5 tips for getting a good night's sleep during a heatwave
With things really hotting up in Germany, and no sign of a let-up on the near horizon, many of us are finding it difficult to get a good night’s sleep.
Keep cool for a deep sleep
Ideally, our body temperatures should be low to achieve a good deep sleep. According to Gerard Kerkhof, professor emeritus of psychophysiology at the University of Amsterdam, deep sleep happens when your body cools down, so if it's exceptionally hot in your bedroom, then your body will of course have trouble reaching this low temperature.
Deep sleep is the most important phase in our sleep pattern for recovering from the previous day mentally and physically. Here are a few tips to keep cool, which will hopefully result in some good quality shut-eye.
It seems like the warm weather couldn’t be more perfect for sitting outside with friends or colleagues for some ice-cold beers or refreshing cocktails. We don't want to miss out on afternoons in the park, barbecues in back gardens or sitting on terraces of cafes and bars to enjoy a few drinks. But drinking alcohol brings your temperature up, dehydrates your body and will not lead to a good night’s sleep.
Stick to juices, soft drinks, mocktails, or even better, water. If the taste of German beer in the sunshine is irresistible, alcohol-free beer is increasingly popular, so now’s the time to enjoy it.
Prepare your bed
For bed sheets, natural fabrics like cotton let the air circulate, so users will stay cooler than they would if they used synthetic fabrics. It might be time to put the duvet away temporarily and sleep under plain cotton bed sheets. You can even put your sheets in a plastic bag in the fridge or freezer. You’ll feel massive relief when immersing yourself in the cold sheets.
Sleeping with a hot water bottle filled with ice or cold water is useful for keeping your feet cool. Filling any bottle, for that matter, and putting it in the freezer, is a really useful tool for keeping those feet cool in bed. Ice is your friend in this weather.
Know when to keep windows and curtains open and closed
Keep your windows open while you sleep. If you have multiple windows, open as many as you can, to let the air circulate. Leave your bedroom door open too, for the same reason. Leave the curtains partially open, so that the fresh air is not blocked.
During the daytime, on the other hand, keep the windows and curtains in your bedroom closed to prepare your bedroom for the night. If the temperature is hotter outside than it is inside, which is likely in many homes during these weeks, then this is vital. Do not open them until it has cooled down outside.
Keep electronics turned off
This might sound over the top, but TVs and computers generate heat, even when they are on standby. Ensure that they are switched off completely, and not on standby, to avoid adding to the room temperature.
Sleep well during the heatwave
Don't fret. A good night's sleep is still possible during this heatwave. If you take matters into your own hands, you can get the most out of this great weather, as you enjoy the warm summer days outdoors and still sleep well at night.
Have you got any other tips for keeping cool? What works for you when trying to sleep during a heatwave? Let us know in the comments below.
This article originally appeared on IamExpat in the Netherlands.