Summer is officially in full swing, which means Arizonans are buckled up for triple digit temps from here on out. Sweating is inevitable for most, but it shouldn’t be part of your sleep routine. Quality sleep is essential for a healthy lifestyle, but warmer temperatures often mean restless nights. On average, adults should aim for seven to nine hours of shut-eye each night. Those who don’t, have a higher risk of developing conditions such as depression, high blood pressure, diabetes and even heart disease.
Body temperature plays a key role in sleep quality. Research shows that optimal bedroom temperature for sleeping is between 60 and 67 degrees. As night approaches, your body prepares for a restful night by gradually reducing its temperature which sends a signal to the brain that says it’s time to sleep. But, when it’s 100 degrees or more outside, it’s hard to cool down. Luckily, there are several helpful hacks that will help.
1. Freeze your sheets: Put your bed sheets and pillowcases in a plastic bag and place them in the freezer for a few hours before you go to sleep. They’ll warm up a bit while you’re making the bed, but ultimately you end up with a cool surface that will help you fall asleep easier.
2. Pamper your pulses: Apply ice packs or cold compresses to pulse points at your wrists, neck, elbows, ankles, and behind your knees. These spots release the most heat from your body and they’re also where the veins flow closest to the skin’s surface. By strategically applying ice to these areas, you access the blood and circulatory system more effectively and expedite a much needed cool down.
3. Try a cooling mattress: Cooling mattresses are designed for temperature regulation and to prevent overheating through breathable materials with features like open-cell memory foam and moisture-wicking technology. Be sure to do your research on the latest products available to meet your needs. There are several effective options such as Bio-Pur foam that allows you to sleep cool and dry year-round.
4. Chill your socks: There are specialized blood vessels in the head, hands and feet that help with temperature regulation. While a damp cloth on the forehead is a great go-to, wearing chilled socks is a game-changer. Cooling your feet lowers the overall temperature of your body.
5. Avoid the ‘meat sweats’: Instead of big, heavy meals, go for smaller, lighter dinners because they’re easier to metabolize. It takes a lot more energy for your body to break down protein than fats or carbs. Try swapping a steak for a platter of fruits and veggies.
6. Choose cotton pajamas and sheets: Cotton is a natural, breathable fabric. The pattern of cotton fiber is loose-knit and loopy which allows air to circulate in and out. Some pajamas look comfortable but are made with dense fabrics that retain body heat and trap sweat on your skin. When buying cotton sheets, consider the staple length and variation. Staple length refers to the length of fibers used in the cotton and the three variations are short, long, and extra-long. When choosing between different cottons, the longer staple types are better quality and more efficient when it comes to staying cool.
Drinking more water throughout the day can also help improve the quality of your sleep. Don’t try and compensate for a day’s worth of water right before you go to bed. Start drinking water first thing in the morning and keep consumption consistent for eight to ten hours to achieve a cool night’s sleep.
April Mayer is a sleep researcher at Amerisleep. Amerisleep has mattress store locations at SanTan Village in Gilbert, Arrowhead Towne Center in Glendale and Optima Camelview Village in Scottsdale. Amerisleep provides eco-friendly mattresses, adjustable beds, pillows, sheets, and more in order to upgrade your sleep experience.