(AscendHealthy.com) – The summer heat brings opportunities for fun and relaxation, but it has its downsides. One of the biggest is the way it can affect our quality of sleep. A warm, stuffy room can result in a lot of tossing and turning, making the nights uncomfortably long.
Not everyone can afford air conditioning, but no one should have to suffer each time a heatwave hits. There are several ways we can cool ourselves off at night, and while a few may require small investments, none of these ideas will break the bank.
Make the Most of Your Fan
A fan can be helpful during hot nights — but it may do little more than move around hot air if we place it arbitrarily in the room. Restonic recommends placing the fan in an open window to direct warmer air outside or across the room to create crosswind movement. If an open window isn’t an option, putting a bowl of ice in front of the fan can help cool the air; just make sure to protect both the fan and any nearby surfaces from condensation.
Set ceiling fans to turn counterclockwise to pull warm air upward instead of back down into the room. Also, Cleveland Clinic warns that dust can build up on fan blades when they’re not in use, so make sure to keep them clean to avoid sending allergens in all directions.
Avoid Additional Heat Sources
Heat often finds its way in through unprotected windows. Use blackout curtains in the bedroom and any other area where sunlight could be affecting inside temperatures.
Hot ovens and stovetops can also add heat into the home, so consider eating more salads and wraps in place of foods that need baking, grilling or frying. Minimize use of other heat sources, such as candles, however minimal their contribution. When the house heats up, every little bit may count.
Cool Down the Bed
If fans and preventative measures aren’t enough, try replacing normal bedding with a cooling blanket. According to MedicalNewsToday, cooling mattresses or mattress pads may also help. Use cooling pillows or cooling towels for additional comfort.
Watch What You Wear
The wrong sleepwear can make a hot night all the more miserable. Loose cotton clothing is more breathable than many other fabrics, but some of us may want to take our wardrobes a step further by investing in cooling pajamas. Health.com recommends selecting fabrics made from bamboo and other wicking materials. If new pajamas aren’t an option, sleeping naked is always on the table. Just make sure those blackout curtains are in good working order if there’s a chance of flashing the neighborhood.
Reduce Your Body Temperature
Who hasn’t tossed and turned in a hot, sweaty bed? Sleep.org reminds us that our bodies are supposed to cool down in preparation for sleep, and we can find it difficult to doze off if environmental temps hinder that shift. The Better Sleep Council recommends taking a cool shower before bed to help the body cool. Sipping at ice water and keeping a spray bottle at the bedside to cool off arms and legs may also help.
The summer heat is a double-edged sword. Even though we may look forward to them, the hottest days can be pretty miserable when they also become the hottest nights. We may need to combine strategies, but we can find relief.
~Here’s to Your Healthy Ascension
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