Heat and sleep

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THE RECENT heatwave sweeping across the country has caught many of us off guard, as our bodies try desperately to catch up with the sudden jump in temperatures.

It’s bad enough during the day, as we try and dodge the sun by sitting under parasols, walking on the shady side of the street and popping into Mercadona just to hang around the fridges.

However, although the warm, balmy nights may be perfect for al fresco entertainment they can also be problematic for sleep and banging up the air-con to max isn’t always the answer.

Ideally, bedrooms should be around 16-18°C, but when the outside temperature remains higher, or your bedroom has retained the heat from the day, it can be difficult to keep cool.

Your body temperature needs to lower slightly before you go to sleep which is why it’s difficult to drop off when you’re too hot.

Here’s some top tips to help you sleep like a baby kitten between now and September:

Bottle up

Take a bottle to bed! No, not a bottle of rioja. Dig out your hot water bottle fill it with ice cold water and small lumps of Mojito ice and take it to bed with you.

Sock it to me

Try putting socks in the fridge to wear in bed as cooling your feet lowers the overall temperature of your skin and body, ideal during a hot summer night.
Make sure you don’t confuse them with slices of jamon, when you raid the fridge for a post fiesta bocadillo. The same applies for pillow cases.

Draw down

Keep curtains or blinds drawn during the day to keep the sun out and your room cooler at night.

Cool off

Before bedtime, a cooling shower or bath is ideal for bringing down your body temperature.

White noise

A fan in your bedroom helps to move the air around the room, and the white noise sound has been proven to help deeper sleep.

If the noise keeps you awake, invest in some earplugs to drift off and if it’s really hot put a tray of ice and a little water in front of the fan which will cool the air even more.

Smooth and silky

Choosing the right bedding is vitally important, so choose silk, cotton and wool to help regulate your body temperature and wick away moisture.

Lightweight, breathable bed sheets are vital in warmer months, allowing your body to keep cool, so try pure french linen, with its cool to the touch nature.

It’s naturally two to three times more absorbent than cotton and evaporates moisture easily.

Follow the light
Try to choose light-coloured bed linen. As with clothing, dark colours consume the heat and light colours reflect it, so stick to whites and pale pastel colours.

No to nude
Wear light, breathable cotton pyjamas and stay clear of anything fleecy and thick.
This is actually better than wearing nothing at all as natural fabric will absorb any perspiration.

Coffee?

Avoid too much caffeine, alcohol or a big meal before bedtime as this can make you feel hot in the middle of the night because of dehydration and over-active digestion.

Hydrate, hydrate

Drink plenty of cold water during the evening and keep a glass by the bed.

Morning peel

Last, but no means least, at this time of year, it is so important to pull the bed sheets back in the morning to allow your bedding to breathe and freshen up.

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