What is a good night’s sleep, and why do we need it?
Did you know that getting a good night of sleep is one of the most important things we do every day, and not getting that good night of sleep can become dangerous for yourself and others around you? Studies conducted by the CDC show that 1 out of 25 people report falling asleep while driving.
Another study shows that people that do not get the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep are at a higher risk of causing a motor vehicle accident, and this risk increases with each lost hour of sleep. Statistics Canada shows that ⅓ of Canadian men and women report not getting a refreshing night of sleep.
Driving is not the only risk associated with poor sleep. It’s also important for our health. Just like our bodies require a healthy diet and exercise, we want to ensure that it gets the appropriate amount of sleep.
Getting a healthy level of sleep helps to ensure that we are able to balance a healthy lifestyle. Studies have shown that the benefits of getting enough sleep include the following:
- maintain a healthy weight
- increase concentration
- increase focus and productivity
- maintain our heart health
- decreased risk of type 2 diabetes
- decreased risk of depression
- ability to maintain a healthy level of activity
- promotes better immune system response
- decrease our risk of inflammation
- allows us to maintain a better social and emotional wellbeing
Now, as we all know, it’s not always easy to obtain that healthy level of sleep as many factors can affect the quality and quantity of sleep we get. Coming into the summer months, it is important to know how to address these issues and help our bodies to obtain the 7-9 hours of recommended sleep.
Tips for getting your best sleep in the heat
Many factors can affect the quality and quantity of the sleep we get each night, and the temperature of our environment can impact our sleep greatly. Our optimal temperature to get our best sleep is about 18.3 degrees Celsius or 65 degrees Fahrenheit, give or take a couple of degrees. However, maintaining this regulated temperature can be a struggle with the summer heat.
Not only are the warmer temperatures uncomfortable, but our core body temperature will try to drop in the evening, allowing our bodies to produce a hormone called Melatonin that essentially helps us fall asleep. When our body temperature cannot drop, this process is interrupted and may cause us to take longer to fall asleep and stay asleep.
We have put together a list of tips and tricks to help you obtain the best sleep possible during these hotter times of the year.
- Remove or eliminate any hot air sources from the room
- Crack open a window in the evening to bring in the cooler night air
- Sleep lower to the ground if possible
- Turn on a portable or ceiling fan (set to counter-clockwise)
- Limit the amount of bedding and bedding attire
- Use cotton sheets that breathe better than rayon or polyester
- Practice good sleep habits and hygiene remember stressing about getting good sleep usually causes us to have a poorer sleep
- No napping and keep regular routines
- During the day, draw the curtains and blinds to keep the sun out
- Chill your socks and use a frozen gel-filled eye mask
- Stay hydrated while thinking about WHAT you are consuming, avoid alcohol
- Use a spritz bottle to cool your sheets and yourself
- Invest in a high-tech pillow known as a “chillow” which is designed to keep cool all night long
- Take a cold shower right before bed
- Wear a lightly soaked or frozen bandanna around your neck
If none of these tricks and tips work to help you get a better night of sleep during the heat of summer and you don’t have AC, perhaps reach out to a friend or family member that may have AC and see if you can spend a few nights with them to help you navigate the heat while getting your much-needed sleep.
The dream team at Snore MD prides themselves on providing exceptional education to their patients, and if you have any questions on how to improve your sleep hygiene, please reach out to your local office, and they would be happy to assist you.