Preparing for Summer in Alaska
In some areas of Alaska, summers involve nearly 24/7 daylight. While many people who grew up in Alaska have adjusted to this way of life, it can be very challenging for those who visit or move to the area and experience it for the first time. The constant light can cause a variety of problems including insomnia and trouble mentally separating the day from the night. For example, without darkness to signify when night has fallen, it may feel difficult to allow yourself to rest when it's time.
Luckily, there are some tips and tricks that you can implement to help cope with the ever-present light. There are also a lot of fun activities going on around Alaska during the summer that you can look forward to if you'll be spending the season in the area.
Getting Good Quality Sleep During an Alaska Summer
Good quality sleep on a regular basis is critical to your overall physical and mental health. When you don't get enough sleep, your sense of well-being can plummet. You are less able to adequately cope with the stresses in your day-to-day life when your sleep suffers. When this continues over time, it is likely to develop into mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. Thus, if you are new to summers in Alaska, it's important to learn how to ensure that the ongoing light does not interfere with your ability to get good quality rest. Consider trying the following tips:
- Stick to the same schedule every day as much as possible: Because it is still light out at bedtime, you may feel tempted to stay up longer either to get more done or indulge in some late-night reading or television. However, not only will you likely pay for this the next day by feeling sluggish and unmotivated, it can completely disrupt your internal body clock. By sticking to the same schedule every day you'll be more likely to feel tired when it is time for bed and less likely to feel tired the next morning.
- Consider trying out a nighttime routine: A nighttime routine is a process that you'll follow every night before bed to help get you in the mood for sleep. For example, it may involve darkening the room, running an essential oil diffuser, and reading a chapter of a book.
- Invest in blackout curtains for your bedroom: Blackout curtains are essential for this time of year. They can block all outdoor light and help your brain and body begin the process of relaxing enough for sleep.
- Try an eye mask: If you find that blackout curtains aren't quite doing enough to block the light from your bedroom, a soft but thick eye mask can help.
- Avoid using your phone right before bed: In fact, avoid screens altogether in the hour before bedtime. The blue light screens phones, computers, and TVs emit can wake your brain up, making it more difficult to fall asleep.
Activities to Look Forward to in Alaska Over the Summer
There are plenty of activities to keep you busy throughout the summer in Alaska depending upon your preferences. These are just a few activities you might consider. As summer draws closer, be sure to be on the lookout for when the date and time of these events are announced.
- The Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival: This festival offers courses in music, art, theater, dance, and literary arts, among many others.
- The Alaska State Fair: This is an exciting extravaganza with something for everyone, including lots of food options, rides, animals, and circus acts.
- The Sitka Summer Music Festival: This non-profit festival is perfect for classical music lovers.
- The Three Barons Renaissance Fair: Intended to take you back to a different era, this fair includes dancing, costume contests, craft vendors, and plenty of food options. It's a great way to learn more about history.
- The Golden Days Festival: This historic festival is meant to celebrate the culture and history of Alaska.
Additional Summer Activities to Prepare for in Alaska
Some other activities you can look forward to in the summer include:
- Taking a guided hiking trip through the glaciers
- Going camping along the Alaskan coast
- Going kayaking in one of the state's many bodies of water
- Riding the Alaska Railroad
- Going whitewater rafting
- Going fishing
- Trying to spy a bear in Katmai National Park (from a safe distance of course)
- Exploring an ice cave
- Visiting a natural hot spring and taking a dive
- Exploring the caves located on Prince of Wales Island
- Conquering your fears by going ziplining
One thing that makes Alaska unique from the rest of the country is that during much of the summer it is light out nearly 24/7. While this might seem cool at first, it can be quite an adjustment for people who are new to the area. The constant light can make it difficult to get good quality sleep, something that is extremely important for your mental health. In fact, without good sleep, you face a heightened chance of developing mental health problems like anxiety and depression. To ensure you're getting enough sleep during the Alaska summer, stick to a bedtime routine, use blackout curtains, and try out an eye mask if necessary. If you're looking for fun activities to try out this summer in Alaska, you might consider one of their many festivals, hiking tours, or national parks. At Achieve Medical Center we can help you prioritize your mental health. Call (907) 802-2493 today.