Hot Tips: How To Beat The Heat and Get To Sleep
Hot Tips: How To Beat The Heat and Get To Sleep
By Jonathan Watkins (myza)
I think it’s fair to say that heat and sleep aren’t the very best of mates.
We’ve all been there for example – in an over-heated bedroom on a sweltering summer’s night, first removing your duvet, your bed sheets, then maybe even your sleepwear, all in an effort just to get some shut-eye.
It’s well-established that our body temperature decreases whilst asleep. So much so, that there's some research to suggest that body temperature is connected to the amount of deep sleep a person can successfully attain, and on average, those with cooler body temperatures actually acquire more deep sleep.
This preference for cooler temperatures in the evening probably derives from our circadian rhythm or biological clock. After all, much like our degree of wakefulness follows a natural pattern of highs and lows throughout a 24 hour cycle, our body temperature will do the very same, peaking in the late afternoon, and gradually declining until reaching its minimum temperature at approximately 5am.
To be clear, it’s not all about being too hot. For example, over 24°C and below 12°C have been shown to significantly contribute to more fractured, lighter rest, and our optimal temperature for sleep is in fact, 16 - 18°C.
Unfortunately, some of us struggle to reduce and regulate our body temperature, due to medical complications that inhibit our ability to adjust our temperature during pregnancy, menopause, and various thyroid disorders. But rest assured, finding a way to help reduce and regulate our optimal temperature during the night-time is still possible, and won’t require you to the break the bank.
Look at your bedtime routine.
From your preferred style of pyjamas, to your bed sheets, to the temperature of your evening bath or shower, each can significantly impact upon your ability to maintain an optimal body temperature throughout the night, and thus, enjoy high-quality rest.
Cold Shower or Hot Bath?
Now, you may prefer washing only in the morning, rather than the evening. But if you can, a relaxing, hot bath will not only allow you to garner some quality you-time, but also, aid in significantly increasing your NREM or ‘deep stage’ of sleep.
Prof. Matthew Walker for example, prominent scientist and author of the New York bestseller Why We Sleep (2017), suggests that a hot bath before bed not only relaxes you, but can also boost your NREM sleep by up to 15 percent! “When you get out of the bath, those dilated blood vessels on the surface quickly help radiate out inner heat, and your core body temperature plummets. Consequently, you fall asleep more quickly because your core is colder.”
Once you’ve left the bath, leaving your hair to dry on its own will then help further enhance the cooling effect.
Birthday Suit or Pyjamas?
Believe it or not, wearing your ‘birthday suit’ isn’t necessarily the best way to keep you cool at night. Sleepwear for example, given the right natural material, has been shown to not only reduce your body temperature, but also regulate your temperature throughout the night. Natural fibres, including linen, bamboo and cotton, are known to provide far better breathability than synthetic materials, and stabilise your body’s temperature fluctuations throughout the night.
If you find yourself without any pyjamas made from such materials however, why not have a perusal through your wardrobe? Cotton t-shirts, linen trousers – they’ll more than help keep you cool, comfortable and collected throughout the night.
And don’t forget, the same also goes for bed sheets!
Beyond sleepwear, bed sheets and mattresses, there are some small, obvious and relatively easy things you can do to support a more suitable temperature for your sleep. You could (if your your home’s security won’t be at risk of course) keep your window open during the day, or instead, open your bedroom window at least two hours before bedtime, to allow the room’s air to circulate in preparation for bedtime.
Water, Water Everywhere
Water is essential to each and every human function, and that includes sleeping and regulating your body temperature. So, make sure you’re drinking the recommended 2 litres of water per day. Yet, in order to prevent interruptions during your sleep (and numerous trips to the bathroom), make sure you have drunk enough water before entering your bedtime routine – IE. Two hours before bedtime.
Get Some Shades
Keeping your bedroom’s blinds down throughout the day will massively help to prevent your room from over-heating, by keeping the often-powerful sun rays out, and the cool in.
The electric fan may seem from a time forgotten, but it can still provide some use in this day and age, especially when you find yourself sweating in bed. Just by placing some ice cubes in a bowl and placing the bowl in the path of the fan’s airflow, will help disperse a cooling breeze throughout your bedroom. Of course, this idea is far from revolutionary. But significantly cheaper than air conditioning (and better for the environment) this shouldn’t be ignored when considering ideas to cool you down.
Don’t Forget the Basics
Whatever you do however, just make sure you add 'finding the right temperature' to your sleep To-Do list, along with getting your hands on a thermometer for your bedroom, to help you find those magic numbers, 16 - 18°C. And of course, don’t forget to switch off your all light emitting devices at least one hour before bedtime, and to resist caffeinated-beverages late in the day.
At myza, we realise that it can be a momentous struggle devoting so much time and effort to an activity that should only be associated with absolute ease and little thought.
If something needs to change however, we want to help you make that change. That’s why we devote ourselves to your high-quality sleep. Mattresses enthused with cooling gel, sleep-tech devoted to regulating your circadian rhythm, and sleepwear capable of wicking sweat and heat away from your body, our top priority is helping you sleep better, especially in the heat.
Not too hot and not cold, we all need to make sure our bodily temperature's just right for sleep.