Struggling to sleep at night ?
It goes without saying that we all love sunshine and particularly if you are spending the summer at home, it is amazing to feel hot, and not to be in the dull drizzly weather we have come to expect in the UK – it just feels so good walking around in our holiday clothes, taking the sunshine for granted – BUT and there is a big but… our country is simply not geared up for the searing temperatures we have been having and will continue to have for the next few weeks. According to research by kitchen gadgets company Appliances direct, 62 per cent of people are losing sleep due too the heatwave.
Many of the homes we live in are old buildings and very few of us are lucky enough to enjoy air conditioning – why bother when usually its only hot for a week or two?
The heat in the city at night is really intense and seems to get hotter the higher up you live
Our sleep pattern can be really disturbed as our body temperatures fluctuate so much during the night and deciding what to wear if anything and what bedding to use can be determining factors in staying cool in the sizzle of summer.
During this long spell it is really important to maintain an uninterrupted night’s sleep as the problem with waking up during the night is that it can sneak into a pattern and this can be difficult to shake off, even when the weather returns to regular temperatures.
When night-time temperatures stay as high as some summer days, many people find it hard to get to sleep. So what's the best way to drift off on sticky nights?
Humidity is a big part of the problem, making it hard for sweat to evaporate.
"As a species, we are diurnal," says Dr Malcolm von Schantz, a molecular neuroscientist at the University of Surrey's Sleep Centre.
"We have evolved to sleep in a consolidated way during the night, when it is cooler and darker. Too cold or too hot temperatures during the night act as a natural alarm clock.
Temperature has big impact on quality of sleep. Ideally bedrooms should be around 16-18C (60-65F) but, if at nighttime, temperatures remain higher, it can be difficult to achieve that.
“Your body temperature needs to drop slightly before you go to sleep which is why it’s difficult to drop off when you’re too hot.”
So what can we do?
With this in mind here are our 11 top tips for cooling down at bed time
1. Cool the pillowcase - placing this item of bedding in the fridge before bedtime could help with sleep. Humidity is a big part of the problem, making it hard for sweat to evaporate.
2. Keep a cooling facial spray by your bed
3. We need to open the window to let the cooler air in, but if we are reliant on blinds, this will also let the sun in before we would prefer to wake up. So getting curtains that keeps the light out and let the air through is a good start.
4. Some people find sleeping with an electric fan hard to get used to, but a Japanese study has shown that using a fan during a hot night will decrease our time awake in bed by lowering the body temperature. The white noise might also help
5. Switch off all electrical stuff ie TV, ipad, phone and allow your mind to relax – a spot of meditation once the lights are turned down really helps sooth mind and body
6. "That late night cup of coffee or tea may have a noticeably greater effect on your ability to fall asleep. When it's hot, we naturally drink more liquids and that is because we need them. So don't go to bed thirsty, because the dehydration will wake you up even though the need to go to the bathroom doesn't.
7. Make sure all the curtains are closed during the daytime to stop the sun coming in. Have the windows open on the shady side and closed on the sunny side.
8. Use a [electric] fan," recommends Mary Morrell, professor of sleep and respiratory physiology at Imperial College London. "It will help move the air around your body and increase the chance of sweat evaporating".
9. Prof Kevin Morgan, director of the Clinical Sleep Research Unit at Loughborough University, says a lukewarm shower before bed is preferable to a cold shower.
10. Thin cotton sheets work best. They will absorb sweat rather than leave the sleeper covered in a film of moisture.
11. Naked is not the answer
When you are hot, the natural thing is to remove as many items of clothing as possible, providing you’re not in public or at work!
This advise is actually not correct!
Light modal nightwear is better. If you’re not familiar with wearing our thermo regulating “Modal sens” fabric, you should give it a try!
Unbelievably comfortable to wear, soft and temperature adjusting, its like your pj’s are listening to your body requirements.
Finally, sleepwear should be kept minimal and small ie shorts rather than trouser, but keep something on, as its that sense of familiarity that reminds us that even if temperatures are soaring , you are still in your beautifully calm zone primed and ready for a night of uninterrupted peace of mind.