The Sleep Council is offering advice to help reduce the impact of holidays and heatwaves on your sleep.
“We all enjoy our Summer and a chance to get away,” said Lisa Artis, sleep advisor at The Sleep Council. “However, hot weather and unfamiliar surroundings can be a nuisance when it comes to bedtime.”
While sunshine and exotic destinations are precisely the reasons most people like to get away, here are Lisa’s top tips for the surviving the heat and travel:
“Ideally bedrooms should be around 16-18°C (60-65°F) but if, at nighttime, the outside temperature remains higher, or your bedroom has retained the heat from the day, it can be difficult to keep cool. Your body temperature needs to lower slightly before you go to sleep which is why it’s difficult to drop off when you’re too hot.”
Lisa added that the key to a better sleep on holiday starts before leaving home:
“From jet lag to unfamiliar environments and irregular bedtimes, your sleep can be disrupted in many ways when you’re away from home. But there are things you can do to minimise its effects, such as taking your pillow with you for some familiarity and comfort.”
“Diet has a large part to play in setting the body clock. The day before you fly, make sure you eat three balanced meals, including at least five servings of fruit or green vegetables and one of protein rich food such as white fish or tofu.”
Here are some more simple and effective tips from The Sleep Council to help you stay cool and comfortable in bed this summer:
• Open windows – and doors – to create a cool draught through your bedroom, and keep curtains or blinds drawn during the day to keep the sun out and your room cooler at night.
• If you’ve got an attic, try opening the hatch. Hot air rises and this will give it somewhere to go.
• Get rid of the duvet and blankets and sleep with just a cotton sheet – or a duvet with a low tog rating.
• Wear light cotton nightwear – this is actually better than wearing nothing at all as natural fabric will absorb any perspiration.
• Have a cool shower or bath before bedtime to lower your core body temperature.
• Drink plenty of cold water during the evening and keep a glass by the bed.
• Avoid too much caffeine, alcohol or a big meal before bedtime as this can make you feel hot in the middle of the night because of dehydration and over-active digestion.
• Pull out your hot water bottle, but fill it with ice cold water and have it in bed with you.
• Cool a pillow case in the fridge before bedtime or try one of the new cooling pillows that are available to buy – both will help you keep a cool head!
• If you share a bed, make sure it’s big enough for two people so you can sleep without disturbing each other – a 5ft wide bed should be your minimum.
• To banish jet lag be sure to drink plenty of water and once on the plane, set your watch to local time at your destination.
• Eat according to normal mealtimes at your destination.
• Pack an eye mask and ear plugs.
• Daylight can help reset your internal clock, so an early morning walk and as much time spent outdoors as possible can be useful strategies.