Summer will be here before you know it! Perhaps you are looking forward to fun vacations and lazy days on the beach. Unfortunately, though, the hottest season of the year is not all fun and games. It is important to consider how warmer weather might impact your health. In particular, you should know how temperature can affect sleep apnea. This blog post provides valuable information on that topic.
Heat Adversely Affects Sleep Quality
Researchers have found that humans tend to get lower-quality sleep when temperatures increase. Higher levels of heat and humidity can make it more difficult for you to fall asleep and interfere with your ability to spend enough time in the deeper stages of sleep.
Why do higher temperatures interfere with sleep? Part of the reason is that when you drift off to sleep, your body temperature drops. When the air around you is too hot, your body has to work harder to reach its ideal sleeping conditions.
Anyone can experience sleep difficulties during hot weather, but such issues may be even worse for individuals with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). OSA and higher temperatures can combine to create a perfect storm of conditions that rob you of sleep and leave you feeling exhausted.
What Should You Do?
The perfect sleeping temperature for most humans is 60 – 67 degrees Fahrenheit. If your house has air conditioning, try to set your thermostat somewhere in that range before you go to bed.
However, keep in mind that AC can dry out the air in your house, which can irritate your airway and worsen your sleep apnea. You might need a humidifier to enjoy both cooler temperatures and a comfortable level of humidity.
What if you do not have AC, or you want to limit your worse of electricity? Here are some helpful ideas:
- Use a fan at night. You can turn it into a makeshift air conditioner by placing a bowl of ice in front of it.
- Use cooling sheets. They are made out of fabric that is designed to draw moisture away from your body and regular your temperature.
- Choose the right mattress. Your mattress should be made out of breathable materials.
- Open your windows. You may need to install screens to keep insects outside.
Do Not Forget Your Sleep Apnea Treatment
Of course, it must be acknowledged that sleeping in a cool room will not completely stop your OSA symptoms. You should continue to use your treatment, whether it is an oral appliance or CPAP machine, as directed by your care provider. An oral appliance may be a better option in hot weather because it works without electricity and does not require the use of a mask that might be uncomfortable on a sweaty face.
Do not let summertime rob you of sleep! Use the tips in this article to enjoy the rejuvenating rest you deserve.
Meet the Practice
Dr. Mitch Conditt and the team at Fort Worth Snoring & Sleep Center proudly provide custom oral appliances to help patients cope with obstructive sleep apnea. If you would like our guidance on how you can enjoy higher-quality rest, contact our office at 817-527-8500.