Hereâ€™s eye-opening information: Whether you get enough sleep can affect your mood, your weight, even your heart health. Fortunately, there are things you can do to improve your chances of getting a good nightâ€™s sleep.
Summer heat and additional hours of sunlight can take a toll on our sleep quality. In fact, a recent Sleep Number survey revealed that 37 percent of people struggle to catch restorative sleep during the summer monthsâ€”more than any other season.
â€œFor example,â€ said Pete Bils, Vice President of Sleep Innovation and Research at Sleep Number, â€œin order to fall asleep, the normal sleep cycle requires our body temperature to drop, and the excess body heat we release is absorbed by our bedroom and mattress. If the room is too hot or the bedding isnâ€™t breathable, the heat will be trapped next to us â€“ making it difficult to get quality sleep.â€
Bils offers the following tips to help people get great sleep:
Excessive temperatures and humidity disrupt sleep
- The optimal sleeping temperature is 65 degrees Fahrenheit with 65 percent humidity. So use a fan or a lightweight blanket during the summer, or adjust your thermostat to maintain a more comfortable sleeping temperature.
- Body heat is released through your feet, head and hands, so keep them uncovered.
- Go to bed with damp hair. As the water evaporates, it creates a cooling effect.
Light is the most powerful influence on your sleep schedule
- The increase in daylight hours tends to delay bedtime, pushing people to get less shut-eye than they need. Use light-blocking blinds or curtains or wear an eye mask at night to help you fall asleep.
- About an hour before bed, donâ€™t expose yourself to bright lights or screens (overhead lighting, television, phone, etc.). The natural sleep process, the secretion of melatonin, begins when exposed to dim light.
Maintain constant sleep and workout schedules
- Avoid the tendency to stay up late and sleep in during vacation. Altering your sleep schedule midweek actually creates jet lag-like symptoms, which impact your motor skills, concentration, mood and health. Do your best to maintain a consistent sleep schedule, even while traveling, seven days a week.
- Donâ€™t exercise too late in the evening in order to allow enough time for the body temperature to cool down before bedtime.
- Find bedding that works for couples who canâ€™t agree on warmth. Check out Sleep Numberâ€™s exclusive In Balance bedding collection items, featuring Outlast temperature-balancing material, proven to wick moisture and draw excess heat away from the body so sleepers stay at a comfortable temperature all night long. Sleep Number utilizes the material, originally developed for NASA, in a variety of bedding products including sheets, blankets, duvets, comfort layers, mattress pads and its Innovation-series line of beds.
For additional summer-sleep tips and more information about Sleep Numberâ€™s exclusive In Balance bedding collection items, visit www.sleepnumber.com to find a Sleep Number store. (NAPSI)