Hot days are a real treat. You get to go to the beach, eat ice cream, play in the sun. Hotter weather lifts everyone’s mood and we are all delighted when a nice summer comes along. However, with hot days there are often hot nights too. Depending on where you live it may not cool down a lot by the time night comes and this can make sleeping a real chore. Sleeping in hot weather is tough. We usually take longer to get to sleep, don’t have as good a rest, wake up often, and on some occasions wake to feel sweaty and miserable. There are many tips on the internet about how to sleep better in hot weather. Some of them do far more harm than good.
The fan is the most popular solution. I have a fan for hot weather and I need it at night. To sleep without it is almost impossible. However, I recently found out what a bad idea it is. I never had an issue with the fan but my partner would often complain of a sore throat the next day. After some googling, it became clear that the fan was the cause.
Running a fan all night can start to circulate the dust in the room and cause breathing problems as it is all being directed towards you. The fan will also dry out the air and leave your eyes and throat dry. Finally, studies have shown that a fan will actually dry out your skin and muscles and could cause you to cramp during the night.
This shows that while a fan may cool you down it comes at a high price. If you really need to use a fan then we suggest having a bowl of chilled water sitting in front of it. This will keep the air cool and moist and help fight some of the issues.
Other internet wizards say that you should put your sheet or pillowcases in the fridge or freezer. That having them chilled will help to keep you cool the entire night. This is just false. While it may sound like it makes sense these items will soon return to room temperature and the added moisture that they bring will actually make for a less comfortable sleep.
Instead, sleep experts advise bringing a hot water bottle to bed with cool or lukewarm water inside. This will allow you to have contact with something lower than the room temperature and help keep you cool.
They suggest that lukewarm is best because if it is too cold it will actually make you more alert and keep you awake. It is also a good idea to have a shower right before bed – again it should be lukewarm. This will cause your core body temperature to drop and allow you to remain cool in hot weather.
The best advice is to have a glass of cool or lukewarm water beside the bed. Drink plenty of water before you fall asleep. Other than that you probably just need to adjust to the new temperature. If you fight the hot temperatures every night you will never get used to them. The best approach is to simply go through a couple of nights of bad sleep until it becomes the norm.
Most important of all is not to stress about the hot weather or the lack of sleep. The more you think about it the more it will keep you awake. Try to distract yourself with some calming music or something else that will allow you to forget about the heat and slowly fall asleep.