The heat is dreamy in the day, but can become a nightmare in the evening when it comes to getting to sleep in the warmer temperatures.
We all know a good night's sleep is important, we need this rest in order to process information throughout the day and also to repair and rebalance the body, both physically and mentally. It can become stressful when you're unable to keep cool in bed, making it even harder to drift off and then to stay asleep.
In order for us to sleep well, there needs to be a fractional temperature difference between our body and brain. In other words, 'a warm body and a cool head!' Below we have highlighted tips on how to remain cool in bed.
Take A Shower
Having a cold or lukewarm shower just before bedtime helps to cool the body directly and reduce the temperature of your skin.
Fan & Water
If you have a fan, try wetting your face and arms with a spray bottle of water and standing in front of it, this can help to reduce a hot flush. Other ways water can help is by sleeping in cool wet socks or soaking your feet in cold water for 5-10 minutes before getting into bed, as heat is lost more quickly through your extremities (feet and head). Wetting your hair is another alternative.
Chill Your Clothes & Body
Applying cool wet cloths or ice packs to your armpits and groin area for short periods is also advantageous to remaining cool at night, as these areas are where your blood flows closest to the surface of your skin. You could also chill your pillow case in the freezer before going to bed, or try wristbands soaked in cold water, as this will have the similar effect.
Sleeping naked is the obvious go to for the hot weather, although if this isn't an option for you, opt for lightweight, light-coloured and loose fitting pj's. Flowing garments allow air circulation and light coloured fabrics reflect light and heat. This will keep you cooler. Use natural fibre fabrics; cotton, linen and silk work best in absorbing sweat and allow the skin to breath. Avoid synthetic fabrics.
If you wake up in the night, use distraction techniques like playing relaxing music (with a sleep timer on,) or rubbing a menthol stick on your forehead to help cool down. You can even grab a prepared wet flannel from the fridge, resting it over your forehead allowing you to drift off. Also keep a water mister beside your bed, so If the heat does become unbearable you can gently spray yourself with a fine mist to assist the cool down.
Thanks to the body's natural hormones, your core temperature drops in the evening ready for sleep. This is what helps you to nod off. It then rises again in the morning preparing you to wake up. Some people can be particularly sensitive to this change, leading them to wake up feeling too hot during the early hours, so keeping a distance from your bed buddy could be beneficial for achieving a solid nights sleep.
Don't Exert Before Bed
Avoid exercising close to bed time, as it will increase your internal temperature. If you choose to exercise, exercise several hours before bed time to allow your body the opportunity to cool down.
Drink plenty of water during the day to keep your body hydrated and cool while you sleep, as dehydration is a common cause of not being able to get to sleep. Keeping a glass/insulated container of cold water by your bed in case you wake up hot and uncomfortable.
Avoid Alcohol & Caffeine
Alcohol and caffeinated drinks increase dehydration and should be avoided, along with hot, heavy or spicy food, particularly near bedtime.
Keep Your Room Cool
Keep curtains and blinds shut throughout the day to help prevent your bedroom from overheating, and chose the coolest part of the house to sleep in.
Consider the need to protect yourself against mosquitoes and other insects, waking up due to buzzing or painful bites can be a recipe for a disastrous nights sleep.
Check Your Bedding
Remove winter bedding and opt for lightweight, cotton blankets. Ideally, sleep with just a sheet over you, leaving your feet out of the sheet, as body heat will escape via your feet. Plus, try to keep a window or door open, if security isn't breached, so fresh air can flow through your sleeping space.
Four Legged Friends
Finally, if your fur baby sleeps with you and is a little hot water bottle, unfortunately it may be time to find them a different place to sleep, which will ultimately allow them a sweeter night sleep too.