If you have found yourself tossing and turning all night and relying on coffee to get you out of your grogginess, try these tips for a better night’s sleep in the summer heat.
Had more than a few sleepless nights in the past few weeks? While it’s great to have warm dry weather, at night the dead heat offers little relief when you’re lying awake in bed. Here are some tips and tricks used by those in warmer climates to get a good night’s sleep in summer.
Firstly, there are steps you can take during the day to ensure your room is a little cooler at night time. While the temptation might be to whip open the curtains and let the glorious sunshine in, if you find your room heats up too much during the day, leave the curtains or blinds closed. This will prevent the room heating up too much during the day. If you are able to, it can be useful to keep windows on the shady side of your house open, and closed on the sunny side. Pack away your heavy duvet, and try sleeping with a sheet. You can keep a light blanket nearby to drape over you if you do end up feeling too cold, as it is easier to add light layers rather than having just one heavy duvet. Another change worth making is to swap your big fluffy pillow for a firmer smaller one, as the fluffier options retain more heat. Pop a hot water bottle, or a plastic bottle, in the freezer and wrap it in a towel to create a cooling ice pack you can grab if you find yourself too warm in the middle of the night. Remember when filling it that water expands when frozen! These buys from IKEA will make your bedroom more snooze-friendly.
While lovely warm evenings make it tempting to have a few drinks, alcohol can make it difficult for your body to regulate your temperature, and dehydration will make you more susceptible to restlessness and overheating. Alternate every alcoholic drink with a glass of water and try to stop drinking a while before bedtime. Equally, eating late at night will mean your digestive system is at work through the night, so try to have your last meal a few hours before bed. Your body temperature needs to cool to half a degree lower than your waking temperature in order to sleep. A lukewarm shower can help to cool your body, but avoid a cold shower as it could invigorate you and make you feel more awake instead. Wear loose cotton nightwear that will allow your skin to breathe, unlike other fabrics.
If you’re tossing and turning
Now is the time to grab your iced bottle from the freezer to help cool down your bed. Keeping your face cool will help you sleep too. Try dampening a cloth with ice cold water, and using it on your face and neck as needed to provide some relief. If you have a fan, position it so that it is faced towards your face to keep you cool, but not too close as to create discomfort. Alternatively, place your fan facing an open window with your bed in between, which should create a cross breeze. If there is no outside breeze and a dead heat in the air, you could create your own AC by placing a tray of ice in front of your fan. Of course you can try all this and still find yourself haggard tired in the morning after a fitful sleep. In that case, embrace the good weather and have a siesta during the day.