The summertime brings with it a load of unhappy sleepers, often because of the excessive heat. While some sleepers say heat affects them only once in a while, a vast majority says heat occasionally disturbs their slumber. This widespread distress can take its toll on the body; Studies have found that heat exposure affects the SWS and REM stages of sleep, while cold exposure does not. High temperatures can also increase our heart rate, creating further discomfort.

Regular discomfort from heat exposure may be more than just weather-related, so your first step should always involve talking to your doctor. Once you have covered that base, feel free to modify your sleep routine to help you cool off. We feel these tips might come in handy!

#1: Avoid alcohol and fatty evening meals

You’d be surprised how much a glass of wine at night can affect your sleep. One of alcohol’s biggest flaws is that it causes insomnia, a disorder in which a person has trouble falling and staying asleep. If you are drinking later in the day, be sure to allow your body at least 4 hours before bed so it can process it.

Additionally, making sure we eat the right foods for dinner will promote better sleep. High-fat, spicy, and sugary meals can cause indigestion and raise our body’s temperature. Make sure to have your last meal at least 3 hours prior to resting so that your stomach has time to digest.

#2: Prepare to rest by taking a bath instead of training

A warm bath or shower can aid you in transitioning towards sleep as it helps lower your body temperature and induce tiredness. Exercise may be essential towards getting good sleep, but research indicates that the body needs at least 30 to 90 minutes to cool down completely. Therefore, it’s best that showering comes before sleep instead of a workout. Other, more relaxing practices include yoga and meditation.

#3: Keep the bedroom cool

Keep your blinds and curtains closed during the day to prevent your room from burning up. A fan and, of course, an air conditioner will only help.

#4: Choose the right sheets

When it comes to bedding, breathable fabrics are a necessity. Look for materials like cotton when picking your bedsheets. Pillow protectors are an especially good investment, particularly those with a moisture-wicking outer layer.

#5: Pay attention to pajamas too

Always opt for 100% cotton pajamas and avoid synthetic fibers (ex. polyester) which can trap hot air.

#6: Don’t switch to scrolling if you wake up at night

Exposure to cell phone light will likely worsen your attempts to fall back asleep. You’ll find it much easier to sleep when your brain is in a relaxed state and not consuming heaps of digital media. Grab some water, practice deep breaths, or try any of the aforementioned tips to help get you back to sleep.