As the summer season settles with rising temperatures and humid nights, achieving a peaceful night’s sleep can feel like a far-fetched dream. We’ve all experienced those restless nights, tossing and turning as the heat and sweat take over, often leaving us groggy and fatigued the next day. It may seem like it doesn’t matter. You’ll get better sleep in the fall, right? To achieve the overall wellness you deserve, sleep must be a priority! Contrary to how these warm temperatures can make a person feel, it is possible to get a good night’s sleep all year long.
Why is Sleep Important?
Many people don’t realize it, but sleep can be just as important as diet and exercise when it comes to your health. That’s why it’s important to prioritize your sleep and create habits that help you achieve the amount of sleep you need. Not only should you get sleep, but you want to get good sleep. Quality sleep improves both brain performance and mood, allowing for better focus and better processing throughout the day. It can also lower your risk of diseases and disorders, such as heart disease, stroke, obesity, and dementia.
Can the Summer Heat Make Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) Worse?
The simple answer is yes! Several studies have shown that increased nighttime temperature leads to insufficient sleep. During times of extreme heat and humidity, it makes it much more difficult to breathe for those with lung conditions, such as asthma, COPD, or sleep apnea.
It’s important to discuss any changes or concerns you may have with a certified sleep expert. Our physicians and sleep specialists are happy to answer any questions you may have.
Not sure if you have sleep apnea? Take our FREE Online Sleep Screening today to learn more about your risks!
Tips for Better Sleep during Summer:
- Try to create a cool and dark room to sleep in. Studies suggest that the ideal room temperature for sleeping is around 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Closing the curtains or shades will help keep both light and heat out of your living space.
- Drinking cool liquids helps keep body temperature down, especially in hot surroundings. We recommend a cool glass of water!
- Avoid exercise before bedtime. Exercise generates heat and increases body temperature, which can make it more difficult to fall or remain asleep, especially in hot weather.
- Wear comfortable clothes. Sleeping in lighter and looser clothes during warmer weather may help keep you cooler.
- Avoid eating hot or spicy foods before bed. They can increase body temperature, affecting one’s ability to go to sleep and the quality of their sleep.
Following these simple tips can make a huge difference in your nightly sleep routine, allowing your body to feel cool and comfortable while also allowing your mind an opportunity to wind down. It’s recommended to shut off any electronic devices approximately 2 hours before you want to go to sleep, as the blue light exposure often makes it difficult for individuals to fall or stay asleep.
As we’ve mentioned on the blog before, it’s best to find relaxing activities away from screens to help you wind down. This can include activities like:
- Writing in a journal
- Adult/children coloring books
- Practicing light yoga or meditation
Need some book recommendations? See below for Southern Living’s Top 10 Summer Reads for 2023:
- Summer Stage by Meg Mitchell Moore
- Romantic Comedy by Curtis Sittenfeld
- Happy Place by Emily Henry
- Late Bloomers by Deepa Varadarajan
- Once More with Feeling by Elissa Sussman
- Family Lore by Elizabeth Acevedo
- The Celebrants by Stephen Rowley
- On Fire Island by Jane L. Rosen
- Meet Me at the Lake by Carley Fortune
- Pineapple Street by Jenny Jackson
Target and Walmart have a great selection of journals, coloring books, pens, colored pencils, and more.
If you’re looking for nighttime yoga or meditation, YouTube can be a great place to learn more about these practices.
Getting quality sleep is doable! Utilize these helpful tips and be proactive in your sleep health to ensure you’re getting the most out of the time when you’re awake.