Sleeping During the Summer Solstice
Sleeping During the Summer Solstice

The first day of summer, the summer solstice, the longest day of the year. Whatever you call it, June 20, 2024 is the day that summer officially begins and it will have the most hours of daylight thanks to the Earth's tilt on its axis. While this is exciting for outdoor activities and events, the extra daylight can wreak havoc on our sleep routine (especially for those of us already struggling with our sleep). While getting sleep during this time of year may seem impossible, there are ways to help. 

Blocking Out the Light

The amount of daylight you get on the summer solstice is contingent on your location in reference to the equator. For those located at the equator, the day can see 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness. At approximately 40 degrees north of the equator, daylight hours can reach as high as 15 hours, and those north of the arctic circle (66.5 degrees north of the equator) can experience a whopping 24 hours of daylight. This extra light can pose a problem, though. 

Light exposure, especially later in the day, has been linked to inhibiting one’s ability to enter a state of deep sleep where growth and the repair of bone and muscle happens. Light interference has also been linked to a decrease in the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone, and triggers the body’s autonomic nervous system to be more alert. In case you’re in need of more convincing, sleeping in the dark aids in cellular regeneration (which helps keep your skin youthful), promotes a faster metabolism, and enhances your mental focus by allowing your body to complete its sleep cycles. 

If you find yourself struggling to block out the ambient light on the summer solstice, trying a sleep mask may be helpful. A Nodpod sleep mask utilizes Deep Touch Pressure to help calm a frenzied mind and body, and the fill-material (100% polyethylene beads) contours to the eyes to hit the right pressure points as well as help block out distracting and overly stimulating light. 

Staying Cool

Staying cool at night during the warmer months can be difficult as is, let alone on the summer solstice where the daylight seems endless. If you find yourself struggling to cool down enough to fall asleep at night, all is not lost.

Keeping your bedding minimal can be instrumental to staying cool during hotter periods of time. This isn’t to say you should be sleeping on a bare mattress, but the fewer layers on your bed to trap heat the cooler you will feel. If you’re like a lot of people though, you’ll find yourself missing the weight of your cooler weather bedding. In such cases, Nodpod’s miniature BODY weighted blanket can be a tremendous asset to feel the same comfort of your usual bedding without the excess heat. There are more ways to stay cool at night in bed, and if you’re in need of more ideas there are more resources available. 

Be Mindful of Your Sleep Habits

Even though the summer solstice can aggravate existing problems with getting a good night’s sleep, this one day a year is not solely responsible for consistently poor sleep. Addressing your sleep issues at the source can be instrumental to helping you get to sleep even on days, like the summer solstice, that you may find yourself struggling to drift off. 

One of the most important parts of anyone’s sleep routine is exactly that, a routine. Maintaining a consistent sleep routine acclimates your mind and your body to rising and resting at the same time each day, which makes changes in daylight hours less jarring than a more haphazard sleeping schedule. When it comes to the solstices, both summer and winter, it is important to align your sleep schedule with the time on the clock rather than the hours of daylight to maintain consistency. If you find yourself in need of more help when it comes to getting sleep, there are additional resources available.

Key Takeaways

The summer solstice is exciting as it marks the official start of the summer season, but with it comes the added stress of sleep disruptions. Whether it be due to the heat or the extended daylight hours, the summer solstice can make it more difficult to fall asleep at night. Addressing these issues directly is one of the best ways to help ease your symptoms of sleep deprivation, even if that means addressing underlying conditions and poor sleep habits. Even if the summer season is your least favorite thanks to these issues, there are ways to help remedy such problems and enjoy the season to its fullest.

Back to blog