Why You Sleep Worse in the Summer

It’s officially summertime, and we’re already trying to beat the heat. Especially when it’s time to wind down at the end of the night. We’re flooded with memories of sticky sheets, yanking the covers on and off, and tossing and turning in hopes of finding a cool spot on the pillow.

It turns out there’s actually a scientific reason your sleep suffers when your bedroom is too warm. Your core temperature, which usually hovers around 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, drops about half of a degree at night. Heat can interfere with this natural dip in your body’s temperature, making it more difficult for you to drift off into a peaceful night’s sleep.

The good news is that there are simple steps you can take to overcome the seemingly inescapable heat without cranking the A/C. Here’s how:

Close the blinds. Immediately. Block out the sun throughout the day by shutting the blinds in your bedroom. This is a great way to help keep the heat out so your bedroom is as cool as possible when it comes time to hit the hay.

Opt for a sleeping mask. Your sleep cycle is heavily impacted by lightness and darkness. When it’s dark outside, your brain will take this as a cue that it’s time to power down. Sunlight will tell your brain it’s time to rise and shine. Try a sleeping mask to ensure you get enough hours of darkness during the long, sunshine-filled days of summer.

Unwind with a hot bath. We’re serious. As odd as it might sound, a hot bath before bed might be the trick for you when it’s warm outside. When you get out of the tub, your skin temperature will be higher than the room, so you’ll feel a bit of cool relief as your body temperature drops.

Say it with us: breathable fabrics. Stripping down is the easiest way to regulate your body temperature while you sleep. If you’re not comfortable in your birthday suit, be sure to surround yourself with light, breathable fabrics. Cotton and linen are good places to start. Avoid any fabric that will make you feel any hotter in bed.

Summer doesn’t have to come hand-in-hand with frustrating nights of lackluster sleep. These simple tips can help you beat the heat to sleep better tonight.

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