TEMPERATURES may be scorching right across the country right now, but for many it also signals some sleepless nights.
While it’s a small price to pay for summer heat, and we don’t have to deal with it often, stuffy rooms and a lack of air-con inevitably mean tossing and turning for a lot of us.
Luckily, there are several ways of getting a good night’s sleep.
Here’s a round-up of the six best ways to help get a good night’s sleep during the heatwave.
1) Keep the curtains closed in your room during the day
Keeping your bedroom as cold as possible is vital, if you want to avoid a desperate midnight search for any way to cool down.
Nutritionist Sarah Flower, from Power Health said: “In order to drift off to sleep naturally, our body temperatures should drop prior to sleep and only rise again as we wake.”
One surefire way of cooling a room is shutting out the sun. It might feel weird when you first leave the house to keep the curtains closed, but you’ll be glad of it when you get home.
There’s also a way of using wet towels to do the same thing as Simon Bandy from nutritional supplements brand Health Plus advises: “Wet some old towels, wring them out and hang them over open windows. It will really help to cool the air down inside, especially at night.”
2) Sleep in cotton pyjamas
Go for light materials which will let your skin breathe. This ensures that any sweat is soaked up and is actually better than stripping off.
Sara Wadsworth, Brand Manager at The Fine Bedding Company, says: “Sleeping in tight clothing is not only uncomfortable, but will lead to unwanted and excessive heat retention.
“Try sleeping in lightweight, loose cotton pyjamas that are not only breathable but will absorb sweat to cool you down.”
3) Put your pillowcases in the freezer
It may sound odd, but this method is seriously effective.
“Place your bed sheets in the freezer for a while and let them chill before taking them out and getting under them on a hot night,” nutritionist Chris Simon says: “The coldness will transfer from the sheets to your body and you will not have a sweaty night ahead of you.”
You could also make your own DIY cold compress, by putting rice in a sock then placing it in the freezer.
Yes, your flatmates or partner might think you’re a bit odd, but you’ll be the one feeling refreshed.
4) Incorporate hydrating foods into your meals
Chris says that while in the heat many people will opt for a salad or an ice cold drink, he has found other more effective ways.
“You can incorporate hydrating foods into a fulfilling meal. For example, stir fry some cucumber slices with pineapple.
“The juices will stay compact and hydrate you. Place them on a bed of some refrigerated mint-infused couscous.
“You want to include as many astringent foods in your diet and snack lightly on a bitter but non-greasy food before going to bed.
“Your body’s metabolism will work harder if you have just consumed food. The metabolism will create kinetic energy when working and this in turn, creates heat.”
5) Get your hair off your neck
Women with long hair will know the annoyance of waking up with strands of hair stuck to their skin.
There’s a simple solution – tie back your hair or try a top knot.
Alternatively, a fishtail plait can be a good way to grasp all the hair together, away from your face and neck.
There are plenty of easy-to-follow tutorials online – and if it a heatwave isn’t a great excuse to master a new hairstyle, then what is?
6) Have a listen to a podcast in bed to soothe you
This is obviously not just a tip for a heatwave – but it’s amazing what a difference it can make listening to a soothing voice as you attempt to drift off.
One of the best podcasts out there is Sleep With Me. It uses boredom superpowers to make you feel sleepy – no, really.
Each one has a different bedtime story on a dull topic, letting you forget your problems as it becomes progressively more boring until you eventually drift off.