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The perfect night’s sleep is an elusive goal. It seems like as soon as you lie down on the bed, your brain shifts into overdrive. It wants to remember every single one of your life’s most embarrassing moments.
It’s either that or it starts remembering everything you WERE going to do today, and didn’t. Even if you have the mental self-discipline to avoid these roadblocks to slumber, other triggers can mess with your senses and rob you of your sleep.
This scenario is especially true in the summer, when all of the above is exacerbated the heat. Today, we address that. Below are some pointers on how to use room temperature control for better sleep.
1. Bed Linens and Clothing
Some people actually put their sheets and blankets in the freezer for a few hours before bedtime. They make their bed that night, and the bed linens stay cool for almost an hour.
This is , more often than not, enough time to get to sleep.
You also may want to reevaluate your pajamas. Are they too thick? Do they twist around you, restricting movement?
While some people prefer to sleep in the buff during the hot summer months, others like to have a thin layer of cotton pajamas against their bodies to wick away any moisture. Try sleeping both ways to see if you are comfortable enough to drift off.
Re-think your bed covers
Some people feel like they need a lot of weight on top of them in order to fall asleep. This is more common with people who have Restless Leg Syndrome or a similar affliction that affects sleep.
Do you have a pillow-top mattress?
It may be holding in your body heat, making you hotter and hotter as the night progresses. It may be time to try a different mattress topper to reduce heat retention.
Cooling Mattress Pads
These are usually available as mattress toppers, and can be made of a variety of materials.
Do you have a memory foam mattress that seems too hot at night?
Look for a gel-infused memory foam mattress pad. You will have the comfort of memory foam, but the gel infusion will draw heat away from your body and disperse it throughout the pad.
Open cell foam is another excellent solution
This type of topper creates airflow, which cools the bed. If you do not have an allergy to latex, then a latex topper may be the best choice. Latex foam is generally less likely to overheat than other types of foam.
Down feather cooling pads
Believe it or not, down is another good choice for cooling mattress pads. The feathers can be fluffed and the shaft of the feathers or down wick heat away from the body and disburse it through the individual hairs of the feather. (Or whatever those “feathery” things are called.)
The density of the cooling mattress pad can affect its cooling abilities. Denser foam provides better support, but may retain heat more. Look for one with channels or vents to draw heat away.
The cover of your topper should be high quality enough to be comfortable and provide plenty of airflow.
2. Hydrate Yourself
Ok, I can hear it now, “If I drink water at night, I’ll have to get up and go to the bathroom.”
Well, that’s true. But honestly, it can help you get off to sleep faster than you ever thought. It’s also better for your heart – the vast majority of heart attacks occur during the wee hours of the morning or right after you get up. Remaining hydrated makes a significant difference, improving your circulation and reducing chances of heart attack.
Impose an alcohol curfew
The flip-side of “drinking before bedtime” is alcohol. It may help you drift off more quickly, but you are more likely to awaken abruptly and be unable to go back to sleep. Part of the reason for this is that alcohol is a diuretic – so, YOU’LL GO TO THE BATHROOM ANYWAY! Drink water instead, and you’ll avoid dehydration and sleep better.
3. Air Circulation and Windows
Air circulation can be a crucial element to controlling your room temperature. Maybe you want to sleep with the windows open. That can be great, but if there is environmental noise, it can be over-stimulating.
You might open the windows during the cooling evening hours, but close them at bedtime. The ambient temperature outside will affect your bedroom and make it too hot.
Circulate the air with a ceiling fan, if possible
Ceiling fans use less electricity than oscillating fans. If you can’t sleep with a fan blowing on you, set an oscillating one up in the corner. You can set it to low in one direction. Set it to blow toward the door, and leave the door open.
This will keep the air circulating in the bedroom and keep it from getting that suffocating feeling of stagnant air.
To sum it up
A good night’s sleep is crucial to physical and mental health, and the temperature of your room is a paramount factor in getting one
Try some of these tricks tonight, and see how it goes.