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PHOENIX -- As the Valley nights continue to get warmer, we need to pay more attention to our sleeping habits and environment.

When we aren't cool enough, it takes longer to fall asleep and we wake up more often throughout the night. That can lead to irritability -- something none of us need as we head into months of triple digits.

"We recommend that you adjust your bedroom temperature from 67 degrees to 72 degrees because the body needs to cool down in order to initiate sleep," said Lauri Leadley of Valley Sleep Center.

In order to doze into a deep sleep and stay in a state of sleep throughout the night, Leadley offers the following tips:

• During the day, use blinds and drapes to keep out sunlight.

• Drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated. Make sure your kids are doing the same.

• Avoid hot and heavy meals too close to bedtime.

• Avoid heavy exercise close to bedtime so that your body has enough time to lower its internal temperature.

• Take a cool shower or bath before going to bed. Or, soak your hands and feet in cold water before going to bed. A tepid bath will help cool a baby's skin.

• Go to bed with damp hair.

• Wear light pajamas or nothing at all. You may also want to try clothing that wicks away moisture.

• Use bedding materials that retain less heat like buckwheat pillows or silk or satin sheets.

• Body heat is released through your feet, hands and head so keep them uncovered or try lighter covers.

• Keep ice packs by your bed to cool yourself as needed.

• Sleep in the coolest room in the house.

Sandra Haros , Reporter

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