With summer in full swing, our focus is on picnics, days lounging on the beach and tasty iced drinks.
But hot weather has a horrible double edge when intense heat and humidity make it hard to sleep through the night.
More than 53% of Kiwis say their sleep habits are affected by the weather, with 30% losing sleep due to overheating and 33% waking up in the night because of the heat, according to a recent Sleepyhead survey.
Ideally, in order for us to get a good night’s sleep, there needs to be a fractional temperature difference between our body and our brain – a warm body and a cool head. When the outdoor temperature rises this becomes difficult, but there are plenty of things you can do to beat the heat:
Evaluate your sleeping clothes – it’s important to consider not just the amount of clothing that you wear to bed, but the materials the clothing is made of. Some materials (such as cotton), breathe much better than other materials (such as polyester or Lycra). When your clothing doesn’t breathe, it holds in the temperature and keeps you warm right throughout the night.
Circulate air flow – if the air in your bedroom stops flowing, you can overheat while you’re sleeping (since you’re staying in one place for several hours). Adding either a floor or a ceiling fan can circulate the air through your room to help prevent you from overheating while you sleep. For an extra benefit, you could aim the fan close to your bed so you feel the cool air as it circulates around your room.
Adjust your covers according to the season – if you use the same quilt or comforter year-round, now is the time to re-evaluate. You should have a lightweight blanket or throw for the warmer months and something a little heavier, possibly made with goose down, for the colder months. Your bedding is critical to keeping you comfortable while you sleep, so it’s important to determine what’s best for you for each season. For example, it’s possible that for you a top sheet is sufficient in the summertime.
The material your sheets are made out of can also influence your comfort while you sleep. Cotton – as we’ve mentioned – breathes much better than flannel or satin sheets.
Don’t forget to also keep hydrated.
Tossing and turning and sweating at night can result in dehydration, so make sure you get some H20 in the tank beforehand (just one glass will do the trick, unless you’re really into those 3am bathroom runs).
if you’re noticing yourself feeling uncomfortable while you’re trying to rest or waking up sore, find out more about getting your perfect bed for your perfect sleep