Alaska Sleep Education Center

5 Summer Sleep Tips

Posted by Jennifer Christensen on Jun 9, 2019 12:42:00 PM

Those extra hours of light during the summer days can contribute to sleep problems at night. Here are a few tips to help you sleep through the long Alaskan summer nights.

Summer sleep in a hammock.

One of the things that makes Alaska such a unique place to live or visit is its amazing summers. Summer time in Alaska is like no other place in the U.S. because of the vast amount of daylight we get. In the northernmost parts of the state the sun refuses to set for nearly a month. In the interior, the sun briefly dips behind the mountains leaving golden hues to hold its place until it returns minutes later. And even in the southern parts of the state, periods of darkness are so short, that if you blink, you could miss it.

When you combine the copious amounts of daylight with a plethora of exciting outdoor activities, you come across a unique challenge: How do you sleep with all of this daylight?

While most resident Alaskans have grown accustomed to our unparalleled annual cycles of dark winters and radiant summers, many first-time visitors find the abundance of daylight to be a shock to their systems. So to help those of you visiting Alaska this summer here's what you need to know about how daylight affects your sleep habits, and some tips to avoid sleep troubles.

  • Go to bed the same time everyday. Even though it is still light and it doesn’t quite feel late yet, it is recommended to go to sleep the same time everyday, or close to it.
  • Get blackout or dark curtains for the bedroom. It will be light throughout the night in Alaska, but the bedroom should be kept dark for sleeping. If curtains are not an option, try a sleep mask.
  • Prepare for sleep. Start your bedtime routine and power down electronics at least a half hour before you go to bed. Instead of electronics try reading a book or practice relaxation techniques.
  • Social events. During the long summer days, Alaskans likes to join their family and friends for social events. Keep an eye on the clock and monitor the amount of alcohol consumed, its easy to lose track of time with the constant light. 
  • Drink water before bed. It is easier to get dehydrated in the summer because the increased heat. Being dehydrated will make you feel more tired during the day, so keep up the H20 intake. 
Any other recommendations?
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