Summer's just around the corner. It's a great time for barbecues, relaxing walks in the early evening and going for a swim in the lake near the chalet. In short, you're ready to enjoy the beautiful weather and sunshine after the winter! However, summer comes with a major inconvenience: heat waves. It makes the temperature and humidity in the house rise, to the point of disturbing your sleep. But now that you've landed on our guide "How to sleep well during a heat wave," sit back back relax! Polysleep, your sleep specialist, gives you below all the tips to sleep well when it's hot!
What exactly is a heat wave?
First, let's define what a heat wave is in a Canadian context. According to The Weather Network, a heat wave is a period of at least three consecutive days on which the thermometer reaches or exceeds 30 degrees Celsius. Incidentally, "heat wave" should not be confused with "extreme heat", a term used by Environment Canada. Indeed, the latter takes into account the humidex! Finally, the definition of a heat wave given here may not be the same on the rest of the planet since it is relative to the climate of the region in question. So, what is considered a heat wave on Canadian soil may not be viewed as one in parts of Africa or Asia!
What is the impact of heat on our sleep?
To answer this question, we need to know how our bodies work to fall asleep! Our body has to lower its temperature so we can sleep well. Our brain needs a temperature drop of one degree Celsius (compared to the traditional 37.5°C in the early evening) to start the sleep process. An excessively high room temperature in the bedroom, as can be the case during a heat wave, can therefore disrupt the triggering of these processes!
Similarly, a temperature that is too high while you sleep will make you wake up in the middle of the night more quickly. We have all experienced a room at 28°C in the summer where we struggled to fall asleep and then woke up full of sweat a few hours later! Besides the fact that this short period of sleep is less restorative, going back to sleep will be as difficult as initially, because of the heat. The summer can quickly turn into a nightmare at night if it's too hot!
You must therefore ensure that your room allows this decrease in your body temperature, via an adequate ambient temperature of about 19°C.
What can you do to fall asleep properly when the heat wave strikes?
Getting this temperature in winter is simple: you set your thermostat and bingo! In the summer, it can also be very simple, as long as you have air conditioning installed at home. Without the latter, it’ll be more difficult, but not impossible.
Here are a few tips:
Circulate the air in your room first to keep it cool: open the door and windows of your room and those of another room slightly, and/or invest in a fan.
In the same vein, open your windows and doors wide on a cool night, and close them again in the morning. This will cool your home considerably!
If you must get a new mattress, choose a model that promotes air circulation.
Fill a bottle with water and put it near you before going to sleep (e.g. on the nightstand). This way, you will have enough water to keep you hydrated at night!
Take a cool shower just before bedtime to refresh yourself quickly and efficiently.
Favour light pyjamas or no pyjamas at all to sleep.
Lie down in a cool place on top of your sheets.
If you have long hair, tie it at the top of your head. Your neck will be cooler, and you'll sweat much less!
Eat a light diet for easy digestion, and avoid alcohol, which dehydrates.
In conclusion: it is possible to sleep well in hot weather!
Sleeping when it's hot is no picnic. However, the few simple tips given above will help you get through the hottest nights, even without air conditioning! If, on the other hand, your mattress is not optimized to let air in, don't hesitate to learn more about our range of foam mattresses that allow maximum ventilation!
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