Sleep better in the heat: With these 7 tips you can cool your body at night and sleep well despite the hot temperatures
Warm summer nights are a dream when you can sit outside late into the night without a jacket. However, as soon as you go to bed, the desire for air conditioning or a solution to beat the heat so that you can finally sleep better comes very quickly. Spoiler alert: You don’t need air conditioning to keep from tossing and turning and sweating on the sheets at night because the temperature in the bedroom is in the 40 degree range. But just a few tips. According to experts, the ideal bedroom temperature is between 15 and 19 degrees – the perfect middle ground between “It’s way too hot” and “My feet are freezing off”. This bedroom temperature helps us to find our way into the deep sleep phase and to wake up optimally rested. Of course, without air conditioning, it is not possible to cool the bedroom to these temperatures in midsummer, but you can follow the tips below to at least make it more bearable.
Tip 1 : Take a warm shower
Even if you long for a cold shower when it’s hot, that’s exactly the wrong way. Because if we take a cold shower, the body counteracts this in order to warm up again. The result: We are even warmer than before. Instead, a (tepid) warm shower can help. The explanation for this is very simple: After a warm shower, the body needs to cool itself. Most people are already familiar with the opposite effect: taking a cold shower in the morning is hard, but it ensures that we are nice and warm afterwards (especially practical in winter).
Tip 2: Open windows, close curtains
Have you ever wondered why locals in hot holiday destinations often wear long clothes and not shorts, dresses or t-shirts? It has something to do with the sun exposure. Of course you can protect yourself from sunburn, but the skin doesn’t heat up as much as if you let the sun’s rays shine directly on your skin. The same effect applies to the bedroom. Never let the sun into the room during the day, but keep the curtains or shutters closed all day. The windows should also remain closed during the day so that no warm air flows into the room. Instead, in the evenings, when it’s at least a little cooler outside, open all the windows and ventilate the room.
Tip 3: The right bed linen
During heat waves, the right bedding can make a world of difference when it comes to getting a better night’s sleep. Just like with clothes, we sweat a lot in silk and polyester, which is why you should avoid them when it comes to bed linen. Even thick cotton fabrics are not very breathable and therefore suboptimal. Bedding made of high-quality linen is perfect. It’s not exactly cheap, but it’s worth it. Alternatively, you can use a thin, breathable cotton fabric.
Tip 4: Don’t work in bed
Are you one of those people who like to lie in bed with your laptop and work from there during the day? Not a good idea! Because our brain has to associate bed with sleep. This is purely a matter of training that works very well – but only if you banish your laptop and cell phone from your bed. Otherwise you lie awake for hours at night and cannot fall asleep. In addition, the laptop blows hot air, which additionally heats up the bedroom. So it’s better to read a book in bed and not watch a film on the laptop.
Tip 5: Drink a lot
This tip generally applies to high temperatures. When the body is dehydrated, it pulls out all the stops to avoid dehydrating any further. This costs energy and prevents you from keeping a cool head. So make sure you always have a glass of water by your bed to keep you hydrated at night. But please only use cold water and not warm drinks such as tea or even coffee. The latter isn’t good anyway because the caffeine keeps us from sleeping, but warm drinks (or even spicy food) heat up the body from the inside and make us sweat even more. Because what applies to the outside (warm shower) does not mean the same for the inside.
Tip 6: Don’t exercise before bed
You should also stop physical activity three to four hours before bed to give your body a chance to shut down and cool down. If it is very hot, you should generally avoid sports or only do light exercises to protect your circulation. It is best to be physically active very early in the morning and late in the evening when it is not that hot.
Tip 7: Cool down the bedroom
Unless you live in southern Europe, you probably don’t have air conditioning at home, which, by the way, isn’t very healthy in the bedroom either. That’s why we prefer to use other methods to cool the room down as much as possible. A fan is usually too loud, so a humidifier is a good alternative. This sprays a fine mist that can lower the room temperature by a few degrees. In addition, it humidifies the air, which in turn benefits our respiratory tract. It also helps to switch off or unplug all electrical devices in the room, as this generates additional heat. Even unnecessary textiles can store heat and prevent cool air from getting through. So it’s best to ban fluffy carpets from the bedroom and put your clothes in the closet.