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Tips to Chill Out and Sleep Better on Hot Summer Nights

Photo Courtesy of Kinga Cichewicz on Unsplash

Getting a good night's rest is essential to feel your best during the day, but on hot summer nights, that quality sleep is often elusive. You toss and turn, sweating in your sheets, waiting for rest to come. But even when you can't turn down the temperature outside, there are ways you can cool down to get the sleep you need.

What's the Big Deal?
If you feel like you don't sleep as well when the weather is warm, you aren't alone. According to HuffPost, researchers have found that night time temperatures that are unusually high are associated with disrupted and poor quality sleep. This is because higher temperatures make it harder for your body to cool itself as part of your natural sleep cycle.

Tips to Cool Your Home
So, how do you cool down and get your body's sleep rhythm back in sync? Start by looking at how you can keep your home cooler, both day and night. Maintaining your HVAC system by periodically changing the air filter (typically every 90 days) is one of the easiest ways to keep your AC running as it should. Choosing the right size filter when making a replacement is essential because filters come in a wide array of sizes. Along with keeping your air conditioning running properly, take these steps to keep your bedroom as cool as possible:

Regulate temperature with windows - When temperatures are lower first thing in the morning, open windows to let hot air out and the cooler air in. Once you have let fresh air in, close windows and use dark shades to block sunlight from heating the room.

Keep your bedroom door closed - As long as your home is air-conditioned, Popsugar recommends closing doors to keep cool air inside the room. If you don't have air conditioning, you want to leave doors open for air flow.

Extra ventilation - Use a fan to keep air moving, even if you have air conditioning. If you live in a climate that is also humid, a dehumidifier will keep the air from feeling so sticky.

Tips to Cool Yourself
Along with keeping your room cooler, you can cool yourself down before bed to ward off the heat that keeps you awake.

Material matters - Sleep in cotton clothing, use cotton sheets, and switch out your comforter or duvet to a lighter weight, breathable blanket. Wearing and sleeping on lighter weight and breathable materials feel better on your skin and absorb moisture when you sweat.

Water and ice - Drink a cool glass of water before going to bed (although not so much that you wake up soon afterward going to the bathroom!). Take a cool shower or bath, and if you still feel hot, use ice to cool down your body temperature.

Relax and Unwind
General tips for good sleep habits are even more important when summer nights make it harder to sleep. Make sure your bedroom is a place that feels soothing. If you need to make changes, consider painting and decorating in soft, cool colors, which don't absorb the sun's heat as much as brighter colors, and they may even trick your mind into feeling it's cooler.

You also want to calm your mind before bed. Start by disconnecting from electronic devices and screens well ahead of bedtime. If you feel stressed or have a lot on your mind, try making a to-do list for the next day to get what's worrying you out of your head and onto paper! Try some relaxation techniques too, such as aromatherapy and meditation. Right before bed isn't the time for strenuous exercise, which would raise your body temperature, but doing light yoga stretches will help you unwind and slow your breathing.

If you have been struggling to sleep in the hot weather, worrying about how you will sleep is just one more source of unnecessary stress. So, don't let that stress or the heat keep you up at night! The hot weather may be out of your control, but these tips should help you cool down and relax to get the sleep you need.


Sheila Olson

Sheila Olson has been a personal trainer for five years. She believes the best way to achieve physical fitness and good health is to set and tackle small goals. She encourages her clients to stay positive and incorporates mindfulness and practices for reducing negative talk into her sessions. She created FitSheila.com to spread the word about her fitness philosophy.

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