Too Hot to Sleep? Here's What To Do
Being too hot to sleep is a frustrating feeling. Even more frustrating is knowing that hot weather alone isn't always the reason why we warm up at night. But don't sweat! There are as many ways to cool down so you can get good sleep and wake up feeling refreshed. Wondering what they are? Read on below to find out.
Why Is It Hard to Fall Asleep When Hot?
You've brushed your teeth, put on your PJs, turned off the light, and closed your eyes to get some sleep. But there's one problem — the heat. If your nights often look like this, it means your body is struggling to drop its core temperature to where it needs to be.
To understand this, you need to understand what happens to your body when you sleep. Your core body temperature is regulated by your circadian rhythm, the same internal clock that regulates your sleep cycles.
When you sleep, your body's temperature drops, and it continues to fall. In the morning, your body heat rises again and continues to do so throughout the day until it's time to snooze again.
Your circadian clock signals to the body that it is time to sleep, which is why your body cools down. Heat disrupts this pattern by sending signals to the body that it's still in day mode.
How To Sleep When It's Too Hot Out
If excessive heat has been ruining your sleep, be sure to keep reading. We're sharing some tips to help you get to bed comfortably. The best part? You don't even need an air conditioner to pull it off.
Draw the Blinds During the Day
Want to get a better night's sleep? Start your planning during the day. Your bedroom's temperature is key to keeping you cool, which is why it's important to draw the blinds early on, especially on hot days during the summer months.
This will keep the strong and hot rays of the sun from building up in the bedroom, ensuring you have a cool bedroom come nighttime. You can also open your windows at night to let in some fresh air. This is particularly beneficial in the early hours of the morning as the night air is cooler then.
Don't Exercise Close to Bedtime
We all know how great exercise is for both physical and mental health. One thing exercise isn't so great for, however, is sleep. How so? While exercise generally improves sleep quality, the time you exercise and the intensity can leave you feeling hot.
This is because exercise raises your body temperature and causes you to retain heat—something you should avoid before bedtime! Exercise before bedtime also increases your heart rate, which makes it harder to fall asleep.
As a general rule, it's recommended to exercise at least 90 minutes before bedtime so that your body temperature and heart rate return to normal.
While your exercise routine may not seem like an obvious solution to your sleep, just keeping in mind the timing and intensity you exercise can make a lot of difference.
Take a Hot Bath
A great way to bring down your body temperature is to take a hot bath. This may seem slightly counterintuitive, but hot baths (or showers) can help you get a comfortable sleep. But how?
Hot baths or showers help lower your body temperature, which signals the production of melatonin—the sleep hormone that regulates night and day cycles.
This may sound like a strange thing when you're too hot, but hot water triggers your body's natural cooling response. So how does this work, exactly?
High temperatures stimulate the body's thermoregulatory system, causing an increase in blood circulation. This draws heat from the core of your body to your fingers and toes. With this heat loss, your body's temperature naturally drops.
Known as water-based passive body heating, this approach is found to improve sleep. In one study, researchers found that those who took hot baths an hour or two before bedtime, shortened their time to fall asleep by 10 minutes.
Buy Cooling Sheets
You know that as your body begins the sleep cycle, your temperature drops. If your nights feel like you're sleeping in an oven, then it may be time to think about your bedding.
You want fabrics that promote breathability so you can sleep cool. In general, cooling sheets are made of natural materials and promote the coolness and breathability you need in extreme heat.
These are great for letting escape heat so you have one less thing to keep you at night. Here are some of the best types of cooling sheets:
- Bamboo sheets
- Cotton sheets
- Linen sheets
- Tencel sheets
These options are designed to lose heat so you can stay cool at night If it's an extremely hot night you may even consider freezing your sheets! Just place your sheets and pillowcase/s in a plastic bag and place them in the freezer for about 30 minutes or so before bedtime.
Sleep in Loose Clothing... or Nothing at All
Your clothing (or lack of) affects how well you sleep. Above you learned that it's important for your bedding to be breathable. Guess what? Your clothing is no different!
Sleeping with not only fewer clothes but with the right material can help regulate your body's temperature. Loose clothing that is breathable can help you feel cool so you can get better sleep.
Natural fibers like linen and cotton are key as they help you sleep cool all night long. For some people, wearing less is enough. Some people even prefer to sleep in the nude especially when fewer layers don't promote the cool temperature they're after.
Unmake the Bed
If you feel sleepy but can't fall asleep, your bed may be to blame. In particular, your bedding. This is because different materials react differently to body heat.
If your mattress cover isn't made out of cotton, bamboo, or tencel, then you'll struggle to stay cool as you sleep. The best thing to do is remove it altogether so you don't get this heat close to your body.
You may also consider your mattress. There are many breathable mattresses that ensure heat isn't trapped while you sleep. Gel-infused memory foam mattresses, those made with ultra-breathable materials and cooling technology such as gel pods are some of the options out there.
Don't Drink Too Much at Dinner
While it's important to keep your body hydrated, it's not always a good idea to drink a lot before bedtime.
You want to especially avoid caffeinated drinks as that can prevent you from sleeping even when you're feeling tired. Caffeine increases your core body temperature, which will delay sleep.
It may seem like a good idea, but you'd also want to avoid ice water. When you drink cold water, your digestion and metabolism slows down. This happens by constricting blood vessels which as a result decrease hydration and your body's ability to cool off.
Keep an Ice Pack Handy
If it's a hot night, you may also keep an ice pack handy. Using an ice pack or ice cubes can keep you cool so you can get some sleep. You can place them on your neck or forehead to help the rest of your body cool.
You can also fill a hot water bottle and put it in the freezer. It may sound like a strange thing to do, but if you want to stay cool, you better get creative!
Rest Easy With Sandland Sleep
When you find yourself struggling to sleep during a heat wave or on hot nights, just remember; solutions are out there. It's important to consider things like your room temperature, your PJs, and your bedtime routine.
Sleep deprivation is a serious matter and if you want to avoid all the health issues linked to poor sleep, consider our unique all-natural sleep aids. We use natural ingredients such as all-natural hemp extract, low dose melatonin, and plant extracts to help you get deep sleep. The formula allows our products to work with your internal clock and ensure you fall asleep fast and stay asleep throughout the night.
Your body's core temperature changes according to your circadian rhythm. It shifts between roughly 96.8 and 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit. When you sleep, your core body temperature continues to drop so you stay cool as you sleep. We go through different sleep stages, and your core body temperature drops by two or three degrees before you reach the state of deep sleep. A lower temperature promotes more restful sleep.
This depends on the individual, but studies show that the optimal temperature for sleep is around 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Keeping cool is one of the biggest factors that influences the quality of your sleep. This is why it's important to create a good routine that can help you stay cool and support a good night's sleep. This includes paying attention to your room temperature, your bedding, and PJs as well as taking a hot bath or shower.
Heat therapy can help you sleep. Also known as thermotherapy, heat therapy refers to applying heat to your body. "Heat healers" help your body's thermoregulation process. Performing this kind of therapy 90 minutes before bed allows your core body temperature to rise temporarily followed by a fast decline back to the normal range. This helps kickstart your internal clock into gear. In response to the cooldown, your brain will begin producing melatonin—otherwise known as the "sleep hormone."