It can be nearly impossible to fall asleep in an uncomfortable environment. With the summer’s recent record-setting heatwave, getting the recommended daily dose of shut-eye has become significantly more difficult. In fact, experts say there has been a spike in sleeplessness across the country, largely related to heat.
Although the heatwave has come and gone, the Met Office reported above-average temperature is here to stay. Follow these guidelines to stay cool while catching up on sleep:
- Keep your bedroom cool—Use a few tricks to cool down your bedroom, such as installing a rotating fan near your bed, sleeping under thin sheets and putting pillowcases in the freezer shortly before bed to provide a cool surface for slumber.
- Watch what you eat—Eating heavy dinners or drinking large amounts of alcohol will make it more difficult to fall asleep, as the body will have to work harder to burn off extra calories. Make sure you eat a light meal and limit yourself to a single alcoholic drink—if any—to increase your chances of getting a good night’s sleep.
- Stick to cotton—Wearing cotton pyjamas and using cotton bedding is a smart move, according to experts. The material is known for helping draw sweat away from the body, ensuring a cool evening rather than a sticky slumber.
- Prepare for success—Create a bedtime routine that increases your ability to sleep through the night. For example, maintain a cool body temperature before bed by taking a cold shower or drinking a glass of ice water. In addition, ensure your sleep environment is comfortable and contains no distractions by eliminating electronic gadgets, blocking out noise with earplugs and closing the curtains.
- Find a ‘winding down’ activity—If you are feeling particularly restless or struggle with insomnia, find an activity to do right before bed that relaxes you, clears your mind and prepares your body for rest. Some common winding down activities include writing to-do lists for the following day, doing light yoga, listening to a relaxation CD or reading a book.