How to sleep in a heatwave–tips and tricks

·3-min read
Sleeping during a heatwave in the UK can be miserable--but there are ways to make it a little more bearable (Vladislav Muslakov/Unsplash)
Sleeping during a heatwave in the UK can be miserable--but there are ways to make it a little more bearable (Vladislav Muslakov/Unsplash)

A heatwave is often very welcome in the UK—crowds will head to the parks and beaches to soak up the sun and make the most of the summer weather before the inevitable showers.

But once the sun goes down and we head home from a day out with friends, we’re suddenly longing for Britain’s gloomy weather to return.

Sleeping when it’s hot can be miserable–especially in the UK where most homes are built to keep the heat in. And air conditioning? Never heard of it.

But with warmer weather on the way, we’re going to have to put up with a few nights of sleeping in uncomfortably hot environments.

Fortunately, there are a few methods we can follow to keep ourselves cool and enjoy a good night’s rest.

Tips for sleeping during a heatwave

1. Keep rooms cool

Close curtains and windows in rooms that face the sun during the day–but open windows at night to let in a breeze.

2. Cool your feet down

Cooling your feet can lower your body’s temperature generally. Cool your feet before bed by running cold water over them, or cool down some socks in the fridge and wear them to bed.

3. Sleep on your side

Sleeping on your side allows more heat to escape from your body. Plus, because heat escapes from your head, hands, and feet, keep these parts of your body outside of the covers.

4. Drink enough water

Staying hydrated is especially important in hot weather. Make sure you drink enough water throughout the day, but avoid drinking too much right before you go to sleep to avoid waking up in the night.

5. Don’t take a cold shower

Although it may seem counterproductive, taking a lukewarm shower will help you stay cooler. Cold water can make our body temperatures rise, meaning you’ll feel warm going to bed.

6. Wear cool pyjamas–or nothing at all

Now isn’t the time for cosy flannels. Make sure your pyjamas will keep you cool–think light materials and t-shirts and shorts–or opt to wear nothing at all to let your body heat escape more easily.

7. Use a hot water bottle

Your hot water bottle doesn’t need to be reserved for chilly winter nights only. Fill it with cold water and place it in the freezer, then take it to bed with you to stay cool all night.

8. Exercise earlier in the day instead

If you usually exercise in the evening, you may want to consider a morning workout instead. Exercising can raise our body temperature, so a cardio session just before bed may make you warmer.

9. Use a cold wet flannel

Place a wet flannel in the fridge a few hours before bed, and then place it on your forehead to keep you cool as you drift off.

10. Try not to nap

While the warm weather might make us feel sleepy, and taking a nap at the hottest part of the day might sound very inviting, napping in the day may make it harder for you to fall asleep at night.

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