Will Endless Sun in the Arctic or Antarctic Ruin Sleep?

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One of the joys of travel is retreating to the comfort of your bed after a day of sightseeing and enjoying a good night’s sleep to get ready for another round of discovery. But sleep can be challenging, especially if you’re traveling to a place where the sun never sets.

That’s true of many places above the Arctic Circle in summer in the Northern Hemisphere, and it’s also true of Antarctica during the summer – its summer, which is opposite of the Northern Hemisphere’s. If you’re dreaming of a bright Christmas, Antarctica is the place to be.

Endless summer days and summer nights may sound glorious, but experts say those never-ending days may lead to sleep deprivation. Here are tips to help you sleep tight.

How to trick your brain

Just knowing it’s still light outside can trick the brain into not wanting to go to sleep, says certified nutritionist Serena Poon. “Seeing light and darkness helps regulate hormones in your brain that tell you when to wake up and when to go to sleep,” she says. “Normally, when the sun goes down, it triggers the release of melatonin, which helps you wind down for bed.”

Travelers should determine a set bedtime and create a sort of wind-down ritual to help them fall and stay asleep. Begin blocking out light with blackout curtains an hour before bedtime. Also, turn off electronics, whose artificial blue light, emitted by their screens, can affect the release of melatonin. Enjoy a soothing beverage, a bath, some meditation or journaling.

“You will also want to limit caffeine during the day and refrain from drinking alcohol at least two hours before bed,” she says. ‘REM (rapid eye movement) sleep is significantly disrupted when you drink alcohol, which will limit your body’s ability to rejuvenate.”

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This content is strictly the opinion of Chef Serena Poon and is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Serena nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.

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