Summer, sun, hot nights. But, how are we supposed to sleep in the heat? The following hints will help you to get relaxing sleep and to wake up the following morning well rested.
Air and darken bedroom early in the morning
Open the windows early in the morning and let fresh and cool air flow into all rooms, especially into the bedroom. Latest when the sun and its warming sunrays become visible, tightly close all windows and shutters to bar the heat. Once the air cooled down in the late evening, shortly care for a draft. This leads to a comfortable room climate that makes falling asleep easy. Be careful to avoid draft during the night. Draft not only might lead to a stiff neck it also might irritate your mucosa.
Heat, heavy meals and good sleep are incompatible
As a general rule, prefer light meals with a lots of fruits and fluids (water, tea or diluted juices) during days and nights of great heat. Take your meal three hours before going to bed, latest. Because, eating too close to bed time might impair with your night’s rest since your body is busy with digestion instead with the important and necessary regeneration and repair.
Most likely, you will sweat more on hot days. To balance your fluid loss your body needs more fluids than usual (2.5 to 3 liters are a guideline). Be careful to fill up your tanks during daytime and not in the evening. Or your sleep will be disturbed by nightly visits to the bathroom. By the way: alcohol, too, is a sleep disturber. Even when mild evenings are tempting you should not drink more than an occasional beer or glass of red wine.
Perfect temperature for sleeping
For good sleep, your body temperature has to be reduced by about one degree Celsius. A lukewarm shower right before going to bed supports this process. Don’t towel yourself thoroughly, let the humidity evaporate on your skin. This is comfortably cooling. But, be careful: even if a cold shower seems to be pleasantly cooling the opposite is true: due to the cold stimuli the body is going to produce even more heat!
In bed, prefer pure natural fibers – for your nightwear as well as for your bedding. A thin, airy duvet made of natural and climate regulating sheep wool as well as a suitable pillow prevent uncomfortable heat attacks. Possible sweating is quickly absorbed by the moisture absorbent fibers of sheep wool.
Stay away from sleeping pills
Fundamentally, sleeping pills should only be taken under medical supervision and only when suffering under sleep disturbances due to illness. Herbal sleep enhancing supplements like valerian, hops, passionflower, etc. are helpful and recommendable. In summer, too, a regular sleep-wake-cycle and sufficient sleep are important. Not always easy to achieve, because during the long days with much light the production of the sleeping hormone melatonin is inhibited.
Be cautious with fans and air conditions
Fans and air conditions are very popular. They let evaporate the sweat on your skin and have a refreshing effect. But, be cautious: the use of an air condition and/or a fan often leads to tensions in the neck and – once your body is cooled too much – to colds. Also, irritations to eyes and mucous membranes might occur.
From the sleep-biologic point of view, it must be advised against these devices. Especially cheap devices lack advanced technology. Furthermore, the high energy input stands in no relation to the cold produced. Last, but not least, these appliances produce sleep disturbing electro-magnetic radiations.