How to Sleep Despite Heat and High Temperatures, According to Doctors

The high temperatures expected this summer may affect the sleep hours of Chileans, however, two neurologists have given their best advice on how to achieve sleep, without melting in the attempt.

You walk down the street, speeding up your pace to hide from the sun’s rays and return home soon. You finally open the door, but your house is just another oven. At least at night the thermometer should drop, right? You go to bed, only to realize that the heat He continues to hug you and, surprise! You can’t sleep because of the temperature.

THE high temperatures and sleep are definitely not good friends. This is backed by science: research published in research journal Frontiers of digital health revealed that the probabilities of sleep problems in a hot environment increase by up to 54%.

In this line, the panorama of summer In Chile, it is worrying. This 2023-2024 season is predicted to be one of the hottest in history, and “3 to 10 consecutive days with maximum temperatures above 35°C” could be recorded, according to the Center for Research and Transfer in Irrigation and Agroclimatology (CITRA) .

In addition, CITRA, which belongs to the University of Talca, added that there could be one or two days with Extreme temperatures could reach 39°C in Santiago, 40°C in Talca and 43°C in Chillán and Los Angeles.

Afterwards, Are we condemned to spend hellish nights, with heat and without electricity sleep ? All is not lost, at least two neurologists think so. who delivered to The third her best tips for falling asleep without melting.

How to sleep despite the heat and high temperatures

Why does the heat keep us from sleeping?

“The truth is that before we thought that when we slept we turned off our system and we could sleep, without anything affecting our sleep. But now we know that’s not the case. » begins to explain Alex Espinoza, neurologist at RedSalud Headache Center has LT.

The expert assures that Sleeping is an “active process” that requires a series of conditions to be able to rest well. Among them, brightness, ambient noise and of course, temperature.

This is also what Larisa Fabres, neurologist at Sleep Medicine Program at Clínica Universidad de los Andes, who adds that “Excessive ambient heat can affect sleep, causing problems falling asleep, but also waking up at night, or simply leaving us awake for several hours.”

The specialist mentions that heat affects sleep architecture, “essential to the desired feeling of restful sleep”.

That’s to say, Having a bad night due to the heat can cause a series of symptoms in people the next day. Between them, the two experts agree on these:

  1. Alterations in cognitive functions. People may feel “slower” and have difficulty retaining information. They may forget and have difficulty concentrating.
  2. Psychological and emotional problems . Having a bad night can make people more irritable. They may also be more tense and attentive to certain situations, feel discouraged, and even increase their depressive and anxiety symptoms.
  3. Gastrointestinal problems. Dr. Espinoza says that lack of sleep can also cause abdominal bloating, a feeling of fullness in the stomach, difficulty going to the bathroom and stomach pain.
How to sleep despite the heat and high temperatures

How to sleep, despite the heat and high temperatures?

Certainly It’s harder to escape the cold than the heat . However, There are a series of measures we can take to alleviate the situation, even if only slightly.

Dr. Fabres and Dr. Espinoza recommend, Depending on the budget of each home, these possible solutions to try to keep the rest room at 18 and maximum at 21°C the ideal temperature for a restful rest.

  1. Open windows and doors during the cooler hours. This way, the room will be as airy as possible.
  2. Install an air conditioner. If possible, use it for a few hours so that the temperature reaches more comfortable levels. However, do not drop below 20°C.
  3. Use a fan. This is generally a cheaper and more effective option. Dr. Espinoza also suggests hanging a bag of water and ice in front of the unit to feel the cooler breeze.
  4. Stay hydrated during the day. Dr Fabres assures that this helps to better regulate the nighttime temperature.
  5. Dress in light clothing for sleeping. Choose a breathable, cool fabric, like cotton.
  6. Choose sheets of fresh material. For example, a fleece sheet will increase the thermal sensation of warmth, so it will be preferable – like pajamas – to choose a material that is less warm, breathable and can help combat humidity.
  7. Do not shower with cold water. Although it may be refreshing, the reality is that taking a bath with a cold shower causes the body to react and generate more heat. It is best to use lukewarm water.
  8. Eat lightly in the evening (and don’t drink alcohol). Drinking alcoholic beverages and eating foods that are difficult to digest and in large quantities “can make sleep more superficial, in addition to causing more severe night sweats,” explains the neurologist.
  9. Don’t exercise close to bedtime. “ Doing sports is very good. The only advice is, please wait an hour and a half or two hours before going to bed,” says Espinoza. The body that goes to bed very quickly will not be able to regulate its temperature well.
  10. Disconnect from screens . To fall asleep, whether it’s hot or not, it’s best to leave your devices aside. “It is better to read a book or a magazine, or listen to music, because this better prepares you to face nighttime sleep,” concludes neurologist Fabres.

Source: Latercera

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