When we think of summer, we think of barbecues, sun-drenched balconies, ice cream, the sea… We tend to forget that this sunny season is also plagued with restless nights, and we forget the stifling heat that leaves us sticky and uncomfortable. But this Summer, we’re coming to your rescue. No more missing out on sleep this summer – here are our 9 top tips for a good night’s sleep when it’s hot out.
Cut the late-night drinking
We know that glass of rosé on the terrace at the end of the day is utterly irresistible. But it’s been proven that drinking alcohol before heading to bed makes getting to sleep even more difficult. Add that to the summer heat, and you’ll be guaranteed insomnia, with a migraine to boot! If you simply can’t resist alcohol’s siren call, then try to moderate what you drink.
Keep your room in the dark
To make sure your room doesn’t become an oven by the end of the day, keep it dark by closing the curtains. Keep the windows closed, too (if you can bear it!). As soon as the sun sets outside and you head off to bed, open your windows wide, ventilate the room, and really feel the benefit. But be sure to keep your curtains or blinds closed, unless you want to become dinner for the mosquitoes!
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
We all know it’s essential to drink at least 1.5l of water a day, and especially in the summer months. Keeping your body hydrated throughout the day avoids fainting or dizzy spells, circulation problems, and heatstroke. Drink some really cold water before going to bed – this lowers your body temperature by a few degrees, so you’ll feel a little cooler.
Avoid the gym after 8pm
The heat your body produces during physical activity can take hours to dissipate, so you don’t want to move around too much before going to bed. Instead, try working out in the morning. To keep cool in the evenings, be sure to also avoid sources of heat. Being near an oven, lamp, or computer can increase your body temperature, too.
Keep it cool in cotton
Whether you wear a nightdress of pyjamas, make sure they’re made of cotton. Fine cotton (like Egyptian cotton) actually improves the ventilation of the air around you. Another benefit: it doesn’t stick to your skin like polyester, silk, and satin can. This means your body isn’t in contact with as much material, so gets better ventilation. So no more sticking to your sheets!
Take a dip (or spritz)
Soaking, spritzing, dunking…any technique will work, here.You can put your feet in cold water, which lowers your body temperature. You can spritz your whole body with cold water, or even just your hair, to help you drift off to sleep. You can even slip on a dampened t-shirt – but be careful you don’t get too chilly if you’ve got a fan pointing right at you.
Humidify the hot night air
When the heat gets so bad that you seriously consider sticking your head in the fridge, the only solution is to humidify the air in your room. And there are plenty of ways to do this. If you have thin curtains, moisten them with a spray bottle. Any air passing through the fabric of your curtains will be cooled, and will lower the temperature in your room by a few degrees at night. Another option is to put a container of ice (or a frozen bottle of water) in front of your fan, facing your bed. The air will stay nice and cool until the ice melts.
Choose where you sleep – and next to whom – wisely
Your partner isn’t necessarily your number one ally during the summer months. In fact, body heat dissipates and passes from person to person. It may seem extreme, but sleeping separately is the best fix. The absolute ideal solution would be to sleep in a hammock. This allows you to be alone, for air to move around you, and for you to be rocked to sleep my the gentle movement. If none of that is feasible (though we wish it were), try a bed as close to the floor as possible. Heat rises, to staying low will avoid the worst of it. A bed directly on the floor in a room on the ground floor is ideally situated for handling those hot summer nights.
Freeze your pillows
Yep, you read that right. To keep a cool head during a hot night, simply put your pillows into plastic bags, and make a little space for them in your freezer. Put them in a few hours before you go to bed. When bedtime comes, take the pillows out of the freezer and the bags, and enjoy that refreshed feeling you’ve been dying for all day. Then just lie back, relax, and zzzz…
What about you – do you have a great tip we’ve missed for dozing off when it’s hot out? Let us know!