As the heatwave continues and temperatures are set to reach a record high of over 40C this week, most of us might think the coolest place to sleep at night would be under the stars.
Sadly that’s maybe not that practical or possible, so I have got some tips for you to try that might make for a better nights sleep as the heatwave continues to gets even hotter.
Have a tepid shower in the evening
Even though the thought of cold shower in this heatwave sounds more refreshing will actually raise your body temperature afterwards. Or run your wrists and ankles under cold water to cool down your pulse points.
Wear cool cotton nightwear
Again the thought of wearing nothing might seem the coolest thing to do, but the cotton will absorb perspiration rather than letting it sit on your body.
Take a hot water bottle to bed
But keep it chilled and fill it with iced water instead, apply it to your pulse points – wrists, neck and back of knees.
open your attic
While it’s generally thought best to keep your windows closed if you have an attic, open the hatch to it. This will give the hot air in the house somewhere to escape to and will bring down the room temperature in the bedrooms. It’s also a good idea to keep your bedroom doors open to help hot air escape and to circulate cool air from your open windows.
Switch off all electrical gadgets and plugs – they emit a lot of heat.
Create your own air conditioner
Get a tray and fill it with ice and a some water. Position your fan just behind the tray. As the ice melts it makes the air above the water cooler, and then it gets blown in your direction, helping you get a cooler night’s sleep.
Put the duvet away and freeze your pillow
Take the duvet out of your duvet cover and just sleep with the cover over you. Put your pillow cases in the freeze for 30 minutes before you go to bed, they should stay cool for half an hour whilst you drop off to sleep.
Don’t exercise too late in the evening
Although it may seem a good idea to wait until it’s a little cooler in the evening, your body temperature will rise and it takes several hours to cool down again. If you are going to exercise try and get up earlier instead and make the most of the coolest part of the day.
Avoid alcohol and keep hydrated
Avoid alcohol before bed, drink more water to stay hydrated. Keep a glass by your bedside to stay hydrated throughout your sleep. One study found that dehydration is linked to insomnia too. So be sure to sip some water throughout the day as a preventative measure.
If you can it may be better to sleep alone – extra body heat is going to make you feel even hotter and maybe try sleeping downstairs where it is cooler.
Tossing and turning all add to the frustration of not being able to sleep especially when it feels too hot. Sometimes, the best thing we can do is take a breath and accept that we’re struggling. Then get up and try something soothing – like reading a book, writing down thoughts or even folding the laundry. Avoid activities that involve a blue light (i.e. phones or TV) and return to bed when you feel sleepy.
cool down with a wet cloth
The secret to keeping your body temperature down is to keep your head cooler that your body. Sleeping with a cold flannel on your head is a good way to achieve this or invest in a cooling towel – simply wet the towel, give it a quick flick to activate it to cool it down and place on your wrists, neck or head. It’s like magic and will stay wet and cool for hours.
I always talk to my clients about the importance of sleep, when we are stressed we can’t sleep and when we can’t sleep we get stressed! In this heat no wonder tempers might be fraying, so doing anything that helps us sleep more has got to be a good thing.
I recently helped a client who hadn’t slept more than a few hours a night for the last 25 years, start to sleep 6-8 hours a night. Contact me if you want help with sleep in general.
Do you have any good tips to share?