7 Strategies for Summer Shut-Eye

Sleep is essential for weight loss. Lack of sleep increases the hormone responsible for hunger while decreasing the one that helps us feel full. But how do you get a good night’s sleep when the air is steamy and heavy long after the summer sun sets? Air-conditioning is a huge help, but not everyone has it. And many of those who do find it noisy, expensive, and environmentally unfriendly.

Don’t sweat it. Here, 7 low-tech strategies for better summer slumber.

  1. Go low. Heat rises, which means your upstairs bedroom will be hotter than your first floor, which will be even hotter than your basement. If you can’t stand the heat in your bedroom, look for a comfortable sleeping spot on a lower floor.
  2. Rethink your bed linens and pillows. Besides feeling luxurious, silk sheets – because they don’t absorb as much heat – can keep you cooler than cotton ones. Buckwheat pillows allow for air circulation, while pillows with a cooling gel core can keep the hottest part of your body, your head, cool and dry.
  3. Create a cool breeze. Put a bowl of ice in front of a fan so it will circulate cool air instead of the hot, balmy stuff that’s stifling your bedroom.
  4. Throw cold water on it. To reduce your body temperature, lightly mist your sheets with cold water (a tepid shower works the same way). Another option: Wet and wring out a cloth or T-shirt to place over your face.
  5. Draw the curtains/shades during the day. Blocking out the sun and heat during the day will make your bedroom that much cooler at night.
  6. Watch what you eat and drink at night. And we’re not just talking caffeine. Your body works harder (and thus creates more heat) to digest a heavy meal versus a lighter one. What’s more, alcohol can initially sedate you, but it tends to produce more interrupted sleep, no matter what the season is.
  7. Head outdoors. Heat can get trapped inside the confines of your home. Test the temperature outside and if it’s cooler, think about setting up camp out there. A hammock, because it allows for air flow all around your body, may be a good option. Just don’t forget the bug spray.

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