ANCSLEEP BLOG

How to Wake Up Energized - Even if it's Still Dark Outside

Posted by Darian Dozier on Mar 23, 2022 8:00:00 AM

Alaskan winters are characterized by a lot of darkness. This makes it easier to go to sleep at night, but waking up can be a struggle. However, if you work a standard 8-5 job, are in school, or do anything that requires you to wake up energized, then these dark mornings may be quite the struggle. Here are a few things you can do to help you wake up energized, even if it's dark and cold outside. 

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Why Alaskan Winters Keep You Up at Night

Posted by Tyler Britton on Aug 9, 2021 2:13:00 PM

Alaska Winter Darkness Means Big Internal Changes

Alaskans’ sleeping schedules are unique. While it sounds reasonable to think, “Summer in Alaska is for long, fun days and winters are for lots of sleep,” it’s actually not quite that simple. As you go further north, things get even more complex. Our extreme lighting conditions affect our lives in many different way – ways that can be incredibly disruptive towards sleep.

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How to Prepare and Prevent for Alaska Winter Insomnia

Posted by Tyler Britton on Aug 3, 2021 2:10:00 PM

Why the Impending Darkness Affects Circadian Rhythm

It’s no secret that we are living under unique circumstances in Alaska: lots of light over the past few months, and lots of darkness to look forward to for the next six months. Though it might seem counter intuitive, winter in Alaska actually makes sleep more difficult for many people, especially as you move further north.

Simply put, the excess darkness can be extremely disruptive to three things that are essential for the onset of sleep:

  • Ability to get daylight
  • Ability to be physically active
  • Hormone levels

Thus, there are many ways for your circadian rhythm to be negatively affected as winter approaches. It is crucial to understand this before preparing for and preventing insomnia as we head into winter because you need to know what and how to prevent it. Let’s look at circadian rhythm more closely.

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5 Ways to Adjust Sleep Schedule During Alaska Winter Transition

Posted by Tyler Britton on Aug 2, 2021 2:09:00 PM

Why Alaskan Winters Can Be Bad for Sleep

Much of the year in Alaska, we live in either the extreme darkness or extreme lightness. These extreme lighting conditions affect our lives in many different ways:

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How to Get Enough Sleep During Summers in Alaska

Posted by Tyler Britton on Jun 10, 2021 1:32:00 PM

Alaskan Summers, Lots of Light, Little Sleep

Alaskan summers can make having a sleep schedule feel impossible. If you’re reading this, you are likely one of those people.

It’s not just the sun/twilight that burns throughout the night. Alaskan summers can make it hard for many reasons, including:

  • Sunlight or light all night long
  • Influx of shift work during the summer, such as fishing, construction, etc.
  • Pressure to pack in a full schedule in the short summer season
  • Transitioning from Alaskan winters
  • Pressure to be soaking up as much sunlight as possible

Of course, we all (in Alaska) struggle with light different based on:

  • How far north you are
  • How sensitive you are to light
  • What existing measures you take to ensure good sleeping habits
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5 Ways to Set Good Sleep Schedule

Posted by Tyler Britton on Jun 9, 2021 1:32:00 PM

Signs That You Aren’t Getting Enough Sleep

Summers and Winters in Alaska can both be hard on getting enough sleep. The extreme lighting conditions don’t provide the transition from light to dark and dark to light in the morning/evening that prompts us to get tired and wake up. Because of this, setting a good sleep routine can be extremely hard.

Some signs your sleep schedule isn’t working are:

  • Never feeling like you get enough sleep – can’t fall asleep, stay asleep, or wake up too early
  • General performance loss in many important areas of life (work, relationships, etc.)
  • Chronic daytime fatigue
  • Being unable to stay awake during the day
  • Sudden onset of sleep-readiness at an odd hour during the day
  • Uncharacteristic memory trouble
  • Concentration problems
  • Chronic brain fog
  • Chronic headaches in the morning
  • Increased anxiety that is not normal
  • Depression
  • Uncharacteristic mood troubles

If these symptoms hit or worsen during our winters and summers in Alaska, it may be related to a sleep disorder, such as insomnia and circadian rhythm disorders. If you feel this way all the time, then you have an issue with your sleep schedule. Continue reading for five ways to set a good sleep schedule. 

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Sleep Tips for Alaskan Summers

Posted by Tyler Britton on May 30, 2021 1:25:00 PM

Alaskan Summer Makes it Hard to Sleep

Alaskan summers can hit your sleep schedule hard. And it’s not just the midnight sun. Alaskan summers can make it hard for many Alaskan’s to sleep because:

  • Sunlight or light all night long
  • Doing shift work during summer (fishing, construction, etc.)
  • Pressure to be packing in full schedule in short summer season
  • Transitioning from Alaskan winters
  • Pressure to be soaking up as much sunlight as possible

How much you struggle with the light depends on:

  • How far north you are
  • How sensitive you are to light
  • What existing measures you take to ensure good sleeping habits

The primary concern here is the development or worsening of insomnia and circadian rhythm disorders, because our circadian rhythm (sleep/wake cycle, biological clock) is managed by melatonin, which in turn responds to changes in light and dark throughout the day.

During transition from light to dark, we produce melatonin (makes us go to sleep), and during transitions from dark to light we repress melatonin (makes us wake up). Without these transitions in Alaska, it can be much harder for our body to have the clues needed to produce melatonin at night and get to sleep.

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Best Ways to Keep a Normal Sleep Schedule in Alaskan Winters

Posted by Tyler Britton on May 3, 2021 11:58:00 AM

Why Alaskan Winters Can Be Bad for Sleep

Much of the year in Alaska, we live in either the extreme darkness or extreme lightness. These extreme lighting conditions affect our lives in many different ways:

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Why Alaskan Winters Keep You Up at Night

Posted by Tyler Britton on Apr 28, 2021 11:54:00 AM

Different Ways Alaska’s Extreme Lighting Conditions Affect Life

Other than a few months out of the year between “spring” and “fall” in Alaska, living here poses unique sleeping related to either receiving mostly (or only) daylight or mostly (or only) darkness. These extreme lighting conditions affect our lives in many different ways, most of which can be very disruptive towards sleep.

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Common Sleep Disorders in Alaska

Posted by Tyler Britton on Apr 21, 2021 11:50:00 AM

Unique Challenges of Alaska

Living in Alaska poses unique sleeping challenges most months out of the year. Other than a few months out of the year between “spring” and “fall” in Alaska, we are dealing with darkness that lasts most (or all) of the day, or light that lasts most (or all) of the night.

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