Sleep cool amidst summer heat

If the weatherman forecasts hot and humid days ahead, be aware of how the temperature rise may affect sleep, especially for those who do not have air conditioning in their homes. As the temperature rises, it takes longer to fall asleep, and sleep is more likely to be disrupted.  With extended periods of heat through the summer months, those that do not have air conditioning are at risk of sleep deprivation.

In general, sleep is associated with a decline in our core body temperature.  The ideal sleeping temperature for most of us is around 18 degrees Celsius – a few degrees below room temperature.  For those that do not have air conditioning, the National Sleep Foundation has some advice on keeping cool for optimal sleep…

  • Keep your place as cool as possible! Prevent heat build-up by closing the blinds during the day, and only opening the windows if it is cooler outside than in.
  • Remember that heat rises – so if you can, try to sleep in the lowest floor of your dwelling.
  • Some people find that using a fan can help provide a more comfortable sleeping environment.
  • Water is a great cooling agent – taking a bath or shower before bed may help you to feel cooler while you are falling asleep.
  • If the heat becomes unbearable, consider asking to stay with a friend or relative who lives in a cooler dwelling. If it is just for a couple of days, they probably won’t mind.
  • If extreme heat is becoming a persistent issue for you, consider investing in a room air conditioning unit.  For all the sleep deprivation and discomfort caused by extreme heat – it is worth it!