Can You Ditch Your Sleep Schedule in the Summer?

Summertime disrupts routines and sleep schedules for many families. Children no longer have to wake up early and get ready for school each day. The sun lingers in the sky much later into the evening, and it can be difficult to stick to that 8:30 bedtime when it’s still bright outside. College students may find themselves staying up late and sleeping in even later during the summer months. Warm summer nights and traditional summer activities like bonfires, camping trips, and cookouts often mean getting to bed much later than usual. It can be difficult for families to follow a regular sleep schedule during the summer, but it’s important to try to go to sleep and wake up around the same time each day.

The importance of a regular sleep schedule

Getting enough sleep each night is essential for your health and wellness. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, lack of sleep is associated with various health problems including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and depression. Sleep deficiency can lead to stress, accidents, and injuries.

Sleep is important at every age, but it’s especially important for the health, behavior, and development of children and adolescents. One way that you can work towards getting more sleep, and getting better quality sleep, is establishing a regular schedule for sleep.

  • Going to bed and waking up at different times can make it difficult to focus, it can make you feel tired and lethargic, and keep you from feeling active and alert.
  • Erratic sleep patterns can affect your quality of sleep, and make it difficult to fall asleep.
  • A regular sleep routine promotes better quality sleep, and it helps make sure that you get enough sleep.
  • Staying close to your regular schedule makes it easier to transition back to your regular routine when summer ends.

You will undoubtedly have some late nights, and that’s OK. Staying up past your regular bedtime on occasion won’t derail your sleep schedule. The important thing is that you try and maintain a regular pattern for sleeping instead of erratic sleep habits.

Maintaining a regular sleep schedule during the summer isn't always easy, but it's important for your health. Try to go to sleep and wake up around the same time each day. Click To Tweet

How much sleep do I need?

Here’s how much sleep you need each day according to the National Sleep Foundation:

  • Newborns (0-3 months) need 14-17 hours
  • Infants (4-11 months) need 12-15 hours
  • Toddlers (1-2 years) need 11-14 hours
  • Preschoolers (3-5 years) need 10-13 hours
  • School-age children (6-13 years) need 9-11 hours
  • Teens (14-17 years) need 8-10 hours
  • Adults (18-64 years) need 7-9 hours
  • Adults (65+ years) need 7-8 hours

Have questions about sleep or sleep routines? Maybe a member of your family is always tired, has trouble going to sleep, or has trouble staying asleep at night even though you stick to a regular schedule. Talk to your primary care physician. Your doctor may refer you to a sleep specialist.