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Is it hard for you to fall asleep in the summer heat? (image via flickr)

Arizonians can take the heat.  From the bright desert sun to the triple-digit degrees, we can handle whatever Mother Nature sends our way.  But even we sometimes have trouble getting the sleep we need when the temps stay up after the sun goes down.  Getting the right amount of sleep is as critical to maintaining your health as staying hydrated.  To help you make it through the final stretch of summer, here are 7 ways to beat the heat and get some sleep.

 

1.     Get Some Air

One key to sleeping through the heat is air flow.  If the air around you isn’t moving, you won’t get the cooling effect of the air traveling over your skin.  Make sure fans and air conditioners are not only cooling the air, but moving it where you need it to go to get to sleep.

 

2.     Use Sun Block

During the day, keep curtains, blinds, and windows closed.  This will help keep the sun from warming the air inside the room and making it hotter.  Blocking out the sun means you won’t have to cool the air down as much to make it comfortable for sleeping.

 

3.     Get on the Floor

Because heat rises, sometimes the most comfortable place to sleep is on the floor.  If you have consistent issues getting a good night sleep because your room is too hot, invest in an air mattress, head downstairs, and snuggle-up slumber party style.

 

4.     Chill Out

One of the challenges we experience when trying to sleep when it’s hot out is that our body is getting mixed signals.  When it is time to sleep, our body temperature begins to drop.  If the temperature is high and our body stays too warm, sleep may be elusive.  Combat this by taking a cool shower, going for a swim, or doing some other activity that will help bring your body’s core temp down.

 

5.     Skip the Cocktail

Alcohol by itself can disrupt sleep.  Even if it makes you drowsy, it won’t help you get the sleep you need as alcohol can contribute to restless sleep.  In addition, alcohol can leave you dehydrated which only contributes to sleep challenges.

 

6.     Workout When You Wake-up

Working out raises your body’s core temperature, which, as outlined above, can override your body’s natural signal that it’s time to head to bed.  Working out later in the day can make it difficult to fall asleep.  Work out in the morning and you can get the benefits of exercise without sacrificing your sleep.

 

7.     Supercharge Your Fan

If you are relying on a fan to cool things down and it just isn’t doing what you need it to, try placing a pan full of ice cubes or several ice packs in front of the fan.  This will help cool the air directly in front of the fan, increasing the fan’s ability to cool you down and help you get to sleep.

 

 

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