3 Best Ways To Prevent Heat At Night
Heat is something we often want more of, but when we have it we often find it’s not as good as we’d thought! Here are answers to common questions people have about heat management.
How can I stop myself from overheating at night?
The first thing of importance is to avoid all forms of high-energy exercise before going to sleep. Your core body temperature becomes elevated through exercise and takes a number of hours to go back to normal. You ought not to eat too late, either, because that can raise your body’s temperature by at least 2°F. You need your metabolism to be stabilized and not going into overdrive to break down all the food you’ve consumed. Drinking enough fluids throughout the day is also important so that your body can maintain its core temperature. Your temperature will rise if you’re not hydrated enough, finding that its’ unable to sweat due to a lack of bodily fluid.
The second thing of importance is to invest in a decent fan, or even a few of them, so as to cope with the changing weather cycle where you live. Fans come in various shapes and sizes; tower fans allow you to cool a whole room and have a rotating base; oscillating fans can be more compact and sit snugly on your best bedside table. A ceiling fan is more of long-term investment but should last at least a decade; it has the advantage of annoying potential insects and preventing hot air congregating and permeating the room as a whole. A portable air conditioner is an even more effective remedy because it doesn’t just churn air around but expels hot air and creates cooler air. A more permanent fixture would be a window air conditioner; this would have to be properly fitted and you’d have to be comfortable with having your bedroom window partially covered by it.
Is it unhealthy to sleep in a hot room?
There are studies that are fairly recent which suggest that even a difference of 10 °F can have a detrimental effect on your health, including cognitive function, ie. the functioning of the brain the following day. It is exponentially worse for those who are overweight, are suffering from a fever, are slightly under-hydrated, have a form of heart disease, have been consuming alcohol, and the list goes on.
One strategy you can employ is to shepherd hot air out of your house, perhaps by leaving an attic window slightly open or another window open, preferably somewhere high in your house for reasons of security and convection. Actually, it’s worth leaving a window or two very slightly cracked open to encourage cross-flow in general. All electronic equipment including TV, laptop, phone should be switched off in a bid to lower the room temperature even a fraction. A single laptop can produce 50 watts of heat, excluding the fan which is there to cool the processor. Blinds ought to be firmly shut throughout the day, so as to minimize the sun from slowly heating up your whole house. Blackout curtains might help in this regard.
What is comfortable room temperature?
The optimum temperature for normal healthy living is somewhere in the region of 68–72 °F. In the summer that might go up a bit; in the winter it would stay the same. A thermostat can help to regulate your room temperature. This will be constantly monitoring the air’s temperature and activate the boiler if necessary. The human body, likewise, has it own internal thermostat and is like a fantastically well-engineered piece of equipment that can generate a significant amount of heat.
We can make that internal thermostat do less work, however, by reducing the temperature to as low as 64°F or 65°F at night. This has been scientifically proven to reduce the stress hormone cortisol the next day. Researchers have even found that patients in ICUs can be affected adversely if their hospital room is too hot. Having your room colder while asleep will make you more alert the next day. Why?
Well, your body apparently undergoes a number of changes in the night, as your systems begin to shut down. Your brain and core temperatures actually decrease; your heart rate and blood sugar also go down. If your room is too hot it inhibits this process. Some studies have suggested that insomnia can be linked to the body’s heat-regulation cycles being disrupted through having your bedroom at too high a temperature.
Overall, it is worth taking the heat seriously, because it can have a detrimental impact on sleep and health if you ignore it. There are plenty of things you can do to combat excessive heat, and you may well find that you’ll be healthier, happier, and more alert and productive as a result.
- Heat Relief – University Health Service
- Too Hot to Sleep? How to Keep Cool on Hot Summer Nights – The Sleep Council
- 40 Tips for Sleeping During a Heat Wave (When You Don’t Have AC) – Sleepapnea.org