What a record breaking summer here in the northwest! Though we’ve had a bit of a break this past week, GEAR UP for another spell of high 90 and 100 degree days – starting tomorrow!  Even though us Portlandians go a good chunk of the year without sun, heat like this is too much for most of us.  Especially when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep.  It can be frustratingly impossible to sleep on nights that have barely started to cool down by 9:00 pm.  And when heat comes in week-long waves, lack of sleep can really start to take a toll on balance and health. So, in preparation for this upcoming week/weekend check out these 7 tips to beat the heat at bedtime!

1. Take a cool-not-cold bath or shower

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Doing a Polar Bear Dip right before bed can actually raise your body temperature. Try tepid water instead – bath, shower, hand/food soak.

2. Remove Heavy Bedding

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This may seem obvious, but don’t forget about thick mattress pads!  Also, try making an ‘alternative sleeping spot’ closer to the floor, or on a lower level using straw or bamboo mats which don’t retain body heat.

3. Put Your Bedding in the Freezer

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That’s right.  30 minutes before bed fold it up and cool it down.  It should help keep you cooler, long enough for you to fall asleep at least!

4. Sleep in Cotton

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Though it may seem tempting to ‘strip down’, sleeping naked can actually make you more hot, as moisture gets trapped between your body and sleeping surface.  Cotton absorbs the moisture and allows for evaporation. Remember: Cotton Breathes, Silk and Nylon does Not!

5. Try the “Egyptian Method”

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Run a sheet or bath towel (large enough to cover you) under cold water and wring it out (or run it through the spin cycle on a washing machine until it’s damp). Place a dry towel or sheet on your bed underneath your body and use the damp sheet as your blanket. The damp sheet will keep you cool.

6. Sleep with an Ice Pack

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Ideal locations are: forehead, back of neck, armpits. Instead of an ice pack, make your own gel pack using a ziplock bag and a few TBSP of dish soap. It won’t freeze hard like ice but will hold the cold for longer! Slip it in a pillowcase before use.

7. Make an Ice Towel!

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Using 2 chairs, rig a towel filled with ice/icepacks in front of a high powered fan – make yo’ own AC! (Be sure to place a container under the towel to catch water)

And, if all else fails, just go buy an AC unit.

Good luck!!

 

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