Summer is here – when the days are filled with activity and the nights are … hot and sticky. Here are some warm weather sleep tips to help you sleep well through the summer, and enjoy a deep, restorative sleep.

  • If you have air conditioning, keep the unit running on a low setting. You may think it will use less energy if you turn it off and on through the day, but the opposite is true – keep it running low and the house or apartment will stay cooler.
  • If you do not have A / C, keep the windows open for cross-ventilation and use an electric oscillating fan by the bed at night. The white noise sound may also lull you to sleep and block out street noise.
  • Sleep in 100% natural fiber sheets – they breathe and will absorb sweat and moisture on hot summer nights.
  • Wash sheets often, especially after particularly sultry nights. Clean sheets always feel better than dirty ones, and should help you relax and sleep more deeply.
  • Take a cool bath before bedtime. It will wash away the dirt and stress of the day, help cool you down and should also help you sleep better.

Wake Up to Sleep Deprivation

If you or are experiencing more serious sleep-related problems on a regular basis, it's important to know some of the more common symptoms, including.

  • Trouble falling asleep at night
  • Waking through the night
  • Chronic and / or unusually loud snoring
  • Morning headaches
  • Trouble concentrating and / or poor memory
  • Daytime sleepiness, falling sleep during the day and / or low energy
  • Bad moods and irritability
  • Increased depression

Symptoms vary between sleeping disorders, but even one can be a signaling factor that you are not receiving regular restorative sleep. It's also a good idea to examine if your lifestyle habits are contributing to and / or worsening the symptoms.

Some behavioral / lifestyle questions to ask include:

  • Are you watching TV and / or using the computer late at night and too close to your bedtime?
  • Are you consuming too much caffeine during the day?
  • Are you taking a medication that may be affecting the quality and duration of your sleep?
  • Is there something particularly stressful going on your my life that is causing you worry and anxiety?
  • Are you exercising enough to help alleviate some of that stress and tension?

See a Specialist – And be Specific

Many sleep problems can be remedied by making some common sense behavioral changes. However, if you are experiencing persistent sleep-related symptoms, such as snoring and daytime fatigue, see a qualified ear, nose and throat doctor or otolaryngologist to get diagnosed and treated properly. There are multiple options and minimally invasive techniques available today to treat your sleep disorder.

When you see a specialist, be specific about the symptoms you are experiencing. Many times, sleep apnea and other sleep disorders can be misdiagnosed as chronic fatigue, insomnia, depression, or some other non-specific condition. Some doctors, for example, still associate sleep apnea more with men than women, and are too quick to prescribe a medication, rather than do a full sleep disorder work up.