A lack of sleep and poor sleep quality will have an effect on your life and career.
On a personal level, prevalent effects can include health disorders, depression, and poor memory retention. For businesses and their employees, the impact can be detrimental – from the negative impact on decision-making and communication skills to the stifling of creativity and innovation.
Not to mention, recent heatwaves across the U.S. have shattered temperature records. These types of extreme heat events are on the rise and could also impact your sleep.
If you’re someone who already has trouble sleeping, trying to sleep when it’s sweltering hot makes it all the more frustrating. Why? External temperatures can interfere with the natural thermoregulation that occurs during sleep.
If your bedroom is too warm – as it might be during the spring, summer, and early fall – then this can increase your body temperature and disturb your sleep.
Simply put, hot temperatures inhibit your body’s ability to cool off during sleep like it wants to. Exposure to high heat loads at night — particularly if there’s high humidity — can significantly reduce the rate at which heat is released from the body. So, it might take you longer to fall asleep if it’s too hot. High temperatures can also induce a stress response in your body that can disrupt your sleep.
How to stay cool (and sleep better) on hot nights
Most of us have endured the discomfort of trying to sleep on an excessively hot or humid night. Thankfully, there are expert and anecdotal tips proven to help you cool down in the evening and maintain a comfortable temperature throughout the night.
Get a good night’s sleep with these 10 tips.
1. Take a shower before bed
Showering before bed can actually help you sleep. And you don’t have to shock your body with a freezing cold shower unless you really feel like it since even warm showers and baths have been shown to increase slow-wave sleep, which is the deepest stage of non-REM sleep.
2. Do some light exercise
A little exercise before bed may actually help you sleep. The old logic used to be that exercising before bed will wake up your body, and make it harder to sleep, but that’s not true. Just make sure you do a workout that’s not too vigorous, and won’t make your body so hot that it’s more uncomfortable to sleep. Not sure what to do? Try an easy walking video, a 30-minute yoga flow, or a quick ab routine.
3. Purchase a fan
You can crank your AC or you can buy a fan to keep you cool and provide some white noise. White noise can be helpful because it masks out the other sounds that might wake you up in the middle of the night. If you have a ceiling fan, try reversing the direction so it spins counterclockwise to push hot air out of the way.
4. Stay hydrated
Avoid alcohol for four hours before bed, because it can dehydrate you in the middle of the night. Staying hydrated throughout the day and having a glass of water before bed is key for healthy, restful sleep.
5. Sleep in the coolest room
Heat rises, so if there’s any way to sleep in a lower-altitude room in your house, do it, because you’ll probably be cooler. If that’s not an option, keep your curtains drawn in the room during the day to reduce heat.
6. Use ice packs
Ice packs wrapped in a towel on your pulse points, such as your wrist, ankles, and behind the knees can cool down your whole body. Another option is to slip ice packs inside your pillows to provide more of a chill, just make sure they don’t leak.
7. Do some breathing exercises
If you’re in bed and can only focus on the heat and humidity, it may be helpful to do breathing exercise and take your mind off the temperature. Not sure where to start? Consider the 4-7-8 breathing technique, which involves breathing in for four counts, holding your breath for seven, and exhaling for eight counts until you fall asleep.
8. Avoid memory foam
Our core temperature drops by a couple of degrees during the night, shedding heat into the surrounding areas, and certain sheets and mattresses (especially memory foam) trap the heat and moisture around us. If you can switch to a different type of mattress or remove your mattress pad for the season, that might make a big improvement. Consider switching to AirFoam, which is temperature neutral unlike memory foam, which traps heat. Nolah Mattress is one of the best for controlling temperature (and is currently on sale!)
9. Buy a pillow that stays cold
There are a few companies out there using heat technology to make their fabrics stay cold, so you won’t have to keep flipping your pill for the “cold side” phenomenon. Nolah’s AirFoam pillow is another good option to test out.
10. Improve your sleep experience
More bodies in bed equal more heat, so avoid sharing a bed on really warm nights. If your kids, pets, or partner insist on sharing a bed, make sure you have the right bedding and accessories (i.e., cooling mattress pad, cooling blanket, misting fan, ceiling fan, moisture wicking sheets, etc.) to keep everyone comfortable and cool through the night.
Craig Lebrau is the CMO of Media Insider, a Wyoming-based PR company that aims to disrupt the way companies communicate their brand in the digital era.
© YFS Magazine. All Rights Reserved. Copying prohibited. All material is protected by U.S. and international copyright laws. Unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this material is prohibited. Sharing of this material under Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International terms, listed here, is permitted.