With temperatures rocketing this summer, experts give their tips on how to keep cool at night.
Advice includes everything from taking a cool shower, to sniffing lavender and from sleeping in a hammock to covering up your feet.
KEEP YOUR PYJAMAS ON – According to Dr Neil Stanley, an independent sleep expert, it’s actually better to wear pyjamas — made of natural fibres. Also, remove the over-sheet, duvet or blanket.
HAVE A COOL SHOWER – However, don’t set the temperature too cold, or the water may end up invigorating you — thus making you more restless.
USE A FAN – Of course, the constant whirring noise and chill draft may add to your difficulties getting to sleep, but studies have shown that using a fan on a hot night will decrease the time spent awake in bed
CHILL YOUR SHEETS – fold your sheet up tightly, put it in a bag and place it in a fridge for an hour or two before bedtime — then drape it over your body.
SLEEP DOWNSTAIRS – Otherwise, if you have a skylight or Velux, open it to encourage hot air to rise out on the roof, away from your bedroom
AVOID ANXIETY – Try RelaxHerb, a traditional herbal medicine containing Passionflower which will help you not only to calm down but also to get to sleep more quickly. For more information visit http://www.relaxherb.co.uk
TOASTY FEET – Many believe sticking one foot outside the sheet or duvet is a good way to cool down. However, Professor Horne disagrees. ‘Having cold feet can disturb sleep, so make sure you keep them warm. Remember — it’s the face you want to keep cool.’
DON’T EAT TOO LATE – Having a big meal just before you turn in is one of the worst things you can do. It means that your body is brimming with calories that generate heat. ‘Try just to have a light salad,’ suggests Dr Stanley
AVOID ALCOHOL – It is well known that alcohol disrupts sleep — and those negative effects are made worse when it is hot. It slows the body’s healthy reflexes, one of which is to maintain a normal temperature
TAKE A NATURAL TABLET – Many products claim to be able to help you sleep. For example, there is Black Cohosh, made from the roots of a North American plant. It is thought to be a muscle relaxant and anti-inflammatory. ‘People have used such remedies for thousands of years,’ says Dr Stanley. Try Schwabe Pharma MenoHerb Tablets which contain Black Cohosh (£10.35 from Holland & Barrett).
GET AN AIR-CON UNIT – Air conditioning, where the hot air inside a house is expelled outside and replaced with chilled dry air, is one of the easiest solutions. But prices for air-con units can run into the hundreds. If the warm nights really do affect you, this could be a wise investment.
TRY A ‘CHILLOW’ – Its makers claim this chilled pillow can get you to sleep ‘68 per cent quicker’ by providing a constant feeling of coolness against your face. It works by reducing your body temperature by that vital half a degree to ensure you get sleep.
SLEEP IN A HAMMOCK – With their mattresses, box spring, duvets, pillows and covers, our beds are hot and stuffy places. Yet hammocks, made of thin material that allows air to flow around your body, help cool you down. The only problem of course, is how to attach the ends to the wall!?
SNIFF LAVENDER – For centuries, lavender has been seen as having numerous medicinal properties. Many say they sleep better after sniffing some lavender oil just before bedtime, or sprinkling a few drops on their pillow.
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