Temperatures seem to lose control this summer, it just kept climbing, I believe that many of you guys cannot sleep at nights like I do. And it sucks, because we all got work to do next morning.
So, below are some tips for you to sleep better in weather like this. Remember, even it’s hot, you should still remain calm, otherwise you would be having more difficulties to fall asleep.
1. CHILL YOUR SHEETS
If you ignore the advice not to use a sheet on top of you, a good idea is to 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.
Some people dampen the sheets before cooling them.
More drastic action is to put your pillow cases in the freezer for a short period.
‘The effect of such methods is only very temporary,’ says Dr Stanley, ‘as our bodies quickly warm up the sheets and pillow cases.’
2. SLEEP DOWNSTAIRS
Heat rises, so most houses tend to be cooler downstairs, especially in rooms with tiled floors.
If you can move your bed downstairs, or have a sofa-bed in the living-room, the next few nights may be a good time to abandon your upstairs room.
Otherwise, if you have a skylight or Velux, open it to encourage hot air to rise out on the roof, away from your bedroom.
3. AVOID ANXIETY
‘Try to leave your worries outside the bedroom,’ says Professor Horne, ‘and certainly don’t start fretting about whether you can get to sleep.’
4. 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.’
5. USE THE SPARE ROOM
If possible, sleep in a separate bed from your partner. The human body generates the equivalent of 116 watts of heat energy an hour.
6. 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.
Above all, eat early — not half an hour before bed — to give yourself a chance to digest the food before you lie down.
7. 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.
It makes blood rush to your skin, and thus gives an initial warming sensation, but takes blood from the core of your body and makes you colder.
Even so, a late-night tipple is not recommended.
Just a relatively small amount of alcohol can cause dehydration, and may mean you wake up in the night thirsty or leave you feeling unrested when you awake.
Whether you’ve drunk alcohol or not, have a glass of water on your bedside table.
8. DO THE DICKENS DANCE
When the author Charles Dickens couldn’t sleep, he would get out of bed, wave his arms around and slowly walk around the bedroom to beat the heat.
There is a scientific basis for this: by exposing your body to the air, perspiration evaporates and naturally cools you down.
9. 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.
Scientific evidence is lacking, but it is supposed to be a muscle relaxant and anti-inflammatory.
‘People have used such remedies for thousands of years,’ says Dr Stanley. ‘But 99 per cent of their effects are like a placebo.
Even if they did work, the effect would be mild, and unable to counter the heat of a summer night.’
Nevertheless, if you think such products might help, try Schwabe Pharma Menoherb Tablets which contain Black Cohosh (£10.35 from Holland & Barrett).
Some people are soothed by chamomile or chrysanthemum tea, but they have not been proven to work scientifically so again it could just be a placebo effect.
10.HAVE A COOL SHOWER
Crucially, in order to get a good sleep, our body temperature needs to drop by half a degree celsius (almost one degree fahrenheit) from our normal waking temperature.
It may be obvious, but you can achieve this by taking a cool or lukewarm shower just before bed.
However, don’t set the temperature too cold, or the water may end up invigorating you — thus making you more restless.
11. USE A FAN
A fan can help reduce your body temperature surprisingly quickly.
Professor Jim Horne, of the Sleep Research Centre at Loughborough University, says: ‘Direct the fan towards your face because your cheeks have the ability to release a lot of heat from your body.
However, don’t place the fan too near, otherwise you could get neuralgia — a nerve pain in your face.’
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.
12. 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.
13. 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.
But Dr Stanley, who has tested one, is not convinced. ‘I found it a bit too cold, though I can imagine it working on a very hot night.
The theory behind it is perfectly OK.’ A chillow costs from £27.50 (chillow.co.uk or 08700 117174).
14. 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.
15. 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.
Similarly, the soothing scent of a sachet of dried lavender can act like a mild sedative and make you drowsy. Even if it doesn’t work, at least your bed will smell nice.
16. P.S. IF DESPERATE
If you’re not worried about how you look when in bed, try a Dreamhelmet – a combined eye-mask and sound-blocker.
It comes from the U.S. (of course) and blocks light and sound, which should help you sleep more soundly. (Available from £28 from dreamhelmet.com).
17. KEEP YOUR PYJAMAS ON
It seems logical that the fewer clothes we wear, the cooler we will be. But resist the temptation to strip off when the nights are hot and muggy.
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.
Picture:( File photos)