When it’s hot and sticky most people find it difficult to sleep. That’s a problem when sleep is proven to be both physically and mentally beneficial. Even Joseph Pilates thought sleep was imperative. He also believed we didn’t get a very good night’s sleep because mattresses were poorly designed.

Pilates designed a mattress in the shape of a V. He thought this was the best position for sleeping. If you’re having trouble picturing it, the center of the mattress sunk down like the base of a V and the sides were elevated, like the two top points of the letter V. Look at the letter V on the screen. That would be a view of a Pilates mattress from the foot of the bed, not a bird’s eye view.

Since the Pilates’ bed never took off, we are stuck with our air, water, foam, or regular spring coil beds. So what can we do to keep comfortable? It is easier to sleep when it’s cool, so try and keep the room at a lower temperature. If you don’t have air conditioning, try this trick. Close all the windows in the house, except the ones in the bedroom. In another room, ideally, across the hall take a large fan and place it in a window. Turn the fan out, so it pulls the air from inside the house out. This will create a nice breeze through the bedroom. That’s what we do and it has proven effective even in the past few steamy nights.

Light can also disrupt sleep, so make sure it’s as dark as you can get it. You may find investing in thick blinds, shades, or curtains are worthwhile. It might help you sleep deeper, especially if you have street lights outside your window. Some people even suggest turning the light on the alarm clock away, but if I wake up in the middle of the night, I like to know what time it is.

While it’s hard to make time in our busy lives, experts suggest making down time before bed. Watching television or working on the computer can wake the brain up and make it difficult to sleep. Warm baths and reading are supposed to help relax you.

And, of course, if it’s been a while, buying a new mattress is always a consideration.

Everyone is different and you’ll have to find what works for you, but if you can find a way to get an good nights sleep, you’ll be much better off for it.