How to Stay Cool and Sound Asleep During Summer Nights
The quality of our sleep is directly connected with the temperature in the bedroom. Our body temperature when sleeping drops a couple of degrees Fahrenheit. But if the environment is too hot, the natural fall of the body temperature during sleep will not suffice.
Due to being endotherms, we humans are able to thermoregulate our body temperature. The brain monitors our core zone, whereas our shell zone is more affected by the environment. Our core consists of abdominal, thoracic, and cranial cavities, where our vital organs reside. Our shell zone consists of skin, subcutaneous tissues, and muscles.
Most scientists agree that the core body temperature has the greatest impact on the quality of our sleep. However, during REM phase our brains stop regulating our body temperature at night. Hence, we neither shiver, nor sweat during this stage of slumber. At this point the external factors, such as room temperature, our clothes, and the bedding fabrics, play a crucial role during our rest.
Tips for maintaining a low body temperature at night:
- If you have a thermostat in your bedroom, fix it on 60 ° F (15,6 ° C) – 67 ° F (19,5 ° C). Make sure to find your personal optimal temperature.
- Keep the summer heat out of your bedroom during the day by drawing the night curtains or blinds.
- Only open your windows after the sun sets down or when the outside temperature is lower than that of the inside.
- Create a draft in your bedroom to cool it off before going to rest.
- Use ceiling, portable, or bed fans, but make sure they don't blow directly at you during your sleep.
- Wear less clothing or choose breathable fabrics, such as cotton, hemp, linen.
- Choose breathable fabrics for your bedding too and opt for thinner options.
- Don't sleep on memory foam, latex, or hybrid mattresses and pillows. They conform to your body and head shape, but they also sort of envelop you trapping you in the heat coming from inside of your body. Get a firmer mattress and pillow instead, especially if you weight more.
- Have a bottle of your favorite hydrolat (natural floral or herbal water) on your bedside table and spray it on yourself before going to rest and in case of an interrupted sleep.
- Have a glass of mint or citrus water by your side.
- Put a damp cloth to cool off your face and head.
- Get a hot bath or shower an hour before sleep and leave your skin slightly moist to air dry. This way a body cools itself off more efficiently than when having a cold shower.
General sleep hygiene tips:
- Don't do anything else in your bedroom or on your bed other than sleep and sex.
- 1-2 hours before bedtime dim the lights at home. There are great apps for your computer to start softening the screen colors in the evening, thus preparing (and warning) you that your day is approaching the end.
- Keep your bedroom quiet. If need be, use earplugs.
- You might be one of those people who can't sleep when it's too quiet. That's quite common, especially for those who grew up in the city. You can get yourself a white noise machine, use white noise apps, or listen to the recordings of ambient sounds of nature or city life.
- Don't look at any screens at least an hour before bed.
- Don't exercise just before the night time. Find a slot for your workouts in the morning or during the day instead.
- Don't drink any caffeinated drinks 10 hours before hitting the sack.
- Avoid nicotine and alcohol too close to the bed time.
- Choose foods that are rich in amino acids, proteins, antioxidants, and vitamins for your last meal of the day. However, you should allow at least 2 hours of uninterrupted digestion before turning in.
- Calm your mind with meditation or reading fiction before retiring.
- Establish your own evening routine. It will trigger your body and mind to start preparing for slumber.
- Try to go to bed and rise at the same time every day, no matter if it's a weekday or a weekend.