Summer has officially arrived! While escaping daytime summer temperatures with swimming, ice cream and running through the sprinkler can be fun, the heat can be unbearable when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep.
There is a link between high temperatures and poor sleep, according to the National Sleep Foundation. When the temperature is very high, it takes longer to fall asleep, and once you’re able to fall asleep, it’s often restless. Air conditioning can be your best friend during summer months, so make sure the filter is clean, your unit is serviced and, most importantly, you know what temperature is optimal for sleeping comfortably.
“There is a clear link between body temperature and sleep,” says Dr. Sujay Kansagra, who is board certified in sleep medicine, an assistant professor at Duke’s School of Medicine and consultant to Mattress Firm. “A drop in body temperature is important when going from wake to sleep, and keeping the room on the cooler side – 68 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit – can help with the transition to sleep.”
Beyond adjusting the thermostat, there are a number of ways to keep your sleep environment cool and improve the quality of your summertime slumber. Follow these five tips this summer so the heat doesn’t stand between you and eight sound and peaceful hours of rest:
- Despite the heat, your body will still be the hottest part of your room. Keep a fan on to help circulate the warm air away from your body. Believe it or not, a warm nighttime shower may help. The quick drop in body temperature after a shower can help you fall asleep.
- Avoid excessive exercise late in the evening. It can raise your body temperature for long periods of time, making it harder to fall asleep.
- Take a look at your mattress, pillows and other bedding items to make sure they’re not adding to the heat. If so, visit your local Mattress Firm to find gel memory foam mattresses and pillows, mattress toppers and more to help you sleep cooler.
- Clothing has the most direct exterior impact on your body temperature while you sleep. The lighter the clothing you wear to bed, the cooler you’ll be. Lose the socks and go to sleep barefoot to allow body heat to escape through your extremities.
- Try to disconnect all electronics. According to research, smartphones and tablets, among other devices, radiate heat even if they’re turned off. Unplugging all devices will help reduce total bedroom heat.