Dr Neil Stanley Independent Sleep Expert
© Dr. Neil Stanley 2013-2017
How to sleep in the heat Essentially in order to get a good night’s sleep you need to lose between 0.5 – 1oC of body temperature. This is usually mainly lost out of the head and face as that is the bit that sticks out of your duvet. The ideal temperature for a bedroom is between 16-18oC which is much cooler than under the duvet and so there is a temperature gradient allowing you to easily loose the body heat needed. When the bedroom is hotter that this e.g. during hot weather, it is more difficult to lose that heat and this can cause our sleep to become fragmented and disturbed Because food and alcohol are very calorific eating and drinking too much in the hot weather means that the body is also having to burn off the calories making even more difficult to get a good night’s sleep. So in the hot weather reduce the amount of alcohol you drink and avoid having big heavy meals in the evening. Keep the curtains/shutters of the bedroom closed during the day if your bedroom faces the sun Sleep under a cotton sheet or wear cotton pyjamas as this will help wick away any moisture so will stop you feeling clammy during the night An air conditioning unit may be able to lower the temperature of the room but the noise that it makes may be just as disturbing of sleep. Strange as it may seem taking a warm shower will actually help you cool down quicker than a cool shower. Having a cool shower does not reduce the core body temperature juts the skin temperature and so the body may in fact try to produce more heat to re-warm the skin. Having a warm shower heats the skin thus fooling the body to try and cool down. Have a desk fan blowing air across your face, this facilitates heat lose. Even better is if the fan is blowing air across a bag of frozen peas. Drink some iced water before bed and have a glass of water next to your bed to drink if you wake in the night. Tie cold damp cloths around your wrist or neck. Sleep downstairs, remember heat rises