Long summer nights elevate sleep deprivation in Finland

Finland's long summer nights are leading to greater sleep deprivation for some. (iStock)
Finland’s long summer nights are leading to greater sleep deprivation for some. (iStock)
Sleep disorders peak in Finland during the summer months when lots of light and warmer temperatures seduce many people into changing their sleep patterns.

Even short periods of sleep deprivation can easily lead to fatigue, a loss of concentration and slowed reaction times.

Many people just sleep too little during the summer months.

“Schedules for going to bed change when people are on holiday and are not tied to a timetable requiring them to get up like they do when working. That fluctuating schedule makes sleep more intermittent and less deep, which in turn leads to daytime fatigue,” explains Psychiatrist Timo Partonen.

Short Finnish summer

The relatively short summer in Finland is an exceptional time of year for sleepers. The increased light and warmer temperatures tend to lead to people spending more time out of doors and more time socializing. Summer usually offers more events and activities of interest.

“The amount of light keeps one alert for longer periods at a time and sleep declines. In the winter sleep is often light and intermittent, but even so one gets more of it,” Partonen adds.

The need for sleep varies from person to person, but usually ranges between six and nine hours a night. The chance of just nodding off from exhaustion rises dramatically if one is constantly on the go.

“You should settle down enough to go to bed. The nighttime hours are very difficult in terms of alertness. If you stay up at night it will easily impact you during the morning hours,” Timo Partonen points out. “Sleep should be respected and those nights of staying up late should be made an exception.”

Related stories from around the North:

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