As Britons deal with an ‘extreme’ Spanish heatwave and temperatures are expected to soar to highs of 93F (34C), many will be worried about getting a good night’s sleep.
Tossing and turning while a fan blares in our ears, it’s not exactly easy to drift off into a restful slumber – but there are lots of ways to make sure you can still sleep soundly even when temperatures outside reach record highs.
Dr.David Lee, clinical director twitter.com/solitaryisle at Sleep Unlimited, explained why it’s so difficult to sleep in the hot weather, saying: ‘When you get tired at night you feel a bit chilly. It’s actually a drop in body temperature of about one degree. That drop is a signal to get cosy in your “nest” in order to get off to sleep.’
Of course, when the outside environment is so hot, it’s more difficult to get that temperature drop.Dr. Lee said: ‘That’s why you struggle when there’s a big shift in temperature.’
Sammy Margo, a sleep expert at Dreams, added that the heat will disrupt the release of melatonin – the ‘sleep hormone’ that makes us feel tired.
Thankfully, there are ways to help yourself drift off to sleep, and they don’t require splashing out on air con or a fan.
As temperatures are set to soar to 93F (34C) on Friday, many Brits will be worrying about how they’re going to drift off – but two sleep experts have the answer to getting a full eight hours
STAY HYDRATED – BUT NOT TOO MUCH
We all know it’s important to drink plenty of water when the weather heats up, but aside from the obvious benefits, Sammy notes it’s important for sleeping too.
She said: ‘Make sure that you maintain higher than usual hydration levels throughout the day, because dehydration can interfere with sleep.
‘Be careful with your alcohol intake because this can cause dehydration as well as prevent you from getting into the deeper stages of sleep.’
Dr.Lee also stressed the importance of staying hydrated – but added it’s important to know when to stop drinking water.
He said: ‘Try to avoid over-drinking in the two hours before bed because if you have a lot of liquid in your bladder this can cause additional sleep disturbance due to visiting the bathroom during the night.’
Instead, he suggested drinking earlier in the day to keep hydrated.
Dr.David Lee, clinical director at Sleep Unlimited, said the body naturally cools down by about one degree when you begin to feel tired – which is why the hot weather disrupts your natural sleep cycle. He added this is also the case for perimenopausal women who suffer from hot flushes
TAKE A SHOWER BEFORE BEDTIME
Although it might seem like a good idea to tire yourself out before going to bed by doing some exercise, it’s actually counter-intuitive, according to Sammy.