There’s only one thing that people love more than a heatwave, and that’s complaining about a heatwave. But we think we’re totally in our rights to complain, despite what TikTok has to say.
The US has been experiencing heatwaves more frequently in recent years, with many states on the West coast experiencing record-breaking heat last month . So, it’s no surprise that a lot of us are spending more time tossing and turning than actually sleeping. To help you get a better night’s sleep, we’ve done some research and compiled the top tips for sleeping in the heat. Let’s get into it.
1. Put your sheets in the freezer
This is for those of you who are seriously struggling and are willing to make some space next to your frozen peas for your bedding and pajamas.
This one doesn’t take too much explaining, pop your sheets, pajamas, and even your socks into the freezer for about an hour before bed, and jump into an ice-cold bed. This will hopefully provide you with enough temporary relief to doze off before the sheets warm up again.
2. Keep windows and blinds shut during the day
Our first instinct during the summer is to whack open all the windows and doors. However, this could be the biggest mistake you’re making as it allows the warm sunlight in. Instead, try keeping your windows and blinds shut throughout the day, especially on the sunniest side of your house to keep your house cool.
If there is a breeze (hallelujah) then your best option is to keep your blinds/curtains closed but keep your window open, that way you get the breeze coming through but the warm light stays out.
3. Circulate cold air
This is a tip a lot of you may have seen doing the rounds on TikTok, but it involves filling a bowl of cold water, adding a ton of ice cubes, and sitting that in front of a fan. Try this tip about an hour before you go to bed and your room should be feeling fresh by the time you hit the hay. This paired with the frozen pajamas? A dream team.
4. Stay hydrated
Making sure you’re drinking enough water is key every day, but especially during hot weather. Staying hydrated helps your body to keep cool, aiding a good night’s sleep. Make sure you’re regularly drinking water throughout the day, but avoid chugging too much before bed as you don’t want to be constantly waking up for the toilet...
Make sure to keep a glass of water next to your bed as well (or a bottle of water that’s been in the freezer!) for any wake-ups during the night.
5. Keep to your usual routine – no naps!
Keeping to routine is essential for developing a good sleep schedule, and that’s no different during a heatwave. Try to go to sleep and wake up at the same times as usual and avoid napping. No matter how tempting a nap is when you’re lying in the sun, resist if you can. This will make falling asleep later much easier.
This one can be tricky during summer, and if you're experiencing a heatwave it has to be done safely. However, exercising during the day has been shown to increase sleep quality for some adults1. Get in a quick run or gym session in the morning or in the evening when it's cooled down a little. Avoid any vigorous exercise midday when temperatures are peaking. Evening exercise is best a couple of hours before bed so that your heart rate has a chance to come back down to normal.
Check out the article below for tips on training safely during a heatwave:
7. Read or listen to a podcast before bed
Basically, avoid the dreaded blue light. We've all heard this one before, but unfortunately, it’s true. Put your phone down and try picking up a book or turning on a podcast instead; this will help relax your mind and get you ready for sleep.
8. Take a cool shower
You know that horrible sticky feeling after a day in the sun? Us too. Get into the habit of taking a cool shower right before bed. Not only will this help cool your body down, it’ll also leave you feeling fresh and much more comfortable, making sleep far easier.
9. Turn off devices
We're not talking about the effects of blue light here, rather, the effects of the heat emitted by our devices. Things like laptops, games consoles, and TVs all emit heat while they’re running, and we want to limit heat as much as possible. Try switching off your consoles (especially any in your bedroom) before bed, this should help cool down your room.
10. Keep a spritz bottle nearby
Get yourself a spritz or misting bottle filled with cold water and keep it by your bed. Give yourself a good spritz before hitting the pillow and keep it on hand for any midnight wake-ups for a hit of quick relief.
Take Home Message
This year's heatwave has caused a lot of sleepless nights (and a lot of sunburn too), but hopefully taking on a few of these tips will have you sleeping soundly through the heat. Moral of the story; invest in a decent fan, make some room in your freezer, and have lots of cold showers and you’ll be snoozing in no time.
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