Hot Summer Nights

Share this post

We all know that sleep is one of the most important things we do for our health and well-being. From weight gain to the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, a lack of sleep can have serious consequences.

Summer’s high temperatures don’t make it any easier to you get the rest you need. The year 2016 was the hottest on record, meaning many more people had to confront the challenge of sleeping in the heat.

But there are solutions—even if you don’t have air-conditioning. Aside from cultivating good sleep habits, drink plenty of water throughout the day so you’ll be hydrated before going to sleep. Dehydration presents dangers to your health, and being well hydrated helps your body cool itself down.

The National Sleep Foundation offers some tips on how to stay a little bit cooler this summer and get a lot more rest.

Keep Your Bedroom Cool
It’s a little easier to keep a room from getting hot than to cool it off once it’s already overheated. So do what you can to keep your bedroom cool:

  • Make sure windows are covered—blinds or heavy drapes will keep out the sun. Close them in the morning and don’t open them until the evening, when temperatures are cooler.
  • Keep your windows closed during the hottest part of the day.
  • Get a fan. Some people position a tray of ice in front of the fan. Others create a cross-breeze by placing a box fan in one window so it’s blowing air out, and then opening a second window in another part of the home.
  • Heat rises. Consider making a temporary sleeping space in your basement if you have one, or on the ground floor.

Fine-Tune Pajamas and Bedding
Needless to say, summer is not the time for flannel sheets, no matter how comfy they are. Cotton sheets stay coolest. Your nightclothes (if any) should be light. People who may sweat more in hot weather—like those who have hot flashes or night sweats—might want to choose sleeping clothes made of materials that wick moisture away from the body.

What to Do Before Bed

  • Shower. Even if you typically shower in the morning, taking a cool or warm shower before retiring can help you fall asleep quicker.
  • Freeze things! Experiment with ways to cool down—freeze a damp washcloth and use it to dab your wrists and temples; rub ice or freezer packs on your sheets before getting in bed; or try freezing your pajamas before putting them on.

Emergency Measures
Many cities open cooling centers in air-conditioned buildings during heat waves. Find out where the nearest one is, especially if your health is endangered during hot spells. If your city doesn’t have a cooling center, consider asking a friend or relative with air-conditioning whether you can stay a few nights if necessary.

Sleeping outside is a possibility, but be careful to do so in a secure area and take steps to protect yourself from insects.

Extreme heat events and generally hot summers seem to be here to stay, but putting some thought into your sleep will help you feel better when it gets too darn hot.

Miriam Wolf is the editor of The FruitGuys Magazine.


Subscribe to the WEEKLY BITE

* indicates required


Recent Diet and Health articles:

This season, add joy to your life, not extra pounds.
November 9, 2017
Yoga for your neck and back
September 14, 2017
Six tips for starting a Walktober challenge at your workplace
September 5, 2017
How to go green with your fizzy water habit
August 17, 2017
How to sleep when the temperature soars
August 10, 2017
Volunteering is good for your community—and for your health
July 13, 2017
Put down that pill!
April 24, 2017
The nature-health connection and how to find it
March 23, 2017
A good self-care regimen can help you feel better faster
February 22, 2017
Resolve to turn the good things you already do into habits
December 12, 2016

More recent articles:

8 Ways to Cultivate Creativity at Work
November 21, 2017
Best-loved Thanksgiving dishes from The FruitGuys staff
November 16, 2017
Have a happy holiday season—and a debt-free New Year!
November 14, 2017
11 ways to support coworkers during the holidays
November 7, 2017
Facts and recipes to celebrate National Pomegranate Month
November 2, 2017
How to keep workplace leftovers out of the garbage
October 31, 2017
Seasonal ingredients make for hearty salads
October 26, 2017
Eight tips for surviving open enrollment
October 24, 2017
Meal prep may be the way to get your diet under control.
October 19, 2017
Create a time-off policy to reduce employee conflict
October 17, 2017

About Us

Our monthly online magazine features articles about fitness, health, food, and work, as well as recipes featuring farm-fresh fruit!