Cover up, open the window, run to the tap: on summer nights, heat and stagnant air often prevent us from sleeping. These tips will help against tossing around forever.
1. Close the bulkheads
Keep your bedroom as cool as possible by keeping the windows, curtains or blinds closed during the day – even when the sun is not shining directly into the room. A light protection on the outside of the window keeps the room significantly cooler than curtains or a lamellar roller blind. Only in the evening you should open all windows and ventilate the room with a draft.
2. Use fresh air at night
Unless you currently live on a main street, keep your bedroom windows open (not just tilted) overnight. Fresh air and a light breeze can work wonders. If you also leave the door open, the air can circulate. A fan can also be pleasant – at least if you don't mind the whirring of the device. If you do, use ear plugs. Make sure that neither the window nor the fan cause drafts, otherwise you could catch a summer cold or a stiff neck.
Video: This is how you sleep better with the window open:
3. Choose light fabrics
In summer, cover the duvet and pillow with jersey, percale, Renforcé or seersucker bed linen – these materials are light, breathable and have a climate-regulating effect. Linen or natural silk also have a cooling effect. Alternatively, you can do without the duvet entirely and just cover yourself with the duvet cover. A light blanket is recommended as this protects you from drafts.
4. Get rid of the moisture
Some people swear by putting their pajamas in the refrigerator during the day. The pleasant effect when putting on does not last long, however, as the fabric quickly becomes clammy and uncomfortable on the skin. Better: Use functional underwear, it wicks moisture and heat away from the body. Cotton is less recommendable, because sweat soaks up in it – and we produce around half a liter of it at night.
5. Hot showers desired
Showers before going to bed – but not cold, as the blood vessels then contract and the heat cannot be transported out of the body. An alternating shower is most effective: 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, e.g. with citrus or mint oil.
6. Repurpose the hot water bottle
Turns the hot water bottle into a cool bottle: Put it filled with water in the refrigerator during the day (not in the freezer!) And take it to bed with you in the evening. Cools comfortably in the neck, between the feet or wherever you need to cool down most.
7. Train smart
Exercising (preferably endurance sports) is healthier in the evening than in the midday heat, but you shouldn't train too late. There should be an hour, or even better, two hours between exercise and bedtime so that the body has enough time to relax.
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 going to bed, you will probably soon wake up again from the bladder pressure. You should avoid alcohol if possible, 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 vessels, making it harder for the body to dissipate heat.
10. Eat lightly
The heat stresses the body anyway – so do not expect your intestines to eat late, heavy meals, but rather eat easily digestible food 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.
Take in enough magnesium, the mineral relaxes muscles and nerves. The daily requirement is 300 – 400 mg. Sour cherry juice contains the hormone melatonin and studies have shown that it can help you sleep better. Almonds and cinnamon also promote the production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Incidentally, the opposite has the effect of sour things such as pickles or citrus fruits. Avoid this as well as salty food, because it not only makes you thirsty at night, but the increased sodium content in the blood also makes it difficult to sleep through.
11. Exclude the sun
Depending on how sensitive you are to light, it can make sense to darken the bedroom overnight so that the first rays of light do not tear you out of your sleep.
12. Get up instead of rolling around forever
Already half an hour in bed and still awake? Stop staring at the ceiling, get up and do something else that doesn't bother you – like listening to soft music or reading a magazine. Only go back to bed when tiredness has set in again.
13. Keep calm
Don't get upset if you don't get to sleep right away. In the summer we need around an hour less sleep than in winter, because our body somewhat inhibits the production of the sleep hormone melatonin due to the long and light-intensive days. Much more important than the length of sleep is the quality of sleep.
14. Stay away from sleeping pills
Sleeping pills often mess up the normal phases of sleep and can be addictive because the body gets used to them quickly. Only take them in exceptional situations and even then only temporarily.
15. Gentle sleep aids
If you cannot sleep despite a light dinner, try an 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 from the flowers of wild plants and trees to compensate for mental imbalances.
16. Say goodbye to the day
Often we (unconsciously) take the stress of everyday life home with us. A ritual can help here to signal the body that it is time to switch off. Whether it's a footbath, an evening walk or the next chapter in the novel – choose something that relaxes you. Regular sleep patterns are just as important for a good night's sleep. So try to go to bed and get up at similar times.