How to sleep during a heatwave: What to eat, wear and do to stay cool at night in hot weather

Are you struggling to sleep in the heat? (Photo: Shutterstock)
Are you struggling to sleep in the heat? (Photo: Shutterstock)

Are you beginning to struggle in the heat?

With summer underway and heat waves expected to hit, many of us are excited to get out the barbecue and catch some rays during the day - but problems can arise when it comes to getting a good night's sleep in hotter temperatures than we’re used to.

With temperatures across the UK expected to continue to climb, and some areas predicting to reach up to 28C, this is everything you need to know about how to beat the heat at night.

How to keep cool at night

Getting a good night’s sleep is actually quite important to our health, according to the NHS.

The NHS says, “Regular poor sleep puts you at risk of serious medical conditions, including obesity, heart disease and diabetes – and it shortens your life expectancy.”

Trying to get quality sleep in a hot and stuffy room can be difficult - but there are steps you can take to try and stave off the effects of the heat on your sleep.

Theses are some tips from medical expert Mahmuda Khatun from Instant eCare.

Cool shower

Right before you head off to bed, jump in the shower and get some cool water running. This will reduce the temperature of your skin which will allow you to feel cooler before you drift off to sleep.

If you can’t hop in shower, a shortcut is to run your wrists under a cold tap as this is a good way to cool your blood circulation quickly.

An excuse not to exercise

Khatun says that you should avoid exercising before you go to bed, as this will increase your temperature.

If you someone who likes to work out after work, or later in the evening, make sure you build in enough time to allow your body to cool down before heading to bed.

Check your bedding

Make sure that you’re not trying to sleep with your winter bedding weighing you down. Ideally, swap it out for lightweight, cotton blankets.

Curtains

It might be your instinct to open your curtains when you wake up in the morning before you start your day - but if you keep your curtains closed whilst you’re out and about, this will help keep your room cooler as it prevents sunlight from heating up your room.

The food you eat

Avoid having a big meal (especially spicy food) before bed - if you eat a heavy meal late at night, your body is going to keep you awake longer as it tries to process it.

Your nightwear

Opt for cotton pyjamas to sleep in - Khatun even advises even wearing cold wet socks, or damp t-shirt to bed. The reasoning is that the heat from your body will evaporate the water over the course of the night, but will help you feel refreshed as you drift off.

The placement of your room

If it feels like nothing else it working, why not try moving to a bed downstairs for the night?

Hot air rises, so you’re more likely to find a cooler place to rest your head in a lower, downstairs area rather than a bedroom at the top of the house.