When the air temperature rises above 20 degrees, it can be difficult to sleep. Hot nights increase body temperature and overload the cardiovascular system. A Finnish sleep specialist provides advice on how to improve sleep.
Anu Muraja-Murro – Head of the Finnish Somnology Society, specialist in clinical neurophysiology and somnology, specialist at the University Hospital of Kuopio. She says that sleep disturbance in the heat is a common phenomenon.
If the thermometer stays above 20 ° C during the night, the comfort of the night’s rest is impaired, says the somnologist:
“The heat disturbs our sleep, and therefore it gives us less energy. The heart has to pump more blood to the skin and limbs to increase heat transfer and cool the body. The body is a little overstrained, this is what spoils the quality of sleep. “
In addition, according to the doctor, nighttime awakenings due to heat disrupt the natural biorhythms of sleep:
“The heat disrupts the structure of sleep, and the cycles go astray. On a normal night, first a light sleep occurs, then a deep sleep, and later a fast phase begins. These sleep phases are repeated cyclically. “
Morning fatigue, so familiar to many, is primarily associated with a violation of biorhythms. Not so long ago, doctors were sure that during sleep, the body and the whole body rest. Muraya-Murro explains:
“Now this opinion has changed. It has been proven that active cleansing occurs in the brain during sleep. The body directs cerebrospinal fluid to the brain and the lymphatic system literally empties it. This system removes excess substances from the brain during the deep phase of sleep. “
In case of violation of the deep phase, as well as in its absence, such cleansing does not occur, “therefore, the next morning we feel overwhelmed.”
The somnologist gave 5 main recommendations that will help improve the quality of sleep in the heat. Perhaps you are already following some of them, while others will be useful in the coming period of unbearable heat:
The curtains drawn during the day will provide coolness in the bedroom, when the sun mercilessly heats all the surfaces available to it. It’s time to use an air conditioner or fan, using a timer to turn them off in the morning. Spicy foods, excessive physical activity and active sports increase the body temperature, give them up before bed. A cool shower will pleasantly refresh before bed and help you sleep better. Cotton bedding is ideal. It perfectly absorbs moisture and leaves the skin feeling cool. …