Hot Weather Sleep Tips: Not Just Air Conditioning
Are you finding it hard to sleep now that it's getting hot? This summer, the Australian Bureau Of Meteorology is predicting that the weather will be significantly hotter this summer than previous years.
• The ideal bedroom temperature is between 15 C to 19 C (60 F to 67 F)
• As the humidity climbs, especially relative humidity above 50%, the body cannot cool itself during sleep
• Bedroom temperatures above 29 C (84 F) with humidity cause insomnia, and shorter sleep cycles
• Heat is the most detrimental to people with medical conditions, sleep apnea, or high body-mass-index
• Allergens, bush fires, smog, or stormy weather can further compound insomnia on a hot night
Air conditioning is good, but what else can we do?
Air conditioning has proven to be the best at reducing the relative humidity while cooling the room.
The drawback is that air conditioning consumes a lot of electricity, and most energy conservation plans recommend a night-time air conditioning setting of 24 C (75 F). There are solutions to help us gain the ideal, cool summer bedroom, while using a conservative air conditioning setting.
To increase night-time cooling comfort, or when there is no air conditioner available in the bedroom:
• Use a woollen mattress topper under a cotton fitted sheet to increase airflow around your mattress
• Enjoy a cooling gel pillow, like the Technogel Pillow range.
• Sleep on a gel mattress pad, and use a gel pillow pad
• Use a fan to circulate air around the room
• Take a cool shower before going to bed
• Use breathable natural bedding and sheets made with cotton or linen
Other options are to switch to a mattress with cooling properties such as the Dreamsense Chiro Energy Gel with a cooling gel layer, the Insignia Luxuria range featuring advanced thermoregulation or products within the Beautyrest range which include innovative air cooling technologies.
How did our ancestors sleep in hot weather before air conditioning?
Research suggests that over time our sleep patterns have changed substantially in the last 200 years.
Our ancestors used to sleep twice per night. That's right - twice per night. So, we might not be suffering from "hot weather insomnia" - we might just be human.
Two sleeps per night was a common practice. Before the advent of electricity, air conditioning and artificial light, people would typically sleep for 4 to 5 hours, wake for a few hours, and then sleep again until morning light. They would usually sleep for no longer than about 8 hours in total. Now in today's day and age, this pattern of sleeping seems impractical and it probably is, but what it does show is a pattern of 'broken' sleep and a pattern that was quite normal.
One thought - maybe, this summer it's OK to wake up in the middle of a hot night, and do something relaxing, then go back to bed. To beat the hot weather, we can place a cool towel over the back of our neck, and drink some cool water. We just have to be careful not to eat food during our waking period. Eating, especially eating sweet foods, can stop our night-time endocrine and hormone cycle. A night time snack can cause us to be restless, and to gain weight.
Get a restful sleep this summer!
Come into any Bedshed store to see the cooling mattresses, cooling pillows, and sleep solutions for hot weather.