12 Cool Tips To Help You Sleep In The Heat
February and March nights can be pretty muggy in New Zealand, meaning plenty of Kiwis spend their nights tossing and turning, trying to find the cool spot on the mattress and turning up for work or school fraught and frazzled.
So for those of us who don’t have the luxury of aircon, here are a few tips which might just lead to a good night’s rest and prevent that 3am pillow-swap to find somewhere cool to lay you head.
1. Keep the room cool during the day by using blinds to block out the sun and preventing any glare from heating up the interior walls and furniture. Large pieces of furniture like beds will retain the heat long into the night if they warm up during the day.
2. If you can get a breeze through your bedroom during the day that should help keep it cool – but if the outside temperature is too high keep those windows closed.
3. Evening is a good time to let your bedroom cool down by opening the windows – but it’s also the time when the mossies are out and the last thing you want is to go to bed surrounded by the buzz and sting of the pesky pests. Work out which windows let in the best though-draft and then fit it with an insect screen, or find yourself a mosquito net to cover the bed.
4. Getting hold of an electric floor or ceiling fan has the double benefit of creating a cooling draft and keeping any flying insects away. If it’s really hot and muggy you can even put a tray of ice cubes in front of a floor fan.
5. Have a cool shower before turning in for the night – and don’t dry your hair. Having damp hair will mean that your head continues to lose heat as that water evaporates.
6. If you’re having a shower don’t use the ensuite and steam up the bedroom. It doesn’t matter how much preparation you do to cool down in the evening if you let all that warm moisture loose just before you turn out the lights.
7. If you don’t have the option of using a shower in a different room spraying your face and hair with a mister or using a damp flannel which you’ve kept in the freezer goes some way to having the same effect.
8. Be sunwise. Yes, it sounds slightly silly, but as well as protecting your skin from harmful UV rays, making sure you slip, slop, slap during the day will help you sleep better at night because sunburn raises your body temperature and is extremely uncomfortable.
9. Watch what you eat and drink. Again, this is just good sensible living and as true throughout all months of the year – but going to bed on a full stomach or after a lot of alcohol is even more uncomfortable when it’s hot and humid.
10. When it comes to dressing your body and dressing the bed – think natural. Natural fibres like cotton are more breathable than synthetic fibres; linen is good but tough to keep looking unruffled; and satin and silk are light and luxurious but cling to your body which can get uncomfortable during the night.
11. Choose light colours for your bedding because they’ll reflect the heat from the sunlight during the day and keep your bed cool.
12. Remember a hot water bottle doesn’t have to hold hot water – fill it with ice-cold water and keep it in the fridge for a couple of hours before bed and it will help create a permanent cool spot on your mattress during the night.