You must have experienced sleep problems on one of those annoyingly hot summer nights that make you toss and turn in bed looking desperately for sleep. We all know the feeling. Anyway, understanding why your body finds it so difficult to fall asleep when the temperature outside is too hot is the first step to improving your nighttime sleep.
Specialists recommend sleeping at a temperature of around 18 degrees Celsius, as our body temperature cools down during the night, adjusting to the circadian rhythm. That is why high temperatures during summer nights (which can exceed 25 degrees) can disturb your sleep.
We know how frustrating lack of sleep can be, especially when having a lot to do the next day. Restless nights not only turn you into a tired and grumpy person, but they can also affect your health, leading in time to insomnia, anxiety, depression, and even heart diseases. Thus, we came up with some helpful recommendations you can follow when having trouble with the hot temperature during the night:
Invest in a fan
The benefits of a fan are pretty obvious. It helps you breathe during hot nights and thus ensures a restful sleep. Nothing compares with a cool breeze when everything around you seems to be melting, including you. If you have not already done so, consider buying an air conditioner and make the restless nights only a bitter memory. And do not worry. You do not have to keep it always on –turn it on just before sleep and off when the room ambience is just right. Depending on the body part you want to cool, you can position it on your bedside table or at the end of your bed.
Choose a breathable sleepwear
It is time to reconsider your pajamas options, especially when talking about warm temperatures during the night. Choose lightweight, loose-fitting pieces made up of breathable fabric such as linen and cotton because this kind of clothing enhances your comfort during the night, allowing your skin to breathe and keep the body temperature normal. Plus, they do not irritate the skin like synthetic fabric would do. You can switch to womens pajamas for night sweats during the warm months to avoid that irritating, uncomfortable sensation when sleeping. Plus, pajamas have become a trend, being produced in various models and colors, so it would not be difficult to choose one that will match your taste.
Make sure your sheets promote sleep
If you still have those heavy blankets on your bed, it is time to store them. Maybe they were of great help and kept you warm in the cold season, but in the hot months, they do not do anything but make you sweat, something that leads to a night of disrupted sleep. Like in the case of sleepwear, you should opt for sheets made up of breathable fabric like cotton or linen, which keep the heat away. They do not trap heat, which means they allow your body to cool down at night. Keep also in mind that dark colors tend to absorb more heat under your sheets, so it would be helpful to choose light-colored cotton when it comes to your bedsheets.
If the heat persists, consider putting your sheets in the fridge. We know that might sound weird, but trust us, it works. Your sheets would be cool enough to give you relief from the overwhelming heat and help you fall asleep faster. But you should not simply throw them in the fridge – fold them into a plastic bag (preferably air-tight) and keep them in the freezer while you do your bedtime routine.
Ventilate the room
Keeping your windows closed to avoid too much heat entering the room is highly recommended during the hottest parts of the day, but things change when the sun goes down. It is the right time to open your windows and let the breeze in. The evening temperature usually drops, and the night air is cooler and fresher. If you are excessively sensitive to heat, you can leave the window open while sleeping, either in the bedroom or another room in the house, but ensure you leave the door open for air to flow.
Pay attention to what you drink
Studies say that you should stay hydrated during the hot season but avoid caffeinated drinks before bed, leading to high blood pressure, hence rising body temperature. Caffeine is also known to increase alertness by stimulating the central nervous system. That is why you usually stay awake after drinking coffee in the evening hours. To get a restful sleep, consider drinking plenty of water during the day and a glass of chilled water before bedtime. This way, you stay hydrated during the night and avoid waking up thirsty. Plus, drinking water before bed can prevent the water loss caused by night sweats.
Take a warm bath
How many times have you been tempted to take a cold shower after a hot summer day? We know the feeling is mutual. But find out that this may not be a good habit, especially when wanting to cool down. Having a cold bath only alarms your body by quickly decreasing blood flow. Even if this might cool you down, you will see that a few minutes later, you will feel hot again since your body temperature rises, trying to compensate for its sudden decrease before. It would be best to bathe in lukewarm water to keep your body’s temperature at an average level.
For extra freshness, you can soak your feet in cold water or wet your hair before bed, as your extremities allow heat to come out of your body more quickly. It will instantly help you feel more refreshed and relaxed and get a peaceful night’s sleep.
The bottom line
We all have struggled at some point with the oppressive heat of a summer night. Seeking desperately for sleep might be frustrating, but sleepless nights may come to an end if you consider following these simple steps that will help you sleep better in the heat.