Are you too hot to sleep? Is this affecting your recovery?
Summer is finally here. The days are beautiful long and warm.
The hot nights are a challenge.
Just because the sun is out, it doesn’t lessen your need for sleep.
The temperature of our surrounding environment is one of the key factors that influences sleep. Hot temperatures make it harder for the body to shed heat and cool itself. Steamy and humid nights cause people to wake more often during the night, reducing sleep efficiency.
So how is this relevant to repair and recovery?
When you sleep, your body releases growth hormone during the deeper stages of sleep.This will start to repair damage. This damage could be from injury, surgery, or even just normal exercise. Normal exercise causes your muscles to break down slightly, which may cause DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness)
The deep sleep phase creates the best environment for your body to break down and rebuild damaged muscle cells. This repair process is what actually leads to muscle growth and the way physical fitness improves over time.
But sleeping when it is hot can be a real challenge. For your sleepy hormone to be release your body does need to cool down to help induce sleep. The ideal temperature for sleep is 16-18 degrees centigrade.
So here are my top tips to help you cool down and sleep during this hot spell.
Pulling down blinds and keeping windows closed to prevent the heat building up during the day
If you can set your bedroom up in the north west side of the house. (cooler and darker)
Wear light cotton bed clothes night or even none at all
Take a warm shower or bath before bedtime. When you exit from the shower your body will cool down and so help the sleep inducing hormones.
Use a fan in your bedroom to help keep the air moving.
Get rid of your duvet from its cover and sleep under just the sheets
Drink lots of cool fluids and eat smaller, more frequent meals
Use a cool flannel to mop your brow
Invest in a silk pillowcase
Use a chillow or place your pillow in the fridge before bedtime
Think about buying cool sheets or bed wear