When Hilary moved from Wisconsin to Arizona, the drastic change in climate took a toll. “I explain it to people at home that it’s like stepping out into an oven,” she says. “It wasn’t bad when it was a dry heat, but during monsoon season it got humid, which is really tough.”
Since arriving in Phoenix, Hilary has noticed the heat has had a major impact on her daily life — and her sleep. “Hot weather can make it hard to get comfortable enough to fall asleep and stay asleep,” she says. “I use a light sheet and fan to keep me cool during these long summer nights.”
Research shows 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit is the ideal temperature when it comes to sleep, and extreme heat or cold can disrupt your ability to rest. According to the National Sleep Foundation, anything much lower or higher than 60 to 65 degrees that can make it harder to doze off and stay in sleep mode. That’s because your body temperature naturally decreases at bedtime to help you relax, and the cool temps ease this transition. Extremely hot temperatures make it harder to cool down and can affect rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, the stage associated with the highest brain activity. This leads to tossing, turning, and less dreaming.
Luckily, there are some simple ways to optimize your sleep, even if you’re suffering through the summer without air conditioning: