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What more frequent heatwaves are doing to your sleep

When heat waves strike, your sleep can suffer. Sleep researchers offer tips on how to prevent high temperatures from disrupting your nights. Viv Williams has details in this episode of NewsMD's "Health Fusion."

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ROCHESTER — Do you toss and turn more when it's hot outside? With more frequent heatwaves happening across the globe, a group of researchers from the European Insomnia Network decided to study what soaring temps do to sleep quality.

The found out that when it's hot outside, it's harder for your body to thermo-regulate. And that disrupts your sleep. They have tips that can help you deal with the issue.

  • Keep your bedroom below 77 degrees Fahrenheit (66 degrees is ideal).

"Sleep is known to become more shallow and less recuperating if the room temperature is too warm. Use a fan instead of air conditioning, if possible,” says corresponding author Ellemarije Altena, Associate Professor at the University of Bordeaux, in France.

  • Take a lukewarm shower or bath before bed.
  • Drink a lot of water during the day to help cool your body at night.
  • Plan physical activities in the mornings when it's cooler outside.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol, which promotes dehydration and sleep disruptions.

The researchers note that older adults, children, pregnant women, and individuals with psychiatric conditions may be more vulnerable to sleep disruptions during heatwaves.
The study is published in the Journal of Sleep Research.

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Follow the  Health Fusion podcast on  Apple,   Spotify and  Google podcasts. For comments or other podcast episode ideas, email Viv Williams at  vwilliams@newsmd.com. Or on Twitter/Instagram/FB @vivwilliamstv.

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Opinion by Viv Williams
Viv Williams hosts the NewsMD podcast and column, "Health Fusion." She is an Emmy (and other) award-winning health and medical reporter whose stories have run on TV, digital and newspaper outlets nationwide. Viv is passionate about boosting people's health and happiness by helping them access credible, reliable and research-based health information from top experts. She regularly interviews experts and patients from leading medical institutions, such as Mayo Clinic.
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