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Tips on how to sleep in hot weather and 3 things to avoid

WATCH: Calgary doesn’t get a lot of sweltering nights, so not everyone is keen to invest in an Air Conditioner. The good news is there are other tips and tricks you can try, but finding one that works is tricky. Heather Yourex reports.

CALGARY – If you find yourself sleepless in the summer, specialists say you’re not alone. According to the medical director for the Centre of Sleep and Human Performance, heat is a leading cause of sleep disruption.

“To sleep normally, heat is a major factor,” said Dr. Charles Samuels. “So as the temperature goes up in the summer months, many struggle to get a good night’s sleep.”

Fans and air conditioning units are an obvious solution, but for those not willing or able to make that big purchase, Dr. Samuels has a few other suggestions.

“The number one thing to do is on hot days, in the morning, is pull the shades on all the windows, close all the doors and try to trap all the cooling that’s occurred over night.”

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Bringing your body’s core temperature down before hitting the sack can also help you get to sleep. Samuels recommends a cool bath or shower before bed, or spending some time outside in the cool breeze.

READ MORE: All-time summer peak record set for electricity in Alberta during heat wave

His other tips include using natural fibre sheets like cotton, wearing thin, loose clothing to bed, avoiding heavy foods in the evening, sleeping in the basement if you can and if you’re really struggling–consider sleeping alone.

“If your partner usually sleeps hot, it’s going to definitely affect your ability to sleep comfortably.”

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The Internet offers many other tips and tricks when it comes to summer slumber, but Dr. Samuels warns not every piece of advice will actually help. For example, he says putting your sheets in the freezer, sleeping with a wet towel or wet sheets, or even bringing an ice pack to bed will likely do more harm than good.

“I think those things are actually sleep disturbers, so putting extra things in your bed to cool it down doesn’t make sense.”

Sleep in the heat infographic