I read that temperatures above 75 degrees can make it difficult to sleep at night . . . at least that is what the gurus at the National Sleep Foundation say. When temperatures are above that mark on the ol’ thermometer, it takes longer to fall asleep, and once you are asleep you don’t sleep as long, and that means you miss out on the deep and restorative sleep necessary for a happy, healthy life. Well, it is summer . . . temperatures are abnormal and well above 75 degrees . . . we have no air conditioning and, I am not sleeping a wink! Ah, the joys of summer and being cheap!
For the past two summers, Montana has been above normal in its seasonal temperatures . . . especially in the summer. We have been averaging about ten to twenty degrees above normal . . . it is hot. How hot is it? Well, it is hot enough that business and restaurants are posting signs on their walls that say, “No shirt, no pants, no problem.” It is so hot that I saw two trees fighting over a dog. Yeah, it is hot and hot makes it difficult to sleep at night.
Here it is, past my bedtime, and I am still up. I couldn’t sleep . . . too hot. Part of it is my nature . . . I have a difficult time falling to sleep at night. I am jealous of the wife . . . she has no difficulty falling to sleep each night. Usually I seethe as I listen to her gently snore each night while I sit there blasting sheep with a shotgun. Of course, I might fall asleep quicker if I wasn’t blasting sleep with a shotgun. Then, add summer and its heat to the equation, I don’t sleep. So, I am lamenting. But lamenting gets a person nowhere. Not wanting to lay awake for another two hours or more, I decided to get my butt out of bed, surf the Internet, and see if there were some words of advice at beating the summer heat and sleeping.
I think you can find just about everything and anything you want on the Internet . . . summer sleep advice was easily found. Seems I am not the only one who dreads the short, sleepless nights of summer! There was some actual advice on how to try and get a good night’s sleep in the summer. MSN Healthy Living offered this advice:
---Sip icy cold milk or tea before bed. First of all, ever since they came up with different degrees of milk . . . warnings about drinking whole milk . . . there is not a whole lot of milk in our refrigerator. What my wife calls milk, I call dirty water. And, tea! Tea has caffeine . . . caffeine keeps people up . . . cold or not, it keeps people up. Besides, if I drink anything before going to bed—at my age, anyways, means a trip to the bathroom around one or two in the morning. The idea is that the coolness of the drink lowers the core body temperature making it easier to sleep. I wish I had thought of that while I was taking that pre-morning potty break!
--- Ditch the blankets on the bed . . . sleep only on cotton sheets . . and, use a terry cloth towel to absorb your sweat. Ha! According to my wife—no matter what time of the year—a bed is not a bed unless it has sheets, a blanket, and comforter on it. It does not matter what time of the year it is, a bed is not a bed without those three things. Needless to say, I attempt to sleep on top of them all. It ain’t working out too well.
---Sleep naked. Clothes trap heat . . . heat causes sweat . . . sweat causes discomfort . . . discomfort causes restlessness . . . restlessness causes sleeplessness. The cure? Sleep naked. Scary thought, but it would be helpful when I have to get up in the middle of the night to relieve myself after drinking cold milk or tea.
---Change your schedule. Take a mid-day siesta. It seems that this idea comes from Europe. Peasants used to hap during the hottest part of the day in summer, then continue working late into the evening while there was still light. I guess these people never worked for the state . . . besides, I don’t have a job that allows me to work leaning against a shovel.
--- Sleep in a different spot. The suggestion is that you change the place where you sleep. For example, sleep on the floor. Heat rises, the coolest air is on the floor. It has been a long, long time since I slept on the floor . . . the wife won’t let me drink that much anymore. If that were to happen I’d probably be sleeping in the dog house. But, hey! It might be cooler than our house.
I am not sure who comes up with this advice, but I guess they have all of our good intentions in mind. Nothing seems to work . . . I have watched reruns of Oprah and I still cannot find sleep. I have tried to go to bed before the wife, but I am a worry wart and worry about people until they go to bed. I have tried everything, but nothing works. I have come to accept my plight in life . . . sleep is a pain in the ol’ . . . well, you get the picture. In the meantime . . . I sweat and remember . . . remember when I could sleep at the drop of a dime. A dime don’t work anymore . . . anyone got a fifty? The temperature is above 75!