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When you’ve barely mustered the energy to move around all the molten day, why is it so hard to sleep when it’s hot? It’s the question we were all not-so-silently uttering last night but seriously, why? Right now it feels like a physical impossibility but there are things to improve your chances of sleeping in the heat and it starts with science.
The reason behind not sleeping in the hot weather is a part chemistry, part mental barrier. Melatonin is a signaling neurohormone synthesized by the brain’s pineal gland that winds the body down, preparing it for sleep and studies show that the body’s production of melatonin is heavily impacted by seasonal changes. The body produces less melatonin, (our sleep inducing hormone) in the summer months and even more so, in very hot weather (hello heatwave). Our ancient physiology takes its cues from sunlight and core body temperature to gauge when it’s time to put the body into a state of sleep and if it’s both hot and sunny, those cues don’t resonate.
To answer those questions, we will cover the following points:
Why the whole world is sleeping less
Are melatonin supplements safe?
Sleeping pills don’t work - take a smart sleep supplement instead
Quick tips for how to sleep better in hot weather
Side effects of sleeping with air conditioning
Can’t sleep when it’s hot? Here’s the answer
Another reason to fight climate change is that it's now affecting our global sleep habits because the greatest temperature increases are at night. If you want to know how to sleep better and indeed, the bigger picture of why most of us aren’t sleeping well these days, one recent piece of scientific research makes for a seriously enlightening read. What made this study so good was it took wearable tech data from sleep tracking bands to compile over 7 million sleep records from 47,000 individuals across 68 countries and linked it to local daily meteorological data. The results showed that people were losing sleep in direct correlation with temperature increase because the hotter it was getting where they lived, the longer it was taking them to get to sleep and consequently, they were sleeping for fewer hours each night. When it comes to sleep, humans are highly sensitive to temperature change and in fact, are far better at adapting to sleeping in colder conditions than in hot. Yep, poor sleep is now a global issue.
Best not. There’s now plenty of evidence as to why you shouldn’t take melatonin supplements for sleep. Melatonin supplements, although sharing a name with the natural hormone we produce, don’t nearly measure up to the real thing. In the short-term they can work well for getting to sleep quicker but the long-term side effects of melatonin supplements are arguably not worth the health risk.
Don’t confuse sleeping deeply with sleeping well. Sleeping pills and sedatives might knock you out but they can’t create restorative sleep. By sedating your body, you’re not allowing it to pass though sufficient stages of REM; the sleep stage in which the body can regenerate and re-energise. Hence why you wake up feeling groggy and lethargic.
Far better is to take a proven sleep enhancing supplement that puts the body in the optimal state for high quality sleep. The LYMA Supplement contains an unrivalled blend of patented ingredients to accommodate restful sleep, headlining with the highest level of patented KSM-66® Ashwagandha, independently proven to send signals to the brain, whilst maintaining healthy cortisol and blood sugar levels to support the body in a restorative sleep state. The effects of this super ingredient are reinforced by affron®, HydroCurc® and Cognizin® - all engineered to be absorbed naturally by the body and promoting healthy levels of inflammation, anxiety and optimising brain function to improve both sleep onset and the quality of ensuing sleep. Most recently, the LYMA formula was updated to include Levagen+® 350mg; proven in the Journal of Sleep Science Practice, to help people fall asleep three times faster compared to placebo, improve sleep quality and help people feel refreshed when they wake up in the morning.
Blasting on the AC is the obvious solution for how to sleep in a hot room but there are also a few disadvantages of sleeping in ac. In the process of cooling, AC systems also remove the moisture content from air, which can quickly dry out skin and dehydrate the body. Air conditioning can also exacerbate allergies, asthma and other respiratory conditions. What’s more, studies show the higher the power setting, the more disturbed our sleep patterns become. However, scientists have found that the ideal temperature for sleep ranges between 16-19, so set the dial to 18 degrees celsius for your best chances for a great night’s sleep. Keep air flow from blowing directly onto your body at night, increase your water intake and make sure you get plenty of fresh air during daylight hours to combat any negative effects.
“The best advice I can give is to accept that this is totally normal and that you are not alone. Of course, if you are already a poor sleeper then the hot weather will exacerbate your issue, which can be incredibly frustrating but it is the battle with poor sleep which is really affecting you,” says Kathryn Pinkham, Insomnia Specialist and founder of The Insomnia Clinic. “Manage your worries about lack of sleep. If you can't sleep you will be ok - try to notice your worries, write them down the next day and challenge them. A few bad nights of sleep won't cause permanent damage and we are designed to cope on less sleep now and again. If you stay in bed and are frustrated, hot and bothered then you start to create an anxious connection with your bed leading to further poor sleep. Instead, focus on drinking plenty of water and doing other activities to increase your energy levels.” Getting up for a drink of water, reading a book, stretching and meditation are all viable options; whatever it takes to calm yourself into a more sleep-ready state.