How to sleep better: Experts give top tips to ensuring a good night’s rest in the heat
The Met Office has warned that a heatwave is due to hit parts of the UK this week, with temperatures set to soar to as high as 34C in London on Wednesday. Sleeping well comes down to temperature which is incredibly important to getting quality sleep. Body temperature naturally decreases at bedtime to help a person relax. As a drop in heart rate and a drop in core temperature are part of the process the body goes through when getting ready for sleep, how can this be combatted with the upcoming extreme weather according to a sleep expert?
Poor sleep costs the UK economy £40bn a year and studies reveal that two in five Britons admitted to not getting a good nights sleep.
Sleeping in boiling temperatures is a big issue that many will face as an African heatwave sweeps across the UK
Sleep expert, James Wilson, aka The Sleep Geek, said: “With around one in three people struggling with poor sleep, I have developed an offering that helps these people to understand their sleeping routing and what behavioural and environmental changed they can make to get better sleep.”
Wilson’s advice for ensuring a good night’s rest despite the sweltering heat include:
Ensure there is a good airflow through the house. Open windows on both sides to allow the air to pass through
Close blinds and curtains that are exposed to direct sunlight. The shade will help the room stay cooler
Have a lukewarm bath or shower before bed to encourage your core temperature to drop, or alternatively put lukewarm water in a hot water bottle and place the soles of your feet on it
If using a fan, place a bowl of chilled water in front of it to cool the stream of air its pushing around the room
Don’t put bedding or pyjamas in the fridge-freezer as this will add more moisture to your sleep environment and that moisture will heat up and make you even warmer
If you are using a cotton sheet ensure it is as low a thread count as possible as the higher the thread count, the less breathable it is.
Cotton is ok in hot weather, although it isn’t that great at wicking the moisture away; I would suggest using bamboo.
It has longer fibres so breaths better and scents lint so people with skin conditions are not as aggravated – it’s also lighter on the body
Doctor Sarah Brewer offered some advice and said: “Sleeping naked mans that your body remains cooler during the night, which is important as overheating is a common cause of disturbed sleep.
“Being over-hot in bed by even 3-4 degrees changes brain-wave patterns, reduces the mouth of time you spend in REM sleep, increases the chances of waking up and reduces deep sleep.
“The five benefits of sleeping naked include weight loss, improves skin problems, reduces the risk of fungal skin infections, improves relationships with the significant other, and improves male fertility.”
Wilson added: “Don’t worry too much about it. The biggest thing that prevents us sleeping in hot weather is the thought of being too hot.
“My advice would be to suck it up, accept that you might not sleep quite as well, but that it will probably be over in a couple of days.
“Your body will more than likely make up for the poor sleep by giving you better quality sleep once the temperature drops.”
If a person is still battling to sleep in the hot weather, it is advisable to speak with your GP to see if theres another reason you’re having trouble sleep.