Getting good sleep in the heat of the summer can be difficult to say the least; even if you have air conditioning in your home, your bedding can make things uncomfortable when the heat index and humidity get high. Many people can’t stand to sleep when they’re hot and sweaty, and even if you get in a few winks, it won’t be good enough to help you function throughout the next day. A lack of adequate rest can leak into other parts of your life, from your mood to your short-term memory function, so it’s important to look for ways to make the nights easier to get through.
Fortunately, there are several things you can do to increase your REM sleep even when the weather isn’t cooperating. From changing your bedding and mattress to cooling down your body temperature before hitting the sheets, having a plan is important if you want to rest easy in the heat. Keep reading for the best tips on how to get better sleep when the temps go up.
Change Your Bedding
Because not all mattresses are created equal, it’s important to do some research on the different kinds available. From gel to memory foam, there are many varieties to choose from. Queen mattresses, for example, are the most common on the market, which makes it easier to shop for linens and comforters. However, be sure to read reviews and look at what customers have said about the way these mattresses perform, particularly when it comes to keeping body heat down.
Keep the Sun Out
While using natural light during the day can save you money on utility bills, it’s a good idea to close the shades and invest in light-blocking curtains for the heat of the summer. When the temperatures go up outside, the windows in your home create a greenhouse effect, turning up the heat and holding it there. Not only does this make for a very hot room, but it also keeps your air conditioning unit working in overdrive. Consider using a lamp and creating a cool, shaded den.
This is a two-pronged attack: eating well will boost your overall health, helping your metabolism and, by extension, your circadian rhythm, but it will also keep your body from producing extra heat as it breaks down food. Eat smaller meals that consist of salads, fruits, and cold foods for better sleep in the summer.
Keep the Air Clean and Circulating
Stale, stagnant air makes sleep nearly impossible. Minimize common indoor air pollutants (such as cleaning products, air fresheners, animal allergens) and increase your home’s ventilation by opening windows (especially when using cleaners and solvents), running your bathroom exhaust fan for 45 minutes after a shower, and keeping your HVAC system clean.
While sleeping, keep air circulating with a fan in front of an open window if you don’t have air conditioning. Better yet, put the fan behind a large bowl of ice, which will help cool down the room faster as the ice melts.
Take a shower
One surefire way to get better sleep is to use water to your advantage. Taking a shower before bed can help you cool off and relax, but try alternating the temperature of the water so you’re not too cold; this could be counterproductive in trying to relax. It will also help tremendously if you wash your hair and let it air dry as you get into bed since it will cool you down when the water starts to evaporate.
Finding ways to cool down when the nights are so unbearably hot can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be stressful. Planning out your moves beforehand will help you stay on top of the weather and get a good night of rest no matter what the heat index is, so take some time to think about what will work best for you.