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Are You A ‘Light’ Sleeper?

By sleepcounciladmin on May 30, 2013

Are You A ‘Light’ Sleeper?
Block out all light with black out blinds that stick to the window. Photo courtesy of Magic Blackout Blind

Hands up who finds it harder to sleep when it’s lighter in the morning and at night?

It’s not just children who find the switch into British Summertime difficult (though understandably it’s more of a struggle for them to grasp and trust me when I tell you, my children are not grasping this at all!). But sometimes, even for us adults, it just doesn’t feel right to be sleeping during daylight.

That’s because the onset of sleep is triggered by an increase in the production of the hormone melatonin – something we have less of in summer (yes I did say summer!).  It is this hormone that helps to regulate the body’s circadian rhythm and promotes restful sleep.

It is produced in the evening to help us sleep and the lighter nights suppress production of melatonin. Low amounts of ambient light (such as that given off by radio alarm clocks, mobile phones and laptops) also have the same effect.

Creating a dark environment is one of the best ways in which you can help sleep through the lighter nights and early mornings. We all know of course that black out blinds and curtains can be helpful but if the light still creeps in around the edges try using portable blackout blinds that stick direct to windows and block out any light coming in. These are also very handy when you’re away on holiday or staying with family/friends.  Alternatively you can try using an eye mask.

Do you struggle to sleep in summer? Have you any other tips you want to share with us?

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2 thoughts on “Are You A ‘Light’ Sleeper?

  1. It may sound obvious, but if you are struggling to sleep in the summer it might be more than just daylight and a lack of melatonin that is to blame. The dawn chorus from wildlife also occurs earlier in the summer and with warmer nights many people will be sleeping with bedroom windows open making bird song sound even louder. Of course, if people are trying to sleep in a bed that is no longer comfortable they are more likely to awaken prematurely. Mercifully, although we all like to moan about the weather our summers in the UK are not as extreme as other parts of the world.

  2. I always thought that melatonin was produced while you slept – light disturbs the production. A lack of melatonin can cause not only extreme tiredness, but a raft of other more serious symptoms. However, I did not know that a lack of melatonin can also cause one to not be able to sleep. But, of a vicious circle!

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