Beating the heat: 10 tips for sleeping in the summer
Have we ever taken sleep as seriously as we do now? We’re obsessed with how many hours we need in order to be fully functional the following day. Woe betide anyone who gets anything less than, say, seven hours.
And, as if all of that wasn’t enough, we’re in the midst of one of the hottest summers on record. Not only have temperatures been unbearably muggy, but the sheer brightness of the sun has made for shorter sleeping hours.
Now, we’ve teamed up with sleep expert Dave Gibson, founder of The Sleep Site, to gift you with 10 top sleeping tips.
1) The big freeze
Put your bedsheets in a plastic cover and put them in the fridge. Lying under freshly chilled sheets helps your temperature to drop into sleep mode.
2) Massage in a bottle
Fill a hot water bottle with ice water and place on the ‘cooling points’ of your body, such as behind your knees or ankles. The wrists, neck, groin and elbows are other ‘pulse points’ to pay attention to.
3) A cool-down
Exercise in the mornings out of the sun; you want to give your body as much time as possible to cool down when the days are warmer. Exercise is best before the heat of the day starts to set in, around 7am.
4) Aqua therapy
Keep your evening bath or shower tepid, which makes it easier for your body to reach the optimal sleep temperature.
5) Lights out
Use black-out blinds to prevent the morning sun seeping through thereby maximising sleep. A towel under the door is also excellent at blocking light.
6) No1 fan
Put a damp sheet between the fan and your bed or use it to push the hot air out of an open window. You can also position a roasting pan full of ice in front of the fan to cool the air. Always try to keep the bedroom door open too, as it allows the air to circulate.
7) Day shift
Keep windows closed and curtains drawn in the day to keep the house cooler, particularly those facing east or west. This stops your home warming up in the sun.
Hay fever can both affect sleep and prevent you from being able to keep the window open through the night. Dyson has solved this problem with its new Pure Hot + Cool Link™ purifier fan heater. This machine (with a quiet night-time mode) is a combined cooler and purifier (as well as heater) you can keep your windows closed and keep cool while also removing nightly pollution and street noise.
9) A hot take
Try spicy food. Yes, really. There is a reason hotter countries are famous for curries. The chemical capsaicin in spicy food stimulates heat receptors in your mouth, enhancing circulation and causing sweating, which cools the body down. Be sure to eat at least three hours before you go to bed, as spicy foods can also stop you sleeping well.
10) ‘We were on a break’
Sleep in separate beds (bear with us!), as this will enable you to both stretch out and prevent your combined body temperature overheating you. Sleeping downstairs can also help, as it tends to be cooler, as heat rises.
For more tips and advice on how to get a better night’s sleep tonight, and every night, visit The Sleep Site
Read more: The importance of sleep for your skin