The 90 degree weather is upon us in Shreveport, and full tilt sleep disruption is upon me. The AC going on and off wakes me up, but so does the heat, if I don't put the AC on. So, does spring/summer produce a different sleep cycle? Sleep research sometimes seems contradictory- some of it presents a very bi-phasic sleep patterns while the more traditional 8 is still there and seems well regarded by some. Maybe they are all accurate because we would do all of them, but at different times.
I tend to do a biphasic pattern year round, but stay up later & get up earlier in the summer.
We have adopted the tradition of siesta after moving to Santa Fe, which makes up for the shorter night sleep.
We work at home, but I know that the siesta is culturally accomodated in the 2-3 hour lunch break for many companies in Spain.
Do you have a basement? That is, one which would be suitable enough to put a sleeping area within? If the answer is yes, I would suggest doing that. In my house, we sleep in an attic space converted to a master suite, if we do not think to get up there and open the skylights and place some fans an hour before bed, we have a rough time. I have wanted to swap our sleeping area with our entertainment area (in the basement) for the summer but as of yet have not. The reasons for doing this are obvious, but it is not always appropriate, granted. As most animals rotate their sleeping areas depending on the climatic conditions, I suppose we ought to as well if possible. Up here in Minnesota, the light comes around 4:30 during this time of year, and consequently, I am rising around then. I'm just not looking forward to dragging the bed up and down two flights of cramped staircases....
I live in Texarkana, so know just what you mean about the heat. I can't sleep without the AC though now; I kept it off until just about 3 weeks ago. I generally go with the season--I get up at daybreak and go to bed later in the summer (mainly because we have a farm and more chores during the summer). maybe try running your ceiling fan so you have a constant noise as opposed to the starkness of the AC coming off and on.
I found this interesting:
"No evidence of a seasonal variation on reports of insomnia symptoms or time in bed was found. These null findings are in marked contrast to previous seasonality studies of sleep. Previous studies reporting seasonal variations in sleep and insomnia might have been subject to publication biases and lack of blinding to the research hypothesis."
Does your AC have a way to keep the fan running all night, but only produce cold air when needed? I have a heat pump, so I run the fan continually at night in the winter and the summer, then turn it back to auto during the day. I also wear earplugs. It's a nice combo because I end up with a soft white noise and my whole family sleeps well.
At a minimum, I would think the longer daylight in spring/summer would possibly result in a shorter sleep cycle, and I can't believe blackout curtains to block out natural sunrise would work with, rather than against, the natural rhythms - maybe we're supposed to be up at 3:30 or 4:00 am in mid-June.
As for the heat, it would be interesting to know if people living in Shreveport (or anywhere hot) prior to the invention of AC had sleep disruptions in summer or if they just adapted. I'm not sure where one would go to find that out, though.
I live in south Florida (hellish year round) so my advice is going to suck but it works. I almost have to say, tank through the misery of sleep issues and leave the AC on. I've learned to live with the noise. Also, with it shutting on and off, you may just get used to it. You're body is probably getting scared to all hell when a loud noise comes on, but you'll come to almost expect it, and if it is at a set time each night, you may almost come to rely on that noise. That's my experience at least, but sleepy is really freaky, I'd say give it a little bit. Maybe put some of that strange rainfall noise or something to sleep to so you get accustomed to "noisy sleep". But check on that first, I haven't looked up how that affects your sleep. Good luck, sleep well.
My technique for sleeping on hot nights that worked for 3 summers without AC in South Carolina:
Take a cool (not cold) to lukewarm bath before bed.
No sheets, stark naked, spread out like a starfish.
One to two fans for cooling sweat and white noise.
If you need more, an evaporative cooling cloth like Frog Togs on forehead &/or wrists.
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