We’re slap-bang in the middle of Summer and we’re again seeing heat records broken across much of the UK.
The last 10 years have been the warmest on record, with the South of England now regularly seeing temperatures in the high 30Cs.
Warm temperatures during the day are carrying through overnight. The UK is now encountering more so-called ‘tropical nights’ - when temperatures stay above 20C throughout the night.
Scientists say that the high temperatures are linked to climate change and meteorologists have said they expect to see even higher temperatures as the climate continues to warm.
Unfortunately, this excessive heat can hugely interfere with our sleep.
A good night’s sleep is incredibly important for our overall health as it enables the body to repair and refresh itself. It’s just as important as eating healthily and exercising.
Sleep experts believe that the optimal bedroom temperature for sleeping is between 16C and 21C and ideally, for us to sleep well, the brain needs to be slightly cooler than the rest of the body.
So if the hot Summer temperature is stifling our sleep, what can we do to cool ourselves down and get some precious shut-eye?
Here are our top tips.
Diet and lifestyle
- Try to exercise in the morning rather than in the evening to stop your body getting too hot (N.B., almost any exercise is known to be hugely beneficial for sleeping. It increases time spent in deep sleep, the most physically restorative sleep phase).
- Try not to eat excessive amounts of protein as this can boost your metabolic rate which heats up the body.
- Eat spicy food, but at least three hours before bed. It can make you sweat which cools down the body. The body's most effective cooling mechanism is sweat glands in the skin.
- When it is hot you should make a concerted effort to drink water regularly during the day. You should also try and drink about half a pint of water before bed as this will help keep you hydrated during the night.
- Keep the bedroom as cool as possible by keeping the curtains closed during the day. Counter-intuitively, some sleeping experts also recommend keeping the bedroom windows shut to prevent dry heat entering.
- Turn off all electrical devices in the bedroom (including at the socket) such as for your TV, iPhone charger, hair dryer and straighteners. These all emit heat even if they are not being used.
- Heat rises so if you have a downstairs bedroom then it will be cooler if you camp there for the night.
- It may be a deal-breaker, or conversely provide some light relief, but it should be a cooler experience if you sleep in a separate bed to your partner. Two bodies equates to twice the heat.
- If you have an evening shower, make sure the temperature of the water is tepid and lower than your body temperature. Be sure not to overdo it and have a freezing shower, as the body will react to this by preserving heat.
- When it’s hot, there’s no need for an extra layer of PJs as this will just trap the heat. Either sleep with less items on or if you do wear PJs wear a light material such as thin cotton. The same goes for bedding. Pure cotton sheets are the ideal bedding material to sleep between and stay cool.
- Either use a cold flannel or another item like a hot water bottle filled with iced water, and place on the ‘cooling points’ of the body such as the knees, ankles, wrists, neck, groin and elbows.
- In case you awake in the night, in order to stay dreamy, keep a glass of water by the side of your bed for dehydration, as well as an empty perfume bottle with chilled water which you can spray on your face, neck, and knees to cool down.
This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.
Written by Matthew Sweeney, Co-Founder
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