How to Stay Cool and Sleep Well on Hot Summer Nights
By David Volpi
Summer is here - when the days are filled with activity and the nights are... hot and sticky. Here are some warm weather sleep tips to help you sleep well through the summer, and enjoy a deep, restorative sleep.
- If you have air conditioning, keep the unit running on a low setting. You may think it will use less energy if you turn it off and on throughout the day, but the opposite is true - keep it running low and the house or apartment will stay cooler.
- If you don't have A/C, keep the windows open for cross-ventilation and use an electric oscillating fan by the bed at night. The white noise sound may also lull you to sleep and block out street noise.
- Sleep in 100% natural fiber sheets - they breathe and will absorb sweat and moisture on hot summer nights.
- Wash sheets often, especially after particularly sultry nights. Clean sheets always feel better than dirty ones, and should help you relax and sleep more deeply.
- Take a cool bath before bedtime. It will wash away the dirt and stress of the day, help cool you down and should also help you sleep better.
Wake Up to Sleep Deprivation
If you or are experiencing more serious sleep-related problems on a regular basis, it's important to know some of the more common symptoms, including.
- Trouble falling asleep at night
- Waking throughout the night
- Chronic and/or unusually loud snoring
- Morning headaches
- Trouble concentrating and/or poor memory
- Daytime sleepiness, falling asleep during the day and/or low energy
- Bad moods and irritability
- Increased depression
Symptoms vary between sleeping disorders, but even one can be a signifying factor that you are not receiving regular restorative sleep. It's also a good idea to examine if your lifestyle habits are contributing to and/or worsening the symptoms.
Some behavioral/lifestyle questions to ask include:
- Are you watching TV and/or using the computer late at night and too close to your bedtime?
- Are you consuming too much caffeine during the day?
- Are you taking a medication that may be affecting the quality and duration of your sleep?
- Is there something particularly stressful going on your my life that is causing you worry and anxiety?
- Are you exercising enough to help alleviate some of that stress and tension?
See a Specialist - And be Specific
Many sleep problems can be remedied by making some common sense behavioral changes. However, if you are experiencing persistent sleep-related symptoms, such as snoring and daytime fatigue, see a qualified ear, nose and throat doctor or otolaryngologist to get diagnosed and treated properly. There are multiple options and minimally invasive techniques available today to treat your sleep disorder.
When you see a specialist, be specific about the symptoms you are experiencing. Many times, sleep apnea and other sleep disorders can be misdiagnosed as chronic fatigue, insomnia, depression, or some other non-specific condition. Some doctors, for example, still associate sleep apnea more with men than women, and are too quick to prescribe a medication, rather than do a full sleep disorder work up.
David Volpi, M.D., P.C., F.A.C.S. is a board-certified otolaryngology surgeon with Ear, Nose and Throat practices, Otolaryngology Associates, on the Upper West Side and Upper East Side and is a staff member of the best teaching hospitals New York City. David Volpi, M.D. realized that there is a lack of information on the part of the public about the potential severity of snoring. With the need for accurate information, diagnosis and treatment so necessary, he founded Eos Sleep, formerly Manhattan Snoring and Sleep Center to be a place where snoring patients can go for total, expert treatment -- and he created this site to be a thorough information resource for the education of snoring sufferers throughout the world.
For more information, visit http://www.eossleep.com.
Best ways to get to sleep on a hot nightAuthor: Paul Davies
In the UK we're not used to the sweltering heat experienced by those living in hotter climates so being too hot while we sleep is not usually a problem but with some spates of hot weather over the last few weeks and more set for the summer months, it's worth keeping a few tips for a cool night's sleep under your night cap. Let's start with the most obvious one, open your window; this will allow any cool air or breeze from outside into the room, keeping you as cool as possible.
Some people are uncomfortable with the notion of sleeping with the window open, especially if they live on the ground floor so if this is you, why not consider having a guard or restricter fitted? The next thing to do is sleep with the bedroom door open, this allows are to circulate more freely and not become warm and stagnant too quickly. As well as keeping you a lot cooler, the fresher supply of oxygen than you would have if the door was left shut will make for a more restful and satisfying night's sleep.
Turn off and unplug any electrical equipment or lighting as electrical energy produces heat which can build up and raise the temperature of the room very slightly; the same goes for radios, CD players and MP3 players. The right type of bedding can make a huge difference to your sleeping temperature, steer clear of sheets, pillow cases and duvet covers made from manmade fabrics and instead choose 100 per cent cotton, silk or linen. These might cost a little bit more but they should last longer, wear better and most importantly will allow your skin to breathe while you're asleep, keeping your body at a regulated temperature.
The same principle applies when it comes to choosing mattresses, mattress protectors, duvets and pillows as these are available in such a wide range of materials and fillings. Stick to natural fibres such as feather and down when it comes to buying a duvet and look for the toggle which will tell you the thickness and density of the duvet and what season it is suitable for. Buying duvets that can be used separately or clipped together in colder weather are a great idea and can be a good space saver too.
As for mattresses, try to avoid cheap and fully synthetic mattresses that won't allow good circulation of air and will therefore cause you to perspire when you get too hot, cotton toppers for mattresses can be a great way to minimise this and keep you cool throughout the night.