In the dead heat of summer, getting a good night's sleep can be difficult. People with multiple sclerosis and other neurological disorders can be extra sensitive to heat, as it often exacerbates symptoms. Meir Kryger, M.D., director of research and education at the Gaylord Hospital of Sleep Medicine in Connecticut and Chairman of the Board at the National Sleep Foundation, offers these tips for cooling off at bedtime:
✓ Don't be afraid of the dark. In the morning, close windows and pull down shades to reduce heat from direct sunlight. This will keep the house cool for when you return in the evening.
✓ Hit the showers. A cold shower before bed might do the trick. Spraying yourself with a plant mister can also be helpful. Some people find the transition from a warm shower to room temperature an effective way to get rid of stickiness.
✓ Check your AC. Make sure your air conditioning works properly and clean the filter regularly. If you don't have an AC, ask a friend or relative with one if you can sleep over.
✓ Hydrate. Drink water continuously throughout the day. If you sweat profusely, you might need a drink with electrolytes. However, if you have a heart condition, check with you doctor before increasing your salt intake.
✓ Refresh your bed. Sleep with just a sheet and switch to bed clothes made with moisture-wicking fabric.
✓ Visit the National Sleep Foundation's Web site at sleepfoundation.org