A new way to sleep
Our latest blog installment for all things sleep-related, tips and tricks, and product news
How the heat affects your sleep
Your body temperature naturally fluctuates throughout the day, helping to regulate your internal clock or circadian rhythm. When it rises, you tend to feel alert and awake, and when it falls, you tend to feel sleepy.
The ideal sleeping temperature differs from person to person, but in general, your body’s core temperature needs to drop for you to drift off at night. That slows down your metabolism and coincides with the release of melatonin, a hormone that makes you feel drowsy, sending a signal to your brain that it’s time to fall asleep. If your body is overheating at night, it’s going to interrupt this process.
And a warm or muggy bedroom doesn’t just make it more difficult for you to cool down and fall asleep. It can make it harder to stay asleep, too. Some studies suggest that the discomfort of sleeping in a hot room can cause more frequent awakenings throughout the night and can disrupt restorative rapid eye movement (REM) sleep.
But the good news, experts say, is there are things you can do that can help.
How to chill out
Block out the sun. If it’s hotter outside than inside, pull down the blinds, close your curtains, and shut your windows. That helps keep cool air in and hot air out. Closing the blinds has other benefits, too, because a dark room promotes a sounder sleep.
Think about creating cross-ventilation, once the temp has cooled in the evening, open those windows, and use a fan to circulate the air. If you have only one window in your bedroom, position a fan there so that it circulates the cooler nighttime air inside.
An added bonus of a fan is that it provides white noise, which often helps block other noises and improves sleep quality.
Chill your bed. Yep, it’s true, our Instagram feed is full of people poping their bedding in the freezer! Try sealing your bedsheets or just the pillowcases in a plastic bag and sticking them in the freezer.
Some bed-cooling technologies, such as chilled mattress pads and breathable toppers will help.
If your bed-chilling attempts aren’t working, your mattress might be the problem. Some types, such as those made from foam (oops the F word), sleep warmer than others, such as innerspring mattresses.
Lower your body temperature. Taking a cold shower before bed can help lower your core body temperature and help promote sleep. You can also pat your skin with a damp towel or washcloth (while in your bed or just before you go to sleep), or try a cool compress on your forehead.
Stay hydrated. Warm temperatures make you thirsty, and getting out of bed for water disrupts sleep. Making sure you’re hydrated before you hit the hay and keeping a bottle or glass of water near your bed can minimise the need to leave your bedroom for middle-of-the-night water breaks.
Sleep solo. If you share a bed with your partner, that extra body heat can zap the quality of your sleep. Consider sleeping separately on really hot nights. That might have other benefits as well, if your partner snores for example.
Hope this helps a little, sweet dreams. xo