1-minute tip: Sleep on hot summer nights
This summer has set records for heat, which has meant sleepless nights for many who have found it too hot to sleep.
To help you sleep better, here are tips to support your sleep when there's a heatwave or when it is simply a hot, summer night:
- Set your air conditioning to the optimal sleep temperature of 18.3 °C (or 64.4°F), according to research. However, everyone is different and optimal temperatures have been found to be in the range of 15.6°C and 19.4 °C (or 59°F and 66.2°F). Note that this is the optimal temperature when you sleep with nightclothes and blankets.
- No air conditioning because you find it too dry or are looking for more sustainable options? Then, know that Onen et al. (1994) report optimal sleep temperatures for sleeping without clothing to be from 30°C to 32°C (or 86°F to 89.6°F). On the other hand, Caddick et al. (2018), who conducted a review of the current literature on sleep, stated that 27.9°C- 28.5°C (or 82.2°F - 83.3°F) provided for optimal temperatures when not wearing nightclothes nor using blankets. Regardless, both temperature ranges reported in research are in the warm or hot range. If you need to cool down further, then use fans (ceiling fans, electric fans, ice fans, etc.).
- Take showers or baths using warm or tepid water before bed because doing so lowers your core body temperature. Do NOT take cold showers as this will raise your core body temperature, even though your skin will feel cooler.
- Make sure to drink enough water during the day to stay hydrated when asleep. This way, you avoid drinking water at night, which may lead to nighttime urination.
- Avoid drinking alcohol, as this will lead to fragmented sleep.
- Do not eat too late in the evening, and eat more fruits and vegetables for better sleep.
- Use mattresses, sheets, and pillows that allow for good air circulation to keep you cool. Natural fibres are great.
- Follow good sleep hygiene, which is always the foundation for good sleep.