During the summer, as temperatures rise and days become longer, it can be challenging to sleep well. Factors such as the presence of mosquitoes, increased noise from open windows, and the overall heat make it difficult to achieve restful sleep. 

However, sleep plays a vital role in our health and quality of life. Getting enough quality sleep is crucial for our physical and mental well-being, impacting productivity, decision-making abilities, and mood.

Does sleeping with air conditioning help or hinder sleep quality? How can we ensure a good night’s sleep despite the heat? 

Sleep and Heat: Useful Tips

In summer, as in all seasons, the key to good sleep lies in adopting a healthy lifestyle. This becomes even more important during the summer months when the risk of poor sleep increases due to the heat and changes in routines, especially during holidays. 

Here are some helpful tips to achieve better sleep:

  • Opt for a light dinner, especially during summer, to prevent going to bed feeling hot. Avoid heavy foods that can strain the stomach and generate unnecessary heat. Instead, include foods rich in tryptophan, minerals, and vitamins (A, D, B1), such as Fruits (particularly bananas, apples, peaches, apricots) and dried fruits. Brown rice, leafy vegetables like cabbage, radicchio, and savoy cabbage. Also, fish and turkey.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water to replenish fluids lost through sweating. However, be cautious about what you drink. While water is recommended, avoid alcohol, caffeine, energy drinks, and chocolate in the evening.
  • Taking a lukewarm or cool shower before bed can help lower your body temperature and prepare you for sleep.
  • Use cotton or linen sheets and wear comfortable pajamas made of the same fabrics. Avoid synthetic materials. Additionally, avoid sleeping undressed to prevent feeling cold in the early morning hours and disrupting sleep.
  • Find ways to relax before bed and, if possible, open your legs and arms to dissipate body heat.

General Tips for Quality Sleep:

  • Establish a regular sleep schedule, going to bed and waking up at the same time every day.
  • Limit daytime napping to no more than 45 minutes.
  • Avoid exercising right before bedtime.
  • Ensure your bed is comfortable, the room is well-ventilated, and the temperature is suitable. During the day, if your bedroom is exposed to the sun, consider closing blinds, shutters, and windows. Curtains can also help block out sunlight. When the room is shaded, open the windows wide to allow for ventilation.
  • Keep the room as dark and quiet as possible.
  • Avoid using electronic devices like PCs, smartphones, and tablets in bed, as the emitted light can interfere with falling asleep and delay sleep onset.

Air Conditioning at Night: On or Off?

To achieve an ideal bedroom climate, consider using the air conditioner in “dehumidifier” mode or using a fan. The recommended room temperature should range from 20°C to 21°C. 

However, if the heat is unbearable and negatively impacts sleep, using the air conditioner can be helpful. Keep in mind that air conditioning may contribute to coughs, colds, and bronchial conditions, posing an additional challenge for sleep.