The 5 best hacks to sleep in the heat – and why it’s time to DITCH the fan06/03/2021
BRITS are set for another scorching day today as temperatures are on track to hit 29C in some parts of the UK.
With the warm weather comes restless nights, as we battle with the duvet trying to hopelessly drift off to the land of nod.
Tonight is likely to be yet another stuffy night for many of us, with some waking up sleepy after a night of broken sleep due to the heat.
We’ll all be basking in a mini-heatwave over the next fortnight, with thousands heading to beaches and parks to make the most of the sunshine.
Bookmakers Coral now makes this month just 6-4 to become the hottest June since records began.
Most of us aren't used to sweltering temperatures and will try anything to stop sweating profusely each time the sun has got its hat on – but this can be hard to do if you're trying to get to sleep.
Here experts reveal their top tips on how to get a good night's sleep during a heatwave.
1. Don't use heated appliances
Our bodies need to cool down before we can go to sleep and if you're using lots of different appliances then this could be driving up the temperature of your home.
Heating expert, Jordan Chance from PlumbNation explained: "Having your oven turned on increases the temperature of your kitchen which can heat up the rest of your house.
"Why not get the BBQ out instead and cook outside!
"Light bulbs and plugged in appliances also generate heat, so it is best to keep these unplugged and turned off when not using – this will not only help keep your home cool but will also save you some money too!"
2. Use an ice bottle
Jordan said that one great trick is to use an ice water bottle and put it in your bed to keep it cool.
Make sure the bottle is sealed though to avoid leakage.
He added: "Putting ice into a bowl in front of a fan will blow cold air throughout the room bringing the temperature down.
"Alternatively change your bedsheets to cotton or linen, as this can help lower your body temperature as the material breathes easier."
Sleep myths explained as experts say you can’t make up for lost sleep
Stephanie Romiszewski, Sleep Expert on behalf of LloydsPharmacy goes through some of the most common misconceptions when it comes to sleep.
MYTH: Losing just 1 hours sleep has a big impact – Stephanie explains: "In reality, losing 1 hours sleep doesn’t have too much of an impact. If you lose an hour, you may find you are a touch sleepier than usual and have a slightly bigger appetite when you awake.
"However, the brain is clever and it will simply just increase the sleep stages it needs into your next night to compensate – so there is no need to alter your routine."
MYTH: You should go to bed if you’re not tired – Go to bed when you’re actually sleepy, instead of forcing it, Stephanie says.
"It’s important to listen to our body. Therefore, if you’re tired and enjoying the feeling of resting, then sleep may naturally take over, but if not, get up and do something relaxing for a bit.
"This could be reading or listening to quiet music, and then when you start to feel sleepy, listen to your body and go back to bed."
MYTH: Missing sleep doesn’t matter, as long as you make up for it the following night
Our bodies can easily compensate for the odd 1-2 hours lost sleep, however a few good night’s sleep won’t necessarily make up for a week of bad sleep.
Stephanie said: "It is better for us to focus on regulation of our sleep, rather than being obsessed by the same number of hours each night. Now, if you have lost a whole night of sleep, you may need a little extra sleep, for a few hours lost, but your brain will just improve the next sleep cycle to compensate for the stages of sleep it feels it needs.
"Our anxiety over this matter is the real issue where it causes much bigger sleep issues. Imagine if we just didn’t worry about it and let our bodies do their thing."
3. Sleep downstairs
If you live in a house then it might be worth taking your pillow down to the couch or even the floor, Jordan says.
He explained: "As heat rises throughout the home during the day, by the evening your bedrooms upstairs can become rather unpleasant, you could try sleeping downstairs if you are really struggling, or even try moving your mattress onto the floor."
4. Watch what you drink
Boozing before bed is never a great idea – but your sleep will be affected even more when it's hot.
Experts previously warned that you should be mindful of what you're putting into your body during warm spells.
Instead, make sure you keep a cool glass of water by your bedside to stop you from overheating in the night.
5. Go it alone
If you usually share a bed with someone, it's time to get ruthless.
It's obvious, but you'll stand a better chance of keeping cool if you have the bed to yourself, and sleeping apart may be the only way to save your sanity.
Why you need to ditch the fan
Experts have previously warned that leaving a fan on could be bad for your health.
According to The Sleep Advisor, as fans circulate the air, they can move around dust particles and other potential allergens that can cause irritation.
This can trigger allergies and is bad for people who suffer with asthma, says sleep expert Mark Reddick.
He said: "For some people, having a ceiling or floor fan in the room helps them fall asleep and stay cool during the night.
"For others, it can keep them awake, trigger asthma attacks or dry out their eyes.
"As a fan moves air around the room, it causes flurries of dust and pollen to make their way into your sinuses.
"If you’re prone to allergies, asthma, and hay fever, this could stir up a whole lot of trouble."
He recommended cleaning your fan before you use them, as dust can collect on the blades.
Another downside to sleeping with a fan on is that it can increase your risk of dry skin and eyes.
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