A Sleep Expert explains to Female First how being too hot at night can exacerbate a number of health related conditions and offers advice on how to keep cool.
Insomnia - Core body temperature plays an important role in the regulation of sleep with a one degree drop required to help us fall off to sleep and a similar rise helping wake us up. Thermoregulatory issues that lead to overheating such as menopause, hot sweats or simply a hot climate can lead to sleep disturbance and insomnia.
Increased breathing - overheating in bed can lead to hyperventilation (increased breathing rate) and consequent reductions in the amount of oxygen in the blood stream. This can increase the risk of early morning ill health including breathing difficulties.
Heat exhaustion - overheating is also commonly associated with heat exhaustion and heatstroke. Both include symptoms of tingling skin, goose bumps, nausea and headaches.
Research earlier this year, found that 8% of those surveyed called in sick to work due to tiredness and a quarter of those surveyed said that a bad night’s sleep impacted their ability to do their job successfully – That’s why Dr Guy Meadows from Bensons for Beds has put together 11 simple tips that could help you stay cool and well-rested this summer. You’ll thank him for them tonight!
Lose a layer
Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best. Use sheets and blankets, rather than duvets; these can help to regulate body temperature quickly and easily.
Take a cool shower before bed for a quick and easy way to cool down. Avoid freezing showers though as these can be overly stimulating and wake you up.
Save satin, silk or polyester sheets for a colder day! Cotton bed linens are lightweight and breathable, promoting airflow in your bedroom.
Reach for the H20
Have a glass of water nearby to drink if and when thirsty. But remember, drinking a full glass of water before bed can lead to multiple toilet visits throughout the night.
Warm weather encourages outdoor activities with lots of loud, excited voices. Use ear plugs to block out noise for a quiet sleep environment.
Make your own breeze
Humans sleep best in a cool bedroom, with the ideal temperature being 17ºC. Open a window or invest in a silent electric fan to add an extra breeze.
Keep a cool head
Getting frustrated and restless because you’re hot only generates more heat and keeps you up longer. Keep a cool head by lying still – only by accepting the heat can you move your mind and body closer to sleep.
Warmer nights bring delayed bed times, which can lead to later eating and drinking close to bedtime. For best quality sleep aim to leave at least two hours between eating and sleeping, while limiting alcohol close to bedtime.
Find a cool room
Some areas of the house are cooler than others. If the heat becomes unbearable, set up camp in another room and enjoy a new cool sleep haven.
When bedroom temperatures soar drastically, action is often needed. Pop your sheets and pillows into bags and put them in the freezer ready for a cool bedtime.
Stay cool in bed
Core body temperature plays an important role in the regulation of sleep, with a slight drop at the start of the night needed to help you fall to sleep. Bensons for Beds iGel technology pillows absorb heat and store it if you are too hot, thus keeping you at a more balanced, natural sleeping temperature for a comfortable night’s sleep.