With the summer season in full swing, temperatures are soaring and there may be more heat waves on the horizon. As the sun shines and heats up your house or apartment all day, it’s no surprise that a lot of us are finding it hard to get a good night’s sleep. The heat during the summer can disrupt our sleep, causing us to toss and turn during the night for some respite during the hot nights.
Before we dive straight into the solutions, let’s have a quick moment to understand why the heat actually affects our ability to sleep. Temperature, stress and light can affect our circadian rhythms, which are 24-hour cycles that are part of our bodies internal clocks that help to regularise our sleep-wake cycles. Your body’s core temperature correlates directly to your body clock. Around two hours before your bedtime, your body will start to release the sleep-promoting hormone melatonin, which will also help to decrease your body's core temperature. When it is too hot, our circadian rhythms become disrupted, causing discomfort and difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. Creating the perfect sleep environment is one of the most effective ways to combat the heat and improve your sleep quality. To help you beat the heat and finally catch some much-needed shut-eye, here are some practical tips and tricks to help keep you cool during your sleep.
Close your curtains and windows
During the summer, it may be very tempting to keep your windows and curtains open all day. However keeping them both shut during the hottest part of the day can help to maintain a cooler indoor environment. Instead, aim to let fresh air in during the early morning and late in the evening when the temperatures are lower to keep the temperatures down. If your bedroom is sun-facing, you should aim to keep your curtains or blinds closed to keep your room shaded from the sun as much as possible. If you’re thinking about changing up your curtains or you’re moving into somewhere new and need new blinds or curtains, opting for light-coloured, heavier fabrics can provide effective heat-blocking capabilities.
Create your own air conditioning
During every heatwave in the UK, you must have heard at least one person say they are going to install air conditioning but never do. Instead of spending a lot of money on air conditioning, there are a few cheaper alternatives you can try out first. To start, if you don’t have a fan, you can hang a damp sheet in front of an open window. As the warm air enters your home it will pass through the wet sheet and cools the warm air as it passes through. If you do have a fan, try placing a bowl of ice in front of it. As the fan blows over the ice, it creates a refreshing mist and cools down the breeze that circulates in the room.
Switch up your bedding
Transforming your bedroom to suit the warmer months can be effortlessly achieved by having separate bedding sets for summer and winter. When choosing your summer bedding, opt for natural and breathable fabrics to ensure you don’t end up uncomfortably sticking to them during hot summer nights. Fabrics such as linen, bamboo and cotton will actually draw heat away from the body and absorb any sweat and release it into the air, which will help to keep you cool on those hot nights.
Take a cooling shower
One of the simplest ways to keep cool whilst you sleep, is to have a shower before getting into bed. Although it might sound counterintuitive, don’t make your shower water cold instead, opt for warm or lukewarm water. When you have a warm shower, it increases vasodilation, which in turn will increase the blood flow in areas like your hand and feet, where heat can escape from. Vasodilation is one of the main ways your body can keep cool whilst you get ready for bed.
Change up what you're eating
The team has a few tips when it comes to what you should eat during the summer evenings to help keep your body temperature low.
- You might feel cooler if you opt for a smaller meal in the evening. When your body digests food, it raises your body's temperature slightly, especially when eating large portions of meat.
- Eating lighter meals in the evening like couscous salads will also mean you don’t have to switch on your oven for long periods of time in the evening. When you have your oven on, it will increase the temperature in your house.
- Your summer diet, especially on a weekend, might consist of cocktails, iced-coffees, ice-cream and many more sugary foods and drinks. Whilst everything in moderation is good, overdoing it on these treats can wreak havoc on your sleep. Drinking too much caffeine can overstimulate your brain, alcohol can make you feel sleepy at the time but can disrupt your sleep, and sugar too close to bedtime can lead to difficulty staying asleep.
How do I get back to sleep if I wake up in the night?
If you do find yourself waking up during the night and tossing and turning constantly, Morphée could be the answer you’re looking for.
Morphée is our amazing sleep and meditation aid device that has been created by sleep experts as a natural solution to your sleep struggles. When you’re wide-awake at night because you’re too hot, or you just cannot stay asleep, simply pick up Morphée and listen to one of the 210 sessions to help your body and mind relax.
How to use Morphée:
- If it’s night-time and you don’t want to disturb anyone in the house, plug in a pair of headphones into the device or through the speaker if you're alone.
- Select 1 of the 8 relaxation techniques offered e.g. breathing, nature sounds, visualisations etc
- Then, choose 1 of the 8 sessions based on your chosen theme
- Finally, opt for either an 8 or 20 minute session
- When listening to Morphée, let yourself be guided by the voice that invites you to relax and shift your attention from your thoughts to your body and breathing.
After you have listened to the session (if you haven’t fallen asleep already) you can either listen to another one or close your eyes and focus on your breathing to help you drift off to sleep. During the summer months, we also recommend placing a small spray bottle of water to mist yourself if you wake up in your sleep. The water droplets will help to cool your skin and also the air around you down, leaving you with a more comfortable sleep environment.