Why it’s hard to sleep when it’s hot outside – and 3 tips for a better night’s rest

As temperatures continue to rise, Standard heightsShe may be tossing and spinning more than usual. Some people are more sensitive than others to temperature changes that can disrupt sleep.

Light, pressure, and temperature can affect our circadian rhythm, the body’s natural clock that signals when it’s time to rest and wake up. Basal body temperature, which is linked to the body clock, drops before bed as sleep-promoting levels of melatonin rise.

“As our basal body temperature drops, our body is really able to relax,” says Rebecca Robbins, MD, a medical instructor at Harvard Medical School and a scientist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “And true rest gives our organs a break and other vital systems, allowing them to repair.”

a Study 2019 It shows how the ability to fall asleep, stay asleep, and get enough sleep is affected by overall temperatures. When body temperature remains elevated at night, overall sleep duration decreases, according to the study.

“During certain stages of sleep, our body is not able to regulate temperature, so if we are exposed to extreme temperatures, we are more likely to wake up,” Robbins says.

Dr Raj Dasgupta, Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine, University of University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine In Los Angeles. In the summer months, she says, for those without air conditioning, getting a good sleep is challenging.

Experts say the following steps may help you get a sound sleep during a heat wave.

Lower the room temperature

A room temperature between 65 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit is considered the “thermal neutral”, where your body is able to stay asleep and move through the various stages of sleep without interruption.

Keeping the window open at night can also help cool your room and circulate the air. If the air outside is still hotter than inside, consider directing a fan toward the window to help push the cooler air toward you.

Wear and sleep in breathable materials

Bed linen and pajamas should be made of light, airy fabrics, such as cotton, that do not retain moisture and promote airflow. Thicker materials, such as flannel, will retain heat.

Robbins says sleeping naked is also an option.

Lower your body temperature before bed

It doesn’t make sense, but take a file A warm bath or shower Before bed helps lower your body temperature. However, in hot summer temperatures, you may want to try the opposite and see if a cold shower works better.

Experts also say to put an ice pack or a cold towel on your neck and wrists before bed, which can help calm your heart rate and get you ready to rest.

Temperature is just one factor that can determine sleep quality. If you have chronic insomnia, talk to your doctor and consider other options such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or medications, says Dasgupta. General sleep hygiene — such as maintaining a regular sleep and wake-up time, and following a screen-free routine — is also important.

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