Over the past few weeks, most of us have found that it’s pretty difficult sleeping in a heatwave. We love a bit of sunshine but let’s be fair, we also need our sleep.
With temperatures soaring, Anandi, The Sleep Guru, gives her top tips for a good night’s rest.
Top Tips for Sleeping in a Heatwave
Take Advantage of the Sun
With a heatwave, you would expect a lot of sun. If you can, get outside in the mornings for about 20 minutes to help regulate the production of melatonin and, likewise, dim the lights in the evening to signal to your body that it’s time to go to sleep. This will help set your body’s natural rhythm – helping you to maintain a regular sleeping pattern for less disruptive nights.
If you are a coffee drinker and an insomniac, that’s not a winning combination. Consider cutting out coffee (drinks like Coca Cola too, if that’s your poison) altogether if possible. If you can’t bear the thought of that, at least give yourself an early afternoon cut-off point to stop drinking it, and move over to water instead. Your body will thank you!
You wouldn’t swim on a full stomach, so why should you sleep on it? Embrace the hotter weather and opt for something less heavy. Our bodies will otherwise be far too busy digesting the food; hardly a good state for relaxing and sleeping.
Drink Chamomile Tea
You can find this calming herb at most grocery or health food stores. The magic of chamomile tea lies in a compound called apigenin which gives the herb it’s anti-anxiety powers. Apigenin is a phenolic flavonoid that is linked with calming nerves and encouraging sleep. Couple with boiling water and sip slowly before bed. It may be hot but you’ll find that your eyes will close a little easier than before.
Have a Warm Bath
Yes, really! A great way of cooling the body temperature before bed is to take a warm bath about an hour before getting under the sheets. It may seem odd to recommend this when you are trying to reduce the body temperature, but as soon as you get out of the bath, your skin temperature drops very quickly which helps the onset of sleep. So a warm bath really can help you sleeping in a heatwave.
Connect to Yourself, not the TV!
When you become disconnected from yourself, you become stressed. Switch off your television at least 1.5 hours before bed time (or, if you have it in your bedroom, remove it entirely!) and spend that time reading and relaxing instead. Your mind needs to quieten down in order for your body to quieten down.
Try a Natural Sleep Supplement
The emphasis being on the word ‘natural’! Melatonin is a hormone which regulates sleep and wakefulness. Various foods contain melatonin such as grapes and cherries but there are some excellent all-natural supplements on the market such as Utmost Me’s Neuro Rest. The blend is shown to reduce anxiety and has a calming effect on the brain, allowing you to switch off for a good night’s rest.
Focus on Your Belly
The breath, heart and mind are linked. When you start taking longer, deeper breaths, the heart rate comes down and the mind settles; you are therefore more likely to fall asleep. Just put your hands on your belly and allow the breath to deepen. Do this for 15 minutes when you turn the light out.
Try Lavender Oil
Prepare your bed, making sure it is comfortable – fresh sheets are always a lovely treat! Put a few drops of lavender on your pillow. In this hot weather, when we are often tossing and turning, the scent is found to be incredibly relaxing.
Hum Like a Bumblebee!
The last thing you do before you settle down to go to sleep…..hum like a bumblebee for 10 minutes! It may sound unusual, but the bumblebee breath is incredible for insomnia. It calms the mind, gets rid of negative emotions and stimulates serotonin. Turn the lights out, lay comfortably on your back and make the bumblebee sound! Just inhale and hum on the exhale, and that’s it.
So there we are – plenty of great tips for sleeping in a heatwave! Try them out, you’ll be surprised.