Ah, summer is here at last – and with it, all of those delicious BBQS, trips to the seaside, jugs of fruity Pimms and beautiful sunsets. The only downside? Trying to sleep as the temperatures rise. If you’re struggling to sleep in the heat, here are some handy tips that might just help…
test your room’s temperature
Did you know the optimum temperature your room should be in order to happily doze off is between 18-21°C? Other factors can influence your ideal temperature (like age, sex or if you suffer from any medical conditions that can affect your temperature) but roughly, that’s where your room should sit. Check out how yours measures up, and get a fan if necessary. Don’t worry about the gentle whirring noise – there’s actually evidence that white noise can be soothing and help aid sleep – it blocks out sudden changes in sound, like a car alarm on the street or your neighbour’s baby crying.
prep your quarters in the AM
Before you leave for work, spend a few minutes prepping your room for the evening. Ideally, close your curtains and switch the lights off – it means your room won’t heat up like a sauna during the day. If it’s safe, you could even leave the window slightly ajar too – it allows air to circulate and means it won’t be mega stuffy when you return.
At night, drink a glass of water before drifting off if you can (unless it’ll result in midnight toilet trips, that is). When we’re hot and sweaty, we dehydrate quicker so it’s important to keep those levels topped up.
Bad news for loved-up couples – sleeping with another person seriously increases your body heat, so it’s worth considering a night alone when it’s miserably hot. Even if you both manage to drift off, one person waking in the heat (or tossing and turning all night) usually wakes the other, which is the quickest way to an argument come morning. Trust us – we’ve been there.
rethink your PJ strategy
There’s plenty of debate around which material is best when it’s seriously sweltering out – some reckon cotton is the smart choice because it helps disperse body heat and helps you avoid that clammy feeling. Others say silk – or even sleeping naked – are better options. Our verdict? Stick to whatever you feel most comfortable in and steer clear of anything that irritates (think, itchy labels or too-tight waistbands) since they’ll only increase your chances of waking.
Most people don’t give their sheets much thought – there are bigger things to worry about, right? Well, it could be worth rethinking things in the summer months, as materials can play a huge part in how well we sleep. Experts reckon we should ditch fabrics like polyester and even silk in hot weather and stick to natural fabrics like linen, cotton or bamboo since the loose fibres allow heat to escape. Avoid dark colours too, and stick to white, creams or pastels – they’ll cleverly reflect any light sneaking through your windows.
take a cool shower before bed
Sorry bath fans – your evening dunk is making you even hotter. Since it takes a while to cool down after a hot bath, a quick, cold shower is a much smarter option. While you’re in there, pay particular attention to your neck and wrists – they contain pulse points which can cool down your blood and reduce overall body temperature, so running them under the showerhead should help. Because a falling body temperature is one of the signals your brain uses to produce more melatonin (which makes you feel sleepy) it’s one of the most effective ways of dozing off naturally. Try it….