Summer sleep tips (© LPETTET/Istock.com)

Are you dreaming of a cooler sleep during the hot and humid evenings of summer?

An Ottawa infant and toddler sleep consultant says yes, the hot weather can impact everyone's sleep, but there are a few things you can do to help find the right temperature for sleeping.

"Babies, children, adults - all of us sleep better when it's cool. Actually, studies show that it's better to have your room cool for sleeping," says Erin Junker, owner of the Happy Sleep Company.

"The optimal temperature of a room for sleeping is 18C to 20C."

Temperatures have hovered around 30C during the day and 19C in the evening for the past few nights. Junker says you can take steps during the day to keep the room cool at night.

"There's different ways you can do that. I mean if you have (air conditioning) that's great. Even with AC, not everyone's AC is going to cool the room enough, depending on which room you're talking about."

Junker recommends blackout blinds, blackout shades and a fan to help keep the room cool for a good night sleep.

Erin Junker, owner of The Happy Sleep Company, shares five tips with CTVNewsOttawa.ca to help your child (and you) sleep better this summer.

Avoid direct sunlight in your child's room

Junker recommends using blackout blinds and blackout shades to keep the sun out all day long, because the room could be really humid by bedtime.

"All day long, especially depending on what way your child's room is facing, the sun might be shining directly into your child's room," said Junker.

"So, I know our daughter's room in my house is south facing, so the sun shines in all day long and then we end up with a really hot room by bed time if we haven't closed the blinds."

Junker says blackout blinds and blackout curtains can help.

"In the summer months, I would just keep those closed all day long to keep that sun out, because it's going to be really hot and uncomfortable for your child to try and fall asleep in the evening."

Cool bath before bedtime

Junker says a bath is a fantastic way to start a bedtime routine all year round. However, in the summer a cool bath can help bring your child's body temperature down a bit after a hot day.

"We're not talking about a cold bath for children of course, that wouldn't be very comfortable. Just a cooler bath than normal to sort of lower that body temperature."

Junker says a bath is perfect for a bedtime routine because "every night it signals to your child that bedtime is coming up soon."

The perfect room temperature

Junker says the optimal room temperature for sleep is 18C to 20C.  If you're unsure of the temperature in your child's room, consider getting a digital thermometer to check.

Junker recommends trying different things to keep the temperature between 18C and 20C.

"Air conditioning if you have it. Blackout blinds covered by blackout curtains during the day to keep the sun out to try and keep the temperature at 18 to 20 degrees."

While it can be tough to lower the temperature in the evening during the hot summer months, Junker recommends taking steps during the day to keep the room cool.

"Your blinds aren't going to do very much if you don't put them down until the sun is almost gone anyway. Your fan at the end of the day moving air around is just going to be moving really hot air around if you haven't done something to keep the sun out during the day," said Junker.

"So you want to do all of that during the day so by bedtime the room is nice and cool."

Don't dress too heavily for bed

Junker recommends using light, cotton sheets, and shorts and a t-shirt for pajamas rather than full-length pajamas.

"Short sleeves, shorts for sleep," Junker suggests for bedtime.

"For a baby, if your house if really warm, I would just do a diaper and a really light sleep bag. Maybe not even pajamas on some nights, on days like today that are very, very hot."

Circulate the air with a fan

If you don't have air conditioning, Junker suggests an oscillating fan for the child's room to get the air moving through the night.

"I don't recommend a fan be blowing directly on a baby or a child throughout the night."