Summer is officially here and now that the sun is setting later in the evening, it’s important to check in with our schedules and ensure everyone is still getting enough sleep each night. We need all the rest we can get to enjoy these long and sometimes very hot midsummer days.
Our brain has an internal clock called the circadian rhythm which modulates sleep and wake times. Inside our brains is a very tiny regulator, called the pineal gland which tells us when to go to sleep and when to get up. The pineal gland is the size of a pea and functions to secrete a hormone called melatonin. This hormone serves as nature’s timekeeper and is produced at night beginning around sundown. Melatonin secretion is inhibited by light, which is why summer and other time changes like daylight savings can throw off sleep habits for both you and your children. If for any reason our circadian rhythm becomes out of sync, there are simple lifestyle changes we can make to realign it.