Sleeping in a Heatwave - Here are 6 expert tips to staying cool at night
Almost two thirds of people in Britain struggle to fall asleep and during a heatwave even more of us find it hard to get a good night’s rest.
Your sleep affects many aspects of your body, such as brain functionality and development, hormonal balances and emotional stability.
A bad night's sleep can set you up for a bad day, so it’s important to give yourself the best chance possible – particularly in hot weather when it’s hard to get comfortable.
James Higgins, Sleep specialist and CEO of sustainable bedding company Ethical Bedding, has shared his tips on how to sleep better during hot weather and which fabrics are best for sleeping during a heatwave.
He explained: “In the early stages of our sleep our circadian rhythms are still very much ticking and our brain is functioning at its usual rate. Your bedtime routine and bedding are a vital part of getting that rhythm to settle and become sleepy. These tips can hopefully help ensure you get a full night’s rest.”
Here’s what he had to say.
Keep your room dark throughout the day
Use heavy curtains to block any lights from windows during the day. Heat transfers through the windows and can build up during the day, so it’s a good idea to keep the curtains/blind down.
This will help control the temperature of your room between 15.6 to 19.4 °C (60 to 67 °F). It varies depending on the individual, but most doctors recommend this as the best temperature for sleeping.
Opt for eucalyptus, bamboo or silk bedding as they are hypoallergenic, breathable, and temperature regulating materials.
Bed sheets made with eucalyptus wood, bamboo or silk are all very breathable fabrics, whereas cotton tends to retain moisture and heat. When you become too hot, it can disturb your sleeping patterns and make you feel drowsy, so it’s important to pick a fabric which is body regulating.
Don’t open your windows
It would seem a given to open your windows when it’s warm but when it’s hot outside it will actually allow a lot of the air to just come into the house and cause a stuffy raised temperature. If you do require some natural airflow then try just cracking them ever so slightly for a short period of time.
Calm your mind
Try to incorporate ‘winding down’ exercises in your head as part of your sleeping routine. For example, listen to soft music, or meditate to clear your head of the stimulation from the day. Deep breathing exercises and meditation can also help lower your blood pressure ideal for preparing to sleep. This will stop you from stressing out over falling asleep quickly and let your body take it’s natural course.
Chill your socks
Your feet contain many nerve endings for your body so cooling your feet can lower the overall temperature of your body. Try putting your socks in the fridge and then wearing them before you go to bed to keep you cool.
Keep your hands and feet out of the duvets
Make sure to take those socks off before you fall asleep! You can also try to keep your hands and feet outside of the duvet as they will keep your overall body temperature down. In the deep stages of your sleep your body will naturally cool so you may eventually want to tuck your feet and hands back in.