Contact our Wellbeing Team on 0800 170 1777

Sleep a struggle this summer?

Sleeping in the summer heat
Is the heat causing havoc with your sleep pattern?

If you’ve struggled to get to sleep during the last few months due to the heat in your bedroom, you’re not alone.  When the thermometer starts to record temperatures that we’re just not used to in the UK, many people struggle to cope with poor sleep.  There are a variety of simple, yet practical ways to improve your chances of a good night’s sleep.  Here are a few top tips for creating a cool oasis in your bedroom:

  • Sharing a bed: If you share a bed, make sure there is enough room for you to sleep without disturbing each other.
  • Close the curtains: Yes really, if your bedroom is in the sun during the heat of the day, close the curtains as this may reduce the temperature in your room by up to 5oc.
  • Choose cotton: Save the fancy silk or polyester for the cooler nights and instead make use of light coloured cotton bed linen as these are breathable and promote ventilation and airflow
  • Cool your feet and wrists:  Before hitting the sack, take a few moments to plunge your feet and hands into cool water as this lowers your overall body temperature.
  • Cold water bottle: Fill your favourite winter warmer up with cold water and instead, stick it in the freezer for your own bed-friendly ice pack.
  • Fan: Ever felt all your fan does was blow the hot air around? Think again! Freeze a bottle of water or fill a pan with ice cubes, then simply place in front of your fan to act as a creative air-con system as the ice melts the fan picks up and blows around the cold mist.
  • Frozen sheets: If you’re getting really desperate, you may want to try this one!  Place your bed sheets or pillowcase in a plastic bag and then place in your freezer. Although they won’t stay cold all night they will offer temporary respite from the humidity and heat.  Or try one of the new cooling pillows.
  • H2O: Water helps keep us cool and hydrated, however, be mindful not to drink too much as this may lead to those 3am bathroom dashes. Instead, have a glass by your bed for if you wake with a thirst.
  • Alcohol: Yes it may make you feel tired and sleepy, but in reality, alcohol will dehydrate you making you feel more agitated, especially in the heat, so avoid drinking in excess before bedtime.
  • Caffeine: As well as being an obvious stimulant, like alcohol, caffeine can dehydrate you so try to avoid tea and coffee after lunchtime.
  • Eating: Avoid eating a big meal before bedtime as your sleep will be disturbed by an overactive digestive system.  There are some foods that are thought to promote sleep such as wholegrain, nuts, seeds, bananas and milk.  Protein rich foods such as chicken and turkey combined with rice, pasta or potatoes will help to ensure your body benefits from the amino acid called tryptophan which can help to boost the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin.
  • Exercise: Avoid intensive exercising at least 2-3 hours before bed as exercise can dehydrate us by raising our body temperature along with increasing our need for additional fluids, again resulting in potential 3am toilet dashes.

These are just a small number of ways to help you have a better night’s sleep during hot and humid evenings.
If you’d like to improve sleeping habits amongst your employees, talk to us about our sleep educational workshops available as part of our corporate health and wellbeing programmes. Contact us via our website or call us on 0800 170 1777.

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