Alaska Sleep Education Center

Sleeping with the midnight sun

Posted by Jennifer Christensen on May 22, 2013 12:41:00 PM

It’s that time in Alaska: insomnia becomes the norm as the sun beats through the window for nearly all hours of the day.

The wild swing that Alaskans deal with in daylight comes with sleep ramifications, especially in the summer as all that sunshine disrupts circadian rhythms. Since there’s no way to shove the sun under the horizon when it’s bedtime, consider other alternatives.

 Blackout curtains. You can purchase specially-made blackout curtains in throughout Alaska, but if you don’t want to invest in those and also don’t mind a little DIY, you can block the light from your windows yourself. Tin foil and garbage bags are popular, as are a combination of venetian blinds and a bath towel. Alaskans are nothing if not resourceful!

 Eye mask. Instead of an elaborate window-darkening scheme, simply cover your eyes up. Again, you can purchase an eye mask, or you can fashion your own from a bandana or a headband.

Other light sources. Cracks under the door and skylights allow midnight daylight in, so you should consider blocking those as well. A bath towel along the door crack should block out any daylight creeping in. A skylight is more difficult: one recommendation is to add Velcro to the perimeter and then attach a fleece blanket it to it. Depending on the accessibility of your skylight you may need to leave this up all summer.

Do you have other ways of coping with all of this sunlight? What are they? 

Topics: alaska sleep clinic, insomnia, sleep disorders, trouble sleeping

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