Stay Cool! How Temperatures Can Affect Sleep Apnea

March 13, 2023
Bedroom with fan set up next to bed

Summer is just around the corner! You may be looking forward to fun vacations and long days at the beach. But the hot season is not all fun and games. You should take some time to consider how warmer weather could impact your health. Specifically, it is good to be aware of how temperatures can affect sleep apnea. This blog post contains what you need to know.

Heat Worsens Your Quality of Sleep

Research has found that humans get lower-quality sleep when temperatures skyrocket. Heat and humidity can make it more difficult to fall asleep and prevent you from spending an adequate amount of time in the deeper stages of sleep.

Part of the reason why heat is detrimental to sleep has to do with the fact that when you fall asleep, your body temperature drops. The hotter it is around you, the more difficult it is for your body to reach its optimal sleeping temperature.

For patients with sleep apnea, heat-related sleep problems are even worse than they are for the general population. Sleep apnea already makes it almost impossible to spend enough time in deep sleep. Increased temperatures can exacerbate the problem and leave you feeling exhausted.

What Should You Do?

The ideal sleeping temperature for humans is 60 – 67 degrees Fahrenheit. If you have air conditioning in your house, try to set it somewhere in that temperature range before you fall asleep. A word of caution is in order, though. Air conditioning can dry out the air, which can irritate your throat and nasal passages, thereby exacerbating your sleep apnea. You may need to use a humidifier to keep the right amount of moisture in the air.

What if you do not have AC or want to be careful about using your unit in order to save energy? Here are a few helpful suggestions:

  • Turn on a fan at night. You can create makeshift air conditioning by placing a bowl of ice in front of the fan.
  • Use cooling sheets, and do not use a blanket or comforter.
  • Sleep on a mattress that is made out of a breathable material.
  • Open your windows if it is safe to do so.

Do Not Forget Your Sleep Apnea Treatment

Of course, sleeping in a cool environment will not stop your sleep apnea symptoms entirely. You should continue to use your oral sleep appliance or CPAP machine diligently. Many patients find that an oral sleep appliance is the better option in hot weather because it runs without electricity and does not have a mask that could feel uncomfortable on a sweaty face.

Do not let summertime temperatures ruin your sleep! Use the above tips to get the high-quality rest you deserve.

Meet the Practice

Dr. Kenneth Mogell is board-certified in dental sleep medicine. He has more than a decade of experience in helping patients to find freedom from sleep apnea. If you would like to learn how he and our team may be able to serve you before the summer heat hits, contact any of our locations or call our Boca Raton office at 561-353-5252.