Summer, with its long days and golden sunshine, is usually associated with fun and relaxation. However much we might enjoy warm temperatures during the day, though, it’s often another story entirely at night. If you think that it’s hard to sleep well when it’s hot outside, you’re not imagining it. A 2017 study, which analyzed 750,000 surveys from 2002 to 2011, confirmed that participants were more likely to report disrupted sleep when the temperatures rose. To understand why this is the case, it helps to know what body temperature has to do with the process of falling asleep.

Everybody’s body temperature changes throughout the day on a 24-hour cycle. In the late afternoon, your core body temperature begins to drop. This decline continues into the evening, preparing you for sleep. That lower body temperature helps you not only to get to sleep, but to stay asleep throughout the night. As morning approaches, your body temperature rises again, preparing you to be alert and active.

In order to achieve this drop in temperature, your body pushes heat to the extremities (that is, your arms and legs). Blood vessels on your skin dilate to allow heat to dissipate into the environment around you. This works best when the space around you is at a markedly lower temperature than you are, which is the reason why experts typically suggest that around 60 to 65 degrees is the right temperature for your bedroom at night.

What happens when it’s much hotter than that? Excessive ambient temperatures make it harder for your body to rid itself of heat, impeding your ability to fall asleep. On top of that, hot temperatures make it more likely that you’ll wake up more often during the night, and they reduce the amount of time you spend in deep sleep and REM sleep. These restorative stages are when your body repairs itself and processes memories. This means that both the amount and quality of sleep you get are impaired when you’re exposed to hot weather.

Knowing the significant effect that higher temperatures can have on sleep can help you take proactive steps to avoid trouble when, for example, a heat wave is predicted. Looking at ways to keep your bedroom cooler may ward off problems before they start, whether that means adding a fan or replacing an older foam mattress that “sleeps hot,” trapping heat against your body throughout the night.

IDLE Sleep’s line of luxury mattresses is designed with comfort and quality in mind. We know how significant a role temperature plays in getting the best possible sleep, which is why all of our mattresses use our IDLE Cool Support Buoyancy Foam. This state-of-the-art material combines superior pressure relief and rapid response time with efficient heat dispersal to keep you comfortable all night long. If you’re ready for a great night’s sleep, click here to discover which IDLE Sleep mattress is right for you.

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