sleep.jpegSleeping well during hot summer nights can be a daunting challenge. Between higher temperatures and humidity, many individuals find themselves battling night sweats, hot flashes, and generally feeling too hot at night, all of which can significantly disrupt sleep patterns.

At  Altoona Lung Specialists, we understand the importance of a restful night's sleep, especially during the scorching summer months. As sleep health experts, we offer treatment for sleep apnea  and conduct comprehensive sleep studies  to diagnose various sleep disorders.

If you sleep hot and want to improve your rest this summer, schedule a consultation with Altoona Lung Specialists today.

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Understanding Sleep & Warmth

As bedtime approaches, the body begins to lower its core temperature by releasing heat through the skin. This drop in core body temperature is crucial for initiating and maintaining sleep. However, the skin and core temperatures may remain elevated during hot summer nights, disrupting this natural cooling process. When the body struggles to reach the optimal lower body temperature for sleep, individuals may experience difficulty falling and staying asleep.

Consistently poor sleep due to a higher body temperature can lead to various health issues. It can result in decreased cognitive function, mood disturbances, weakened immune response, and an increased risk forchronic conditions such as hypertension and diabetes.

For those with untreated sleep apnea, the consequences can be more severe. Sleep apnea already poses significant health risks, including heart disease and stroke, and persistently poor sleep can exacerbate these conditions, making effective treatment even more critical.

At Altoona Lung Specialists, our expert team conducts thorough sleep studies to evaluate your sleep patterns and identify any disorders. With targeted treatments, we aim to help you achieve better sleep health and overall well-being.

Tip 1: Keep the Bedroom Cool

The optimal sleep temperature for most individuals is between 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit. Maintaining a cooler bedroom can help your body reach its ideal core temperature more efficiently and allow you to drift into a deep, restful sleep.

You can use air conditioning, fans, or a combination of both to create a comfortable sleep environment. Oscillating fans, which rotate to circulate air throughout the room, are especially useful in keeping you from sleeping hot.

Tip 2: Use Blackout Curtains

Sunlight can heat up your bedroom during the day, making it harder to cool down at night. By using blackout curtains or shades, you can block out sunlight and reduce the amount of heat radiating into your room. Moreover, these window coverings can also provide a darker sleeping environment, promoting better sleep quality for those who are more sensitive to light.

Tip 3: Choose the Right Bedding & Sleepwear

Choosing the right bedding is crucial for maintaining comfort during hot summer nights. Synthetic materials, like polyester, can trap body heat and cause an elevated body temperature. Instead, opt for breathable, moisture-wicking bed linens that help regulate your body heat and facilitate better temperature control. Natural fibers such as cotton, linen, and bamboo are excellent choices because they allow air to circulate freely and wick moisture away from your skin, keeping you cool and dry throughout the night.

When it comes to sleepwear, selecting lightweight and breathable fabrics is equally important. Again, consider materials like cotton, bamboo, or moisture-wicking blends specifically designed to keep you cool.

Tip 4: Stay Hydrated

Drinking enough water throughout the day is crucial for good overall health, but it is especially important in the summer. As we sweat more during hot weather, our bodies lose fluid and electrolytes, which can lead to dehydration. Dehydration can cause disruptions in sleep and make you feel more uncomfortable during the night. Be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially before bed, to stay hydrated and cool.

Tip 5: Limit Exposure to Light Before Bedtime

Exposure to light can suppress the production of melatonin, the hormone that helps regulate sleep. Light exposure from electronic devices such as smartphones and tablets can be particularly disruptive because they emit blue light, which can suppress melatonin levels for up to three hours.

Avoid using these devices at least an hour before bedtime, or consider using a blue light filter to reduce its effects. Additionally, try to keep your bedroom as dark as possible to promote melatonin production and quality sleep.

Tip 6: Take a Cool Shower or Bath Before Bed

Taking a lukewarm shower or bath before bed can be an effective way to lower your body and skin temperature, signaling to your body that it's time to sleep. When you step out of a lukewarm shower, the water evaporates off your skin, creating a cooling effect. This gradual reduction in skin temperature mimics the body's natural process of dropping its core temperature as it prepares for sleep.

Additionally, the cooling sensation from a lukewarm shower helps your body transition more smoothly into the ideal sleep condition, fostering faster sleep onset and improved overall sleep quality. 

Tip 7: Use Relaxation Techniques

Practicing relaxation techniques and mindfulness exercises can significantly improve your ability to fall asleep, even on warm nights. These methods help calm the mind and promote a state of relaxation conducive to sleep onset. Techniques such as deep breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, and guided imagery can reduce stress and anxiety, which are common barriers to falling asleep.

Mindfulness practices, such as meditation or mindful breathing, encourage you to focus on the present moment, helping to quiet racing thoughts that might keep you awake. By incorporating these relaxation techniques into your bedtime routine, you can create a more peaceful environment that supports falling asleep faster and achieving a better quality of rest.

Tip 8: Adjust Your Diet for Better Sleep

What you consume in the hours leading up to bedtime can significantly influence your sleep quality, especially during hot summer nights. Certain foods and drinks can either help you sleep cooler or hinder your body's ability to regulate its temperature.

Some foods to avoid before bed include spicy, greasy, or heavy foods, as well as alcohol. These can cause indigestion, increase body temperature, and make it more challenging to fall asleep. Instead, opt for lighter meals with plenty of fruits and veggies, which are high in water content and can help regulate your body's hydration levels.

Tip 9: Maintain a Regular Sleep Schedule

Maintaining a consistent sleep schedule is crucial for good sleep hygiene, regardless of the season. Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day helps regulate your body's internal clock, promoting better sleep quality and overall health.

During the summer months, it may be tempting to stay up later or sleep in due to longer daylight hours and more social activities. However, disruptive sleep patterns can make it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep, leading to fatigue and daytime drowsiness. Instead, aim for seven to nine hours of sleep each night and try to stick to a consistent bedtime routine, even on weekends.

Tip 10: Seek Professional Help if Needed

If you have chronic sleep issues, it's essential to seek medical help to ensure there isn't an underlying medical condition. Sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea, can be exacerbated by heat and a higher core body temperature, making it even more challenging to get a good night's rest during the summer months. 

Sleep apnea is a common disorder where breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep. Symptoms might include loud snoring, gasping for air during sleep, morning headaches, and excessive daytime sleepiness.

Altoona Lung Specialists offer comprehensive evaluations to diagnose and treat sleep disorders. Through meticulous sleep studies, their experts can pinpoint issues like sleep apnea and provide tailored treatment plans to improve your sleep. By addressing these problems, you can significantly enhance your sleep quality and overall well-being.

Sleep Better This Summer

Addressing sleep issues is crucial for maintaining overall health and well-being. Though ensuring a good night's sleep in the summer can be more challenging, with the right tools and guidance, it is achievable.

Altoona Lung Specialists are dedicated to enhancing sleep health through personalized treatment plans. Our team of experts can help you identify and address any underlying issues that may be disrupting your sleep, allowing you to get the restful and revitalizing sleep you need.

Don't let hot summer nights keep you from getting the quality rest you deserve; schedule an appointment with us today and start sleeping better this summer. 

Ready to breathe easier?  Schedule your appointment with  Altoona Lung Specialists today and take the first step towards better lung health. Our dedicated team of pulmonary experts is here to provide comprehensive care tailored to your needs.Contact us now to get started.

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