Sleeping in the heat – 6 expert tips

Summer, sun, insomnia! With the heat during the day, the temperatures also rise at night and disturb a restful sleep. In Germany, every third person sleeps badly in high summer temperatures. Discover here which tips you can use to support your sleep in summer and ensure restful nights and good sleep despite the heat.

Table of Contents

      1. Poor sleep in summer
      2. Why does heat disturb sleep?
      3. 6 tips for sleeping in the heat
      4. Conclusion

      Poor sleep in summer

      Phew, pretty hot! Especially at night, the long-awaited summer shows its downsides again, because at high temperatures restful sleep becomes a challenge for many people. The fact that we sweat profusely at night, wake up again and again or cannot fall asleep at all affects the duration and quality of our sleep and thus disrupts the important regeneration processes that make up our performance and health during the day. With a few simple tricks, however, you can quickly improve your sleeping conditions, protect your body from heat-related sleep disorders and sleep restfully again despite the heat.

      Why does heat disturb sleep?

      Our body regulates its own temperature in the evening when we are resting. The internal clock ensures that the body temperature drops slowly before sleep and we use the production of the sleep hormone melatonin, among other things, to anticipate sleep and that prepare to fall asleep. Body temperature then continues to drop during the night, reaching its lowest point between 2 and 3 a.m. before slowly rising again in the morning.

      smartsleep Schlafmagazin: Körpertemperatur im Tagesverlauf

      The generally recommended ambient temperature for a restful sleep is between 16 and 18 degrees Celsius. In summer, when outside temperatures exceed 30 degrees during the day, it is difficult to maintain a comfortable sleeping climate without air conditioning, especially in small bedrooms or attic apartments. The result: the body cannot lower its own temperature, we sweat and consequently find it difficult to rest.

      6 tips for sleeping in the heat

      #1 DAY: Protect bedroom from heat

      Oppressive heat in the bedroom is not only caused by hot air, but also by sunlight that shines through the windows during the day, heating up the room and making it difficult to cool the room at night. Therefore, make sure that your bedroom windows and doors are closed all day and that the room is kept dark with roller shutters or thick curtains.

      #2 DAY: Ventilate well and properly

      Hot, stuffy air damages the circulation and our sleep. It is coolest outside between midnight and 7 a.m. Therefore, use the night and morning hours for an extensive change of air and then close the windows when the daytime temperature rises again.

      #3 IN THE EVENING: Ensure adequate fluid intake

      Schlafen bei Hitze: Wasser trinken und ausreichend Flüssigkeit einnehmen

      The following applies, especially when it is very hot: drink a lot! If our body lacks liquid, the heat balance and exchange are disturbed and important metabolic processes slow down. In summer, heavy sweating also causes increased fluid loss at night. So try to drink plenty of fluids during the day and before you go to sleep.

      Tip: In the evening, however, avoid high-sugar, caffeinated and alcoholic beverages, as they counteract sleep. Cold drinks also support heat generation in the body and thus ensure that we sweat even more. As a nightcap before going to bed, lukewarm tea is particularly suitable.

      #4 IN THE EVENING: Take a lukewarm shower

      A lukewarm shower in the evening helps to lower your body temperature so that your body can get into its "sleeping climate" despite the heat and get in the mood for sleep. Even if a cold shower is more refreshing, you should rather avoid it. Cold water not only activates the nervous system, but also constricts the blood vessels and thus prevents your body from releasing the stored heat.

      #5 AT NIGHT: Choosing the right bedding

      Schlafen bei Hitze: Leichte, dünne oder kühlende Bettwäsche aus Seide oder Satin

      Choose bed linen and pajamas that are particularly light and breathable in summer. In hot weather, thin blankets are useful to protect against drafts and absorb sweat. Lightweight fabrics such as cotton or silk, as well as specialty underwear, can help regulate temperature by wicking heat away from the skin and absorbing sweat. By the way, you shouldn't completely do without clothing either, since sweat on the skin in combination with drafts that occur promote tension and can also lead to colds due to the body temperature dropping at night.

      #6 AT NIGHT: Maintain good sleep hygiene

      Anyone who sleeps restfully and pays attention to good sleep hygiene also prevents heat-related sleep disorders and avoids other factors having an additional negative effect on sleep. With a regular sleep-wake cycle and other basic rules for a good night's sleep, you can prepare yourself optimally for a restful night and, with our additional tips, you can also ensure a peaceful night in summer. Hir for sleep tips.

      Conclusion

      • Heat harms our sleep, as it prevents the natural drop in body temperature and disrupts the natural sleep mechanisms.

      • Protect your bedroom from hot air and sunlight during the day, for example with blinds and closed windows.

      • Air in the night and morning hours when the outside temperature is coolest.

      • Make sure you drink enough fluids during the day and before bed, preferably with lukewarm tea (avoid cold drinks!).
      • A lukewarm shower before bed cools you down and prepares you for sleep.
      • Use breathable, lightweight bedding and sleepwear to wick sweat and heat away from your body while still protecting you from drafts.
      • Observe good sleep hygiene so your sleep isn't adversely affected by other factors in addition to the heat.

      Greetings and see you soon!

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