sleep. Days have gotten longer, which means that it's light earlier in the morning, till later in the evening than previously. All that extra daylight is quite alluring.
Maurice Ohayon, MD, is a sleep expert at Stanford University who has studied sleep disorders in America for more than 20 years.
Ohayon said that about 25 percent of all those in New York and California, and 17 percent in Texas are insomniacs in the summertime. Throughout the rest of the year, the percentage of those with insomnia in these states hover around 10 percent.
If you'd like your kids to get a decent night's sleep at a normal hour, you might consider getting blackout shades for their bedrooms. Blinds can be found at hardware stores and home improvement centers.
Are overheated bedrooms a problem? Central air is of course a great solution, but if that's not an option for you, electric fans strategically placed, or air conditioning units in bedrooms can improve the situation.
Many families will be planning a trip during the summer. If you're heading to a climate that is different from what you and your children are used to, this can require some adjustment.
You may find that a proper night's sleep for your little ones when on vacation is more complicated than it is at home. Make sure you know what you're walking into.
Do you need a crib where you're going? Plan for this, either making sure there is already one onsite, or bringing something with you. It could be an actual crib or a playpen.
Make sure you have plenty of pillows and blankets. If your child needs certain toys or comfort items to be able to settle down for the night, avoid tears and delayed bedtimes by making sure that these beloved possession are packed and easily accessible when they're needed.
Will your vacation spot have sleeping areas that are at a comfortable temperature? If air conditioning isn't provided, make sure that electric fans will be on hand or bring them with you. If things are going to be too warm for comfort sleeping, wiping your child down with a cool washcloth may make it easier for them to fall asleep.
Going on vacation can be fun, but be aware that normal schedules, especially where sleep is concerned, can be thrown out of whack.Resist the temptation to let all of your regular schedules disappear.
You'll feel better in the long run if you make a point of sticking to reasonable hours for sleeping and for meals. Holidays are fun, but ideally they should also be restful, so treat your need for sleep with care.
4 Quick Fixes for Summer Sleep. Bedtimenetwork.com. Retrieved June 25, 2013.
Better Sleep by Labor Day. WebMD.com. Retrieved June 25, 2013.
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Reviewed June 27, 2013
by Michele Blacksberg RN
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