The scorching heat presents a myriad of problems to countries across the globe. The United Kingdom, the United States, India, and China, among others, have already seen what the intense heat can cause the economy. Reports have sprung detailing how the heat affected the energy production of countries, as well as farmers’ capacity to generate ample amounts of goods for exports.
The problem is as personal as it gets, as individuals are the most impacted by the macro changes due to the heat. Consequently, more than fiscal problems, people encounter another trouble: sleeping.
The grim reality is this: the heat affects one’s sleep pattern. Sometimes, an individual wakes up drenched in sweat or does not sleep at all.
For instance, in California, the temperature reached records high of as much as 110 degrees Fahrenheit or about 43 degrees Celsius. Power grids are strained, resulting in blackouts. Moreover, wildfires become more frequent, adding to the heat in the environment. Top of all these is the cutback on Russia’s gas supply which pressures energy companies to look for alternative energy sources. Therefore, for the time being, grids are limited in the amount of power they can supply to communities.
The condition leaves many hotels and households without sufficient operating air conditioning systems. The result is massive numbers of people clamoring for colder outputs of their AC systems. In the past, a central air system was not needed in the UK because of relatively colder temperatures.
However, the increasing temperatures may change all that. According to a recent analysis by scientists, severe temperatures are expected within the region and will intensify as the years pass by. In their predictions, experts say that by 2035, heat will become the norm.
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Sleep is affected the most
The Journal of Sleep Research said that sleep is “a vital function necessary for adaptive physical and mental wellbeing.” In a journal published last Thursday, the research body revealed some tips that could help individuals cope with the heat and successfully sleep amid the scorching conditions.
According to the journal, the best room temperature where an individual can peacefully sleep is between 60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit or 15.6 to 19.4 degrees Celsius. However, with the heat waves occurring more often, how can people sleep peacefully? Studies reveal that the hotter nighttimes cause wakefulness and reduce REM (Rapid Eye Movement). These factors are vital in body repairs and refreshing every night.
Tips for Sleeping amid the heat
- Drink a lot of water. Water helps the body regulate temperature. Staying hydrated could nullify the heat in the environment. However, experts warn you not to drink water an hour or two before bed unless you want to end up in the bathroom at night.
Dr. Phyllis Zee, a neurology professor at Northwestern University in Chicago, said that eating lighter meals during the day could also help.
- Wear loose, cotton clothing. Fabrics like these are good for the free passing of wind. Avoid wearing synthetics that can trap heat.
- If it is cooler in the morning, for some reason, opening windows and other ventilation should help cool your room. Close it immediately once the temperature starts to rise.
- Close blinds and shades if the heat does not tone down.
- Stop drinking alcohol at night since it dehydrates your body and makes you prone to nighttime sweats.
- Calming activities like reading or listening to music could aid your body in relaxation and preparation for sleep.
- Take a cool shower or foot bath before bed.
“Your body temperature lowers after you leave the shower or bath as your body adapts to the cooler environment. This drop in temperature prepares your body for sleep because our body temperature has a natural circadian rhythm – the body is primed to cool down when you lay down and warm up when you get up,” said sleep specialist Dr. Raj Dasputa.
- Find ways to maintain the temperature of your bedroom below 77 degrees Fahrenheit or 25 degrees Celsius.
“There are also fairly inexpensive ice cooling fans that can be placed near the bed. If you’re unable to keep the bedroom cool, sleeping temporarily on lower floors like the basement (if there is one) will be cooler.”