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Struggling to stay cool at night? Try these tips

A record-breaking heatwave is causing numerous problems for Californians, including getting a good rest at night.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California finds itself in the midst of a record-breaking heatwave and many are feeling the heat - especially when it's time to sleep.

Dangerously high low temperatures are causing problems for many across the region, especially for those who already have trouble sleeping. 

"Anything that interrupts your ability to stay or maintain your sleep or to fall asleep is going to then cause downstream effects where your energy level the next day is going to be worse," said Dr. Justin Fiala, a sleep doctor at Northwestern University. 

One of his first tips is to change your bedding to more breathe-able sheets, such as cotton or linen.

RELATED: Sacramento Weather Forecast

Dr. Phillip Gehrman of the University of Pennsylvania recommends cooling down your extremities as well. 

"Soaking your feet in cold water, that would be similar to the washcloth on the forehead, so cooling the extremity might help to draw some heat from the core and cool the body down," he said.

Both doctors warn against taking cold showers before bed, as it has been shown to actually raise internal body temperature.

A night of tossing and turning can be very frustrating, but Dr. Gehrman said that it's OK to be restless. 

"Actually, one of the best things to do is to take a break, to actually get up, get out of bed, do something relaxing," said Dr. Gehrman. "When we get stressed out, it increases our body temperature because you actually might get hotter lying there just kind of stewing about the situation."

He warns against eating spicy foods as well. 

"The raising of body temperature, as it pertains to spicy food, is a compound called capsaicin in spicy foods, which is something that will cause this kind of vasodilation effect. That's why people will get flushed in the face (and) start sweating when they're eating spicy foods," Dr. Gehrman said.

Some other tips include sleeping on your side, avoiding eating a few hours before bed and sleeping downstairs if possible.



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