Take the covers off, open the windows, run to the tap: sleeping in the heat is pretty difficult. These tips will help against tossing and turning on hot summer nights.
1. Close bulkheads
Keep your bedroom as cool as possible by keeping windows, curtains, or blinds closed during the day—even when the sun isn’t shining directly into the room. Light protection on the outside of the window keeps the heat out and the room is significantly cooler than curtains or a slatted roller blind. Only in the evening should you open all the windows and ventilate the room with a draft to lower the temperature again.
2. Use fresh air at night
Unless you live on a high street, leave your bedroom windows open (not just tilted) overnight. Fresh air and a light breeze can work wonders against the heat. If you also leave the door open, the air can circulate. A fan can also be nice – at least if you don’t mind the whirring of the device. If you do, grab earplugs. Make sure that neither the window nor the fan cause drafts, otherwise you might catch symptoms of a summer cold or a stiff neck.
3. Choose light fabrics
Cover the duvet and pillow with jersey, percale, renforcé or seersucker bed linen in summer – these materials are light, breathable and have a climate-regulating effect. Linen or natural silk also have a cooling effect – and thus make it easier to sleep in the heat. Alternatively, you can do without the duvet completely and just cover yourself with the duvet cover. A light blanket is recommended as it protects you from draughts.
4. Dampness away
Some people swear by putting their pajamas in the fridge during the day to sleep better in the heat. However, the pleasant effect of getting dressed does not last long, the fabric quickly becomes clammy and uncomfortable on the skin. Better: Grab functional underwear, it wicks moisture and heat away from the body.
5. Warm showers desired
Take a shower before going to bed – but not cold, because then the blood vessels constrict and it is harder for the heat to be transported out of the body. The most effective is a contrast shower against heat: First cool, then warm. Do not dry yourself completely afterwards, but leave a pleasantly cooling, light film of moisture on the skin. Also good: A cooling body lotion, eg with citrus or mint oil.
6. Repurpose hot water bottle
Turns the hot-water bottle into a cooling bottle: Put them in the fridge with water during the day (not in the freezer!) and take them to bed with you in the evening. Cools comfortably in the neck, between the feet or wherever you need cooling most urgently.
7. Sleeping in the heat: Train smart
Exercising (preferably endurance sports) is healthier in the evening hours than in the midday heat, but you should not train too late. There should be about three hours between exercise and going to bed, so that the body has enough time to rest.
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8. Stay sober
Remember to drink enough during the day – preferably water or unsweetened tea. On the other hand, if you empty a large glass of water right before you go to bed, you will probably soon wake up again from the bladder pressure. You should avoid alcohol if possible in hot weather, because it also increases the urge to urinate and ensures a shallow sleep.
9. Avoid nicotine
Smoke your last cigarette an hour or two before bed. Nicotine stimulates and constricts the blood vesselsmaking it harder for the body to dissipate heat.
10. Eat lightly
The heat stresses the body anyway – so don’t expect your intestines to have late, heavy meals, but rather eat easily digestible foods in the evening. Bananas, sweet snacks such as waffles or honey milk and green leafy salads contain substances that have a calming effect on the nervous system. Get enough magnesium the mineral relaxes muscles and nerves. The daily requirement is 300 to 400 mg. Tart cherry juice contains the hormone melatonin and, according to studies, should therefore ensure better sleep. Almonds and cinnamon also promote the production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Incidentally, the opposite is caused by acidic foods such as pickles or citrus fruits. Avoid this as well as salty foods, because they not only make you thirsty at night, but the increased sodium content in the blood also makes it difficult to sleep in the heat.
11. Shut out the sun
Depending on how sensitive you are to light Does it make sense to darken the bedroom overnight so that the first rays of light don’t wake you up.
12. Standing up instead of tossing and turning
Half an hour in bed and still awake? Don’t keep staring at the ceiling, get up and do something else that doesn’t strain you – listening to soft music or leafing through a magazine. Only go back to bed when tired again.
13. Keep calm
Don’t get upset if you don’t fall asleep immediately when it’s hot. In summer we need about an hour less sleep than in winter anyway, since our body somewhat inhibits the production of the sleep hormone melatonin due to the long and light-intensive days. The quality of sleep is much more important than the length of sleep.
14. Stay away from sleeping pills
Sleeping pills often disrupt normal sleep patterns and can become addictive because the body quickly adapts to them. Only take them in exceptional situations and even then only temporarily.
15. Gentle sleep aids
If you can’t fall asleep when it’s hot despite a light evening meal, try a herbal tea. Lemon balm, valerian, hops, lavender or passion flower are considered soothing extracts. Bach flower drops can also help. For decades, many people have relied on the essences of flowers from wild plants and trees to compensate for mental imbalances.
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