Waking up in a pool of sweat isn't anyone's favorite morning scenario. If you're someone who already feels a little warm in bed, you know how difficult it is to sleep comfortably when the weather warms up.
Being a hot sleeper can make you toss and turn, making it much harder to get a good night's rest. But you don't have to simply accept a life of sleep deprivation. In fact, experts say there are some things you can do to make sure you can relax and get the sleep you need. Here are six tips for sleeping cooler on hot nights.
Eat small meals for better sleep
You might be someone who enjoys the occasional late-night dinner, but that could be a recipe for disaster. Martin Seeley, a sleep specialist and founder of Mattress Next Day, says people should “try to avoid eating large meals just before bed” if they want to feel fresher at night. Why? “Digestion can raise your body temperature while you're trying to sleep,” he explains.
Stay well hydrated
Eating is one thing, drinking water is another. According to Jabe Brown, MSc, a health specialist and founder of Melbourne Functional Medicine, staying well hydrated can “significantly affect” how cool you feel when trying to sleep on hot nights. “Our bodies are made up of around 60% water, which we use for various physiological processes, including maintaining our body temperature,” shares Brown. “Drinking plenty of water during the day ensures our bodies have the resources they need to keep our internal cooling systems running efficiently.” Of course, that doesn't mean you should be drinking a gallon of water as you prepare to go to bed for the night. Brown notes that this could encourage several trips to the bathroom during the night. “Instead, focus on staying well hydrated throughout the day and only take a few sips of water near bedtime,” he recommends.
Wear socks to improve your sleep
Most of us try to wear as little clothing as possible when we're hot. But while sleeping in socks may seem counterproductive, Jill Zwarensteyn, graduate sleep coach and editor-in-chief of Sleepadvisor.org, says the science is there to back it up. According to Zwarensteyn, your body prepares for sleep by changing its core temperature from “wake levels,” meaning low skin temperatures and a high core temperature, to “sleep levels,” meaning high skin temperatures and a low core temperature. “When the body changes these levels, vasodilation occurs. Vasodilation widens blood vessels and increases blood flow, which reduces core body temperature,” she explains. “So, if your body is unable to achieve high skin temperatures and a low core temperature due to poor circulation, your sleep onset may be affected. Therefore, wearing socks can help regulate this process and improve your ability to fall asleep.”
Elevate your legs for better circulation
According to Tony Hu, a registered pedicurist, experienced health expert and founder of Family Wellness Footcare, recommends placing a pillow under your legs to elevate them slightly while you sleep. “This can improve blood circulation, reducing heat build-up in the extremities,” he says.
Take a hot bath before bed
Like sleeping with socks on, taking a quick bath in warm water seems to warm you up. But Zwarensteyn says she also advises people to take a hot bath or shower just before bed to ensure a relaxing and refreshing night's rest. “Research shows that a hot bath or shower before bed will help lower your body temperature, helping you feel cool and fall asleep faster,” she says.
Avoid alcohol before bed
Many people opt for a nightcap before bed because they think it will help them fall asleep faster. But Niall Sherwell, a health specialist and writer for Productivity Acceleration, says that glass of wine or whisky “disrupts your body's natural thermoregulation process”, which can in turn make it harder for you to sleep. “Alcohol causes blood vessels near your skin to expand, a process known as vasodilation, which initially makes you feel warmer. However, as alcohol is metabolized, this process reverses and can cause your body temperature to drop, leading to night sweats and disturbances. sleep,” says Sherwell. “To stay cool and maintain a stable body temperature throughout the night, it's best to limit alcohol consumption before bed.”
By following these simple tips, you can dramatically improve your ability to sleep comfortably on hot nights. So don't just accept a bad night's sleep, take control of your comfort and enjoy restful sleep even when the weather is hot.
My name is Maggie and I'm a writer for thesilverink.com, a website dedicated to news, culture and lifestyle. I have always been passionate about writing and I decided to make it my profession by becoming a web editor. I work on counterpoint.info and I mainly take care of the lifestyle section. I like to share my discoveries and my favorites with the readers, whether it's about fashion, beauty, decoration or gastronomy.