Tips to sleep better during heat waves

Sleeping woman. —Unsplash
  • The increase in the number of heat waves has led to sleep disturbances.
  • Good sleep requires a cooler temperature.
  • Higher temperatures strongly impact sleep by disrupting the body’s thermoregulation.

Among the many health problems caused by climate change, an increased number of heat waves has also resulted in sleep disturbances.

Studies have shown that heat waves are bound to increase in the years to come and will last longer.

On the other hand, studies have also shown that good sleep requires a cooler temperature and the heat can significantly affect the quality of sleep.

Researchers from the European Insomnia Network say higher temperatures “have a big impact” on sleep by disrupting the body’s thermoregulation.

Authors who have published their work in the sleep research journal also stated that some people are more vulnerable than others to being affected by these changes.

Vulnerable groups include children, the elderly and pregnant women.

Here are some tips and coping mechanisms shared by researchers for getting better sleep:

1. The ideal room temperature for good sleep is 19 degrees Celsius and the maximum should be up to 25 degrees, said corresponding author Ellemarije Altena, associate professor at the University of Bordeaux in France.

2. Replace the air conditioning with a fan.

3. Take a lukewarm shower before going to bed. A foot bath can also cool body temperature.

4. Leave all physical activities for the morning and for the relatively cooler part of the day.

5. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. This helps the body cool down at night.

6. Stay miles away from alcohol.

7. Maintain a regular and consistent sleep schedule.

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