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15 June 2017, 15:53
As temperatures are set to rise over the weekend, here's how you can beat the heat at bedtime according to sleep experts.
Whilst the glorious sunshine is welcome after what feels like months of gloomy weather, the heat can be a nightmare when it comes to going to bed - for the kids and for yourself.
With temperatures expected to soar to 30°C by the end of the week, the UK is set to swelter this weekend and the last thing you want is an irritated family, who are sleep deprived because of the heat.
According to leading sleep expert Dave Gibson from Warren Evans bed makers, the optimal bedroom temperature for sleep is between 16°C and 21°C and your brain actually needs to be a fraction of a degree cooler than the rest of your body. So if your bedroom, body and brain are too hot, it can mean a restless and uncomfortable night.
Fill a hot water bottle with ice water and place on the ‘cooling points’ of your body, such as behind your knees or ankles. The wrists, neck, groin and elbows are other ‘pulse points’ to pay attention to.
Replace your bedtime body moisturiser with an Aloe Vera based after sun cream, kept in the fridge for added cooling power.
Fill an empty perfume bottle with chilled water and keep it by your bedside, spray on your face, back of your neck, and back of your knees to cool down.
Use cotton pyjamas and thin pure cotton sheets for your bed. Soft and breathable, high quality cotton is the ideal bedding material to sleep between to stay cool.
Eat small light meals often, rather than large meals more sparsely, to avoid creating metabolic heat as you digest your food, which will warm you up. Avoid too much protein as this is a known food group to boost your metabolic rate, and heats your body up.
Try spicy food. There’s a reason hotter countries like India and Thailand are famous for their delicious curries. The chemical capsaicin in spicy food stimulates heat receptors in your mouth, enhancing circulation and causing sweating, which cools the body down. Be sure to eat at least 3 hours before you go to bed though, as spicy foods can also stop you sleeping well.
Keep your evening bath or shower tepid, which makes it easier for your body to reach the optimal sleep temperature. Leaving your hair wet can also help cool you during the night.
Keep windows closed and curtains drawn in the day to keep the house cooler, particularly those facing east or west. This stops your home warming up in the sun and in the evening can also help block the evening light, helping you to wind down more easily.
Turn off all electrical devices in the room as these produce heat when running (this will also help you avoid those tempting, late-night social media and email check-ups!). Use natural light if you can rather than light bulbs that emit heat.
Putting a damp sheet in front of an open window will cool the air as it comes into the bedroom with a breeze.