Summer stress can make for sleepless nights

Summer is supposed to be a carefree time of year, with long, sunny days and breezy, sit-on-the-front-porch evenings.

Maybe not. In an online article in Prevention magazine, Shannon Rosenberg reports on a survey in which one-third of Americans described themselves as under more stress during summer than at any other time of year.

Apparently, trying to have too much fun kept them up at night.

“People associate summer with recuperating and having more time on their hands,” Uli Gal-Oz, chief executive of SleepRate, a company based in California and Israel whose smartphone app offers help to the sleepless, says in the article. But, he says, “because the days are longer, people try to do more and sleep less.”

The online SleepRate survey found that nearly half of the respondents said summer social events kept them so busy that they lost sleep time. Many — 69 percent — said they often scheduled three social occasions a week in the summer.

And of course parents have added burdens, with summer interrupting school and day-care schedules, requiring ever more inventive planning. Hot weather can also affect sleep, with 80 percent saying they sleep better in cool weather.

And don’t get us started on vacations that bring on jet lag.

Prevention passes on this advice from Gal-Oz: Settle on a regular morning wake-up time, seven days a week year-round, giving your body some consistency.

The Sleep Cycle app, which uses your iPhone’s accelerometer, follows your movements in bed to track your sleeping patterns. The app produces detailed stats noting when you were awake, or in deep or light sleep. The app costs 99 cents and is available in the iTunes App Store.

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