British summer is well and truly here with baking sun rays of 34C blasting the country. Sleeping can be tricky when it is hot as the heat stifles people’s homes. Here’s a few tips on how to sleep
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Health experts have been warning people of the temperatures as they rise, with baking temperatures of over 30C today.
The Uk Health Security Agency (UKHSA) issued a level two health alert for a large parts of southern and central England with level one in place for Northern England.
Hannah Cloke, a hydrology professor at the University of Reading, said: “Despite the official warnings, some people still underestimate the effects of heat and don’t change their plans to take it into account.”
How do I sleep during a heatwave?
There are a number of things that can help you to sleep during a heatwave, such as switching up your bed sheets and reducing the light.
Reduce light in your room
Thicker curtains or blinds should help darken your room, which can help you to get to sleep
If you can’t afford to do a bit of extra decorating, a trusty eye mask should do.
This is one of the most important tips going, as you should drink as much as you can during the day to avoid dehydration.
Water is king, as plenty of soft drinks contain caffeine that will keep you awake.
You might want to avoid the booze as well, it doesn’t help us sleep that well and can make you feel particularly awful in the hot weather.
The hot weather can feel very stifling and as a result, we may feel a bit drowsy, but we should still avoid napping.
Sleeping when it’s hot, is difficult already, so avoid taking that extra nap as it could make things even more difficult when you eventually turn in for the night.
Change your sheets
If you haven’t already, ditch the duvet and just use the sheets instead. This still gives you a cover, but without anything in it designed to keep you warm.
Keep them fresh as well, there’s no point getting into bed feeling stifled by increasingly sweaty sheets, so change them and enjoy the feeling of cool clean bedding.
You could even stick them in your freezer for 10 minutes before bed for extra relief.
Using a fan
Sticking a fan next to your face might sound like the loveliest way to slumber during a heatwave, but experts advise against it as it can blow pollen and dust into your face all night.
“Take a close look at your fan,” The Sleep Advisor suggests. “If it’s been collecting dust on the blades, those particles are flying through the air every time you turn it on.”
Having a fan on you all night could also dry out your skin and nasal passages, meaning you wake up feeling bunged up as your body produces more mucous to replace it.
Stick to a routine
Even if you are thrown off-kilter by the hot weather, try to go to bed at the same time. Habits are important for sleeping and when it’s hot, keeping them is even more important.
Keep your bed as a bed
It may seem strange, but use your bed just for sleeping. The idea here is to make your mind get used to the idea that the main purpose of your bed is to sleep, so avoid doing other things in it.
Diet guru Dr Michael Mosley said: “The advice is broadly the 15-minute rule. If you are still awake after 15 minutes, get up and do something boring until you feel sleepy and then go back to bed. The rule is to associate bed with sleep and sex and nothing else. No Twitter, no TV, nothing else.”
Decide on whether to open your windows
Not everyone should open their windows to keep cool, and it can depend on which way your bedroom is facing.
Adam Pawson, head of digital at SafeStyle, says: “Choosing whether to open your windows or keep them closed depends on their positioning.
“If your windows are south-facing, it is best to close your curtains or blinds, or put the window in the night vent position to allow some air in.
“Whereas, if your windows are north-facing, it’s advised to keep them shut to avoid any hot air coming in.”