March is National Sleep Awareness Month. It is a time dedicated to addressing ways to alleviate sleep issues such as insomnia and sleep deprivation. Especially for those who suffer from sleep-related issues, now is an ideal time to better understand how minor changes to your sleep environment can help improve your quality of rest.
It is also the month for Daylight Saving Time which returns on Sunday, March 11. As we ‘spring forward’ one hour, seasonal changes like pollen, humidity and higher temperatures will affect overall comfort both indoors and outdoors.
With this in mind, consider an inspection of your HVAC system so that your family can rest well at night – and enjoy your home during the day – with a heating and cooling system that maintains an ideal temperature throughout the home.
Schedule your HVAC maintenance check with Vredevoogd by calling 616-828-5411.
Changing Seasons, Changing Sleep
A change in the seasons means a change in the amount of moisture or humidity in the air. The more humid it is outside, the higher the temperature everywhere. This temperature increase can make it more difficult for people to get a pleasant night’s rest because body temperature is correlated to quality of sleep.
During the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) stage of sleep, a person is most likely to dream because the brain is more active. At this time, the brain takes a break from regulating body temperature as the hypothalamus, the part of the brain that links the nervous system to the endocrine system which helps control body temperature, slows down.
That is why external conditions such as the type of clothing, how soft or firm or breathable your mattress is, and the consistent regulation of room temperature can be so important for achieving restful sleep.
Tips for Cooler Sleep
Here are a few other tips to regulate your body temperature for a better night’s sleep:
- Lower the thermostat to 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit to help your body temperature decline
- Close blinds or curtains during the daytime to block the sun’s heat
- Keep the windows closed, particularly if the outside temperature is warmer than it is indoors
- Open the windows after sundown to let the cooler air in
- Turn on the ceiling fan or place a portable fan near an open window
- Leave your bedroom door open
- Open a few windows throughout the house to freely circulate the cooler air
- Take a cool shower before bed to bring your body temperature down
- Consider sleeping downstairs because the heat will naturally rise to the upper levels of the home, making your rooms warmer
- Avoid rigorous exercise before bed because it will take longer for your body to cool down
- Apply a cool cloth to your face or body before bed or keep a water spray bottle nearby for misting
- Keep a glass of water at your bedside for a cool drink during the night