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Sound Summer Sleep with MS

By Matt Cavallo
sleep-1209288_1920.jpgThe relationship between MS and heat has been well established going back to the 1800s. Strategies for staying cool in the summer usually revolve around the heat of the day. However, the heat of the summer does not relent when the sun goes down. 

When I was living back east, there was nothing worse than those warm, sticky nights. No matter how I tossed and turned, I could never get comfortable in the humidity. Even out west with the central AC, the house still doesn’t cool down to a comfortable level for me. Looking back, I don’t think I’ve had a good night since the calendar turned to June. 

The way you sleep at night has a big effect on what happens during the day. Not enough sleep can affect every aspect of life from the way you feel physically to the way you perform mentally. From brain fog to irritability, lack of sleep takes a toll. The problem during the summer is that you can never catch up on sleep because of the excessive heat.

One of the best ways to make it through the summer heat is to find night time cooling strategies to ensure a good night’s sleep.
  • Cooling Sheets – If you feel that you are sweating at night and unable to get comfortable, some sheets are engineered to help you stay cooler. Some sheets wick moisture away like workout clothes. These sheets can be found by doing a Google search for “cooling sheets.”
  • Cooling Pillow – Much like sheets, there are pillows engineered to stay cool at night. If your pillow gets too warm, you can always flip it. Search Google for “cooling pillows” to see if there is one that would be an upgrade to the pillow you currently use now.  
  • Cold Shower – A cold shower before bed brings down your core temperature making you feel cool and relaxed right before you go to sleep.
  • Sleep like an Egyptian – Ancient Egyptians would sleep with a lightly damped sheet. As the water evaporated, they would stay cooler. A modern technique is to put your sheet in the freezer 30 minutes before bed time. While the sheet won’t stay cool the entire night, it does stay cool while you are trying to fall asleep. 
  • Ventilation – This can be accomplished by opening windows, positioning fans on opposite sides of the bed to set up a cross-sectional breeze and putting a bowl of ice cubes in front of the fan. The more the air moves the cooler you will be.
  • Upgrade mattresses – This is probably the most expensive option, but when was the last time you looked into a new mattress? Many mattresses today offer cooling technology that draws heat away from your body as you sleep.
  • Frozen water bottle – Freeze a water bottle and keep it at your feet. You will be cool to the core in no time.

Just like during the day, the heat at night has to be managed to get a good night’s sleep. Luckily, there are many cooling techniques and products available to help you stay cool. Finding the right combination of cooling sleep techniques can make all the difference on those hot summer nights.