How does hot weather affect your ability to sleep?

Sleep in the heat

It is normal to get restless when the temperature doesn’t fall below 20 degrees Celsius. Every night, hours of tossing and turning become routine. Sleep in the heat becomes difficult and disturbs the next day’s productivity. It also affects memory, and you will find it difficult to focus. The value of deep sleep cannot be taken for granted. During deep sleep, the brain has time to relax as breathing and brain function slows down.

The ideal temperature of the human body is about 37 degree Celsius, and it decreases slightly at night. The body produces melatonin which helps to reduce the body temperature before sleep. The body makes melatonin when the light goes down, and the body stops making it when there is light. It works like an internal clock. That is why it is easy to sleep in winter as the temperature is low. It is essential to have an ideal sleeping environment at night. If it’s too hot, you’ll keep on changing your position. Sleep in the heat disturbs the fourth stage of sleep too.

Hot air can result in not only difficulty in sleeping but also in you waking up at night. It affects the sleep stages. There are four sleep stages, each stage of around 90 minutes. Sad to say, but the stages of sleep are particularly temperature-sensitive.

According to Christine Blume, a renowned sleep scientist at the University of Basel in Switzerland, lower temperatures support deep sleep. The body loses the ability to control body temperature when it is too warm. This not only makes it more difficult to fall asleep, but it may also result in regular nighttime waking.

Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep is a crucial phase of sleep. It contributes to healthy brain development, memory, emotional processing, and dreaming. In a study, it is found that high temperature leads to a shorter REM cycle. Over several days, a sleep-deprived course results in insomnia, which can significantly impact your mental health.

It is important to achieve a minimum benchmark of sleep for all people. For a teenager, it should be 8-10 hours of sleep. Adults and older people need 7-8 hours of sleep to function properly. Some try to make up for the lack of sleep they get during the weekdays on weekends, but it rarely works that way. Achieving a healthy lifestyle can’t be fully accomplished in a single day.

How can you sleep better in the heat?

Try to keep your room cold. You can close the window daily and keep curtains drawn to keep the air out. You can open the window in the evening for cool air because the evening usually has a lower temperature compared to any time of the day. You should sleep closer to the ground for a more rigid feel, and you can put the mattress on the ground because floors are usually cold. Reduce the number of bed linens that you typically use. It is also important to stay hydrated in summer and keep water by your bedside. Use AC in summer. If not possible, a fan is the best option. Keep your fan on to move the air around your room if you don’t have air conditioning.

Even though the heat may be holding you up at night, these basic suggestions can help put you to sleep.


Although sleeping in the heat can be difficult, there are undoubtedly some strategies you can use. The struggle to fall asleep will be lessened if you already have a good sleeping schedule. Avoid blue light screens and caffeine in the afternoon and evening. It helps the brain slow down and prepare to sleep at a time. Though it’s difficult, don’t worry that you aren’t sleeping while laying in bed. Instead of trying to fall asleep again, get up and engage in something soothing until you fall asleep.

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