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It is one of the weather phenomena that has the greatest influence on our sleep: the temperature. It is enough that it is very (or even too) hot and the body can have a hard time falling asleep! Explanations from a weather and climate specialist.

Certainly, the body is able to manage its own temperature and adapts accordingly, but it is still strongly influenced by the outside temperature levels at the time of closing the eyes. Therefore, ambient air that is too warm (or too cold) can hamper our ability to find peaceful sleep.

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Woman during the heat wave

This is the case for example in heatwave period or harsh winter. When the sun goes down, the body releases melatonin, a hormone that gradually lowers body temperature by 0.5 to 1°C. Thus, if we go to bed with a body temperature of 37°C, it can reach 36.5°C at its lowest during the night, which is a favorable atmosphere for us to fall asleep peacefully.

The high heat prevents the body temperature from dropping

In contrast, temperatures that are too high impair sleep efficiency by preventing the body from losing heat appropriately in anticipation of nighttime sleep. The opposite mechanism also works: the morning cold slows down the rise in body temperature to promote wakefulness.

In hot weather, keeping your bedroom cool is the first important step to getting a peaceful night’s sleep. According to specialists, the ideal temperature for sleep would be between 18 to 21 degrees Celsius. It is therefore strongly recommended not to open your window during the day during the heat wave so as not to let the heat enter the accommodation.

You can also try installing air conditioners to regulate the temperature in the room or even adjust the intensity of the fan accordingly, to lower the temperature in the room during a sweltering evening. If you are in the middle of winter and not to abuse the heating, you can invest in a warmer bed covering.

Thunderstorms also keep body temperature from dropping

A high humidity is also detrimental to the quality of sleep. Naturally, too much humidity in the air prevents the body from cooling down, a process that helps to lower body temperature, which as we have seen is essential for sleep. This humidity can come from outside, and be linked to weather conditions, during stormy periods especially in spring or summer.

This weather phenomenon can indeed increase the humidity of the air for a few hours. On the contrary, winter is a season when the air is often drier: cold air absorbs much less humidity than warm air. For example, in a room heated between 20 and 22°C, one cubic meter of air can absorb a maximum of 20 g of water vapour, whereas it can only absorb 5 g outside when temperatures approach 0°C.

Experts have established that the best humidity level for sleep is between 30 and 50%. However, such a level of humidity is difficult to maintain and can be affected by a number of weather factors such as wind.

There are many solutions to manage the humidity level in your bedroom, but a dehumidifier seems like a good option. But beware, too low humidity is not at all recommended for sleep. Air that is too low in humidity can obstruct the process of closing your eyes, dry out your nasal passages, which is not good for sleep. In addition, the lack of humidity can cause a cough and itchy throat, increase allergies or asthma, which leads to discomfort and disturbed sleep.

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