Is anyone else finding it too hot to sleep these days? The recent wave of humidity means it's especially hard to nod off. Here are some simple things you can do to aid restful slumber.
Keep it cool
Fill a hot water bottle with ice water and place on the ‘cooling points’ of your body: knees, ankles, wrists, neck, and elbows. You can also fill a hot water bottle with cool water, freeze it and take it to bed with you. Also, reducing the temperature of the pillow can have a big impact: Take a clean tea towel, place it in the fridge or freezer (in a plastic bag) and lay it over your pillow 10 minutes before you go to bed. This will nicely cool things down.
Try a spritz
Fill an empty perfume bottle with chilled water and keep it by your bedside, spray on your face, back of your neck, and back of your knees as another way to cool down. I do this and highly recommend its effectiveness. You could also chill socks in the fridge before bedtime as it will help to lower your core body temperature.
The right nightwear is important
Use cotton pyjamas and thin, pure cotton sheets for your bed - high-quality cotton is the ideal bedding material to sleep between to stay cool as it’s most breathable. Also, lose the duvet and blankets. Just use a cotton sheet, if anything, or a duvet with a low tog rating.
Watch what you eat
Make sure you’re not eating too much protein or drinking too much alcohol before you hit the hay as this can actually heat your body up by boosting your metabolic rate.
An obvious one, but have a glass of water with ice before you go to bed to help you start to cool down: hydration is key to a restful sleep when it's humid. Though, be careful how much you drink before you get some shuteye: about ½ pint before bed will be enough to keep you hydrated and prevent you from having to get up and go to the toilet. Avoid any drinks which have caffeine in them; these will disrupt your sleep no matter what the temperature is.
Shower before bed
Keep your evening shower tepid to lower your body temperature. Don’t have a freezing cold one though, as your body will react to the sudden change in temperature by preserving heat.
Keep windows shut
Contrary to popular belief, you should keep windows closed during the day to keep the house cooler and curtains closed too. Keeping windows open can potentially only re-circulate warm air, which definitely won't keep you cool.
Change where you sleep
If the heat really gets too much, sleep downstairs if you can - heat rises so invariably your bedroom will be warmer.
Main photograph: Unsplash
More like this:
Read more: Heatwave: How to protect your pets from heatstroke this summer
Read more: Can't sleep? Here are some natural ways to help combat insomnia
Read more: Always craving some shuteye? Five signs you're not getting enough sleep