Hot Weather: How to Sleep in the Heat
That’s the name of a BBC article that gives good advice for everyone who has trouble going to sleep or staying asleep in hot weather. In case you don’t want to read the whole thing, here are the main tips they suggest for use during hot weather.
1. No napping
2. Keep to routines
3. Remember the basics
- Take steps to make sure your bedroom is as cool as it can be at night.
- Nancy’s Note: that works for many people, but I cannot get to sleep easily when I’m cold, so I start warm and then have a layer of blanket that I can easily pull off when the body begins to get overheated.
- Nancy’s Note: our Circadian rhythm cycles often have us beginning to heat up around 2 a.m., and that’s when my eyes often open enough to remove the top layer covering me.
- Open all the windows before you go to bed, to get a … breeze.
- Nancy’s Note: that’s only a great idea if the air is fresh. In places where there is high humidity, you might want to keep the windows closed, unless you love the feeling of being drenched.
4. Use thin sheets
– cotton helps absorb perspiration
5. Chill your socks
– cooling your feet lowers the overall temperature of your skin and body.
6. Stay hydrated
– Drink enough water throughout the day but avoid drinking very large amounts before bed.
7. But think about what you drink
- Be careful about soft drinks. Many contain large amounts of caffeine, which stimulates the central nervous system and makes us feel more awake.
- Avoid drinking too much alcohol as well….Alcohol might help us fall asleep but it promotes early morning waking and a poorer quality of sleep overall.
8. Stay calm
Nancy’s Note: the article gives some tips, but I would add that there are other tools, such as listening to soothing music, reading something boring, meditating, and simply concentrating on your breath often help. If nothing works, it’s okay to accept that, get up, and do some activity until you’re tired enough to go back to bed and sleep.
9. Think of the children
Children are usually quite robust sleepers – but they are very sensitive to changes in family “mood” and routine. Make sure usual bedtimes and bath times don’t go out of the window just because it’s warm. As part of the bedtime routine, lukewarm baths are recommended by the NHS UK website. Make sure they aren’t too cold, as that will boost circulation (your body’s way of keeping warm).
10. Get over it
Most of us need about seven to eight hours of good-quality sleep each night to function properly. (…paraphrasing, ‘but you’ll live if you violate that need sometimes.’)
These tips were based on suggestions by Prof Kevin Morgan, former director of the Clinical Sleep Research Unit at Loughborough University, and Lisa Artis, of the Sleep Council. This article was first published in July 2019.
How About Using a Guided Meditation?
Of course, you can always get my Sleep Like A Baby guided meditation to play once when you get to bed or to loop throughout the night to help you get back to sleep quickly if you awaken.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine states:
Sleep deprivation occurs when an individual fails to get enough sleep. The amount of sleep that a person needs varies from one person to another, but on average most adults need about seven to eight hours of sleep each night to feel alert and well-rested. Teens need an average of about nine hours of sleep per night, and children
need nine hours of nightly sleep or more, depending on their age.
To read more details, go to their PDF document: ~ https://aasm.org/resources/factsheets/sleepdeprivation.pdf
Fast Facts on Sleep Deprivation from Medical News Today
- Sleep loss alters normal functioning of attention and disrupts the ability to focus on environmental sensory input
- Lack of sleep has been implicated as playing a significant role in tragic accidents involving airplanes, ships, trains, automobiles and nuclear power plants
- Children and young adults are most vulnerable to the negative effects of sleep deprivation
- Sleep deprivation can be a symptom of an undiagnosed sleep disorder or other medical problem
- When you fail to get your required amount of sufficient sleep, you start to accumulate a sleep debt.
The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) 2015 Recommendations
- Newborns (0 to 3 months): 14 to 17 hours each day
- Infants (4 to 11 months): 12 to 15 hours
- Toddlers (1 to 2 years): 11 to 14 hours
- Preschoolers (3 to 5 years): 10 to 13 hours
- School-age children (6 to 13 years): 9 to 11 hours
- Teenagers (14 to 17 years): 8 to 10 hours
- Adults (18 to 64 years): 7 to 9 hours
- Older adults (over 65 years): 7 to 8 hours
Do you have a tip for something that has been helpful consistently for getting to sleep in hot weather? If so, please feel free to comment.
Let’s Get Well, Stay Well, and Live Well