July 20, 2014 at 9:20 AM ET
Just the word "summer" has us thinking about sandy beaches, frozen umbrella drinks and kicking back with buddies — or does it? In a recent survey conducted by SleepRate, a third of Americans reported that they find themselves more stressed during the summer months than any other season of the year.
While surprising at first, it makes some sense when you take a look at the factors cited in the study: We have busier social lives at this time of year, with as many as three events per week. There's stress in planning trips. Kids are out of school, which puts all kinds of new scheduling pressure on parents. And through all of that, many of us are dealing with ongoing seasonal allergy symptoms, which make everything harder.
But above all, we're not sleeping. “People associate summer with recuperating and having more time on their hands, but because the days are longer, people try to do more and sleep less,” says Uli Gal Oz, CEO of SleepRate, which is a San Francisco-based app company focused on improving sleep. And the weather doesn't help with the sleeping issue either; a full 88 percent of the 300+ people who took the survey also reported they like to sleep in cooler temperatures, making it harder to get a good night’s sleep during the hotter months.
One small step you can take now to start getting a happier handle on summer: Set a specific time to wake up every morning, even on weekends, Oz suggests. “This will help get your body on a consistent sleep schedule, making it easier to manage things throughout the day.”
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