Losing sleep over the summer heat? You’re not alone. Our British homes may keep us snug and warm in the winter, but all that insulation is far from ideal in a heatwave. In fact, science tells us that our bodies need a cool environment (ideally between 15 to 20 degrees) in order to fall asleep quickly and to stay asleep throughout the night. So it’s no wonder this sizzling summer has many of us tossing and turning in our beds!
Of course, if we could contend with the rising mercury by flicking on the AC, maybe we’d be getting a little more shut-eye. But for most of us, this isn’t an option.
Rest easy, this doesn’t mean you need to struggle through a sleep-deprived summer. Follow these tips to cool down before bedtime, so you can slumber peacefully throughout the night.
1. Drink plenty of water
This seems obvious, but it’s a vital tip for summer. It’s also especially important to remember after those long, boozy afternoons in the sun. Staying hydrated means that your body can properly regulate your core temperature, which is essential for drifting off easily.
2. Take a cool shower…
…but not icy cold! As tempting as this sounds after a roasting hot day, if the water is too cold your body temperature will actually rise to counteract the chill, which is the reverse effect you want before climbing into bed! Keep to tepid temps for bedtime bathing.
3. Cover yourself in Aloe Vera
Keep a bottle of Aloe Vera in the fridge on standby, particularly for those days when you’ve been out in the sun for hours. Slather the gel on your skin for an instant cool-down effect. As a bonus, Aloe Vera is an excellent aid for sunburn, too.
4. Choose the right bedding
Any extra padding on the bed will add to trapped heat and discomfort. During the summer months, pack away thick duvets and remove mattress protectors. Also, steer clear of bedding made from synthetic fabrics, which offer poor ventilation and often retain heat. Instead, choose bedding made from natural fibres, such as 100% cotton or bamboo, as these materials offer the best breathability and will wick away moisture.
For a long term solution, look at investing in a mattress with temperature regulating materials, such as natural latex.
5. Put your bedding in the freezer
It sounds a little strange, but the effort pays off (plus, it’s an excuse to get the frozen pizza out for dinner!)
Place your pillow cases and sheets in a plastic bag and then stick in the freezer for half an hour before your bedtime. The effect doesn’t last all night, but your bedding should stay cool enough for you to comfortably fall asleep on those really hot and humid nights.
6. Know when to open your windows
When it’s stifling hot, it’s tempting to fling open the windows in hope of finding a breeze. But all you’ll do is let all that hot air in. Instead, shut out the heat during the day by keeping your bedroom windows closed and the curtains or blinds drawn. Then about an hour before bedtime, after the temperature has dropped, open your windows and bedroom door to allow the cooler air to circulate.
7. Make a cool fan
Although they can be a little noisy, a fan is a summer must-have. For a super cool trick, place a shallow pan or bowl full of ice in front of your fan. As the ice melts, the fan’s breeze will pick up the cold water, creating a refreshing light mist.
8. Go au naturel?
The jury is out on this one. Some claim stripping off is the best way to beat the heat for a good night’s sleep. But evidence suggests that light, breathable pyjamas are a better option, as the material will soak up perspiration to help you stay cool and dry. Whatever your preference, less layers will definitely make it easier to sleep cool through the night.
Still can’t sleep? Check out these tips on how to get to sleep, fast!
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