Summer heat means more sleep problems, area doctor says
Jul 19, 2023, 8:00 PM | Updated: 9:20 pm
SALT LAKE CITY — Doctors say during the summer, people have trouble sleeping because of the heat. If you’re having sleep problems in this heat, here are some tips from a local family doctor.
Dr. Maurine Cobabe with Intermountain Health says, “this heatwave we’ve had … can really disrupt our sleep.”
“If you have it in your budget and are comfortable with it, you can always turn your thermostat down a couple of degrees just at night.”
Sleep promoting environment
Creating a sleep promoting environment starts hours before going to bed. Blackout curtains or shades can do wonders at keeping heat out of the house during the day whether or not you have air conditioning. “Keeping the house cool during the day so it’s easier for it to cool down during the night.”
To try and beat the heat, Dr. Cobabe says have a fan in your room and try adding a damp towel or bowl of water in front of it top to potentially get cooler air flowing.
“Even just getting that airflow across even if it doesn’t change the temperature of the room can improve your sleep quality,” says Dr. Cobabe.
Additionally, take a look at your bedsheets, if you are using flannel or another heavy material, try switching to something lighter.
Steps to take to get a good night’s rest
Dr. Cobabe says that overcoming these sleep problems starts with cutting off things before bed that will keep your brain awake. Refraining from, “TVs, tablets, phones, as well as alcohol use [and] caffeinated drinks late in the day” can help get the rest your body needs. “Cutting off that water intake an hour or two before bedtime can help a lot,” said Cobabe.
Eating a lighter dinner or eating dinner earlier can also help improving sleep. Dr. Cobabe says that that, “Heartburn can be a big issue but so can just trying to digest a really large meal.”
Dr. Cobabe also says you’ll also want to avoid any caffeine 6-8 hours before bed.