Keep cool on hot summer nights
The heat is seriously on, which means you may struggle to get some shut eye tonight. It's hard enough to nod off when you have to put up with cars, streetlamps and other noises and lights outside, but the high temperatures add a whole new problem.
There are some ways you can help yourself sleep though, rather than dealing with insomnia every time there's hot weather. Without enough rest your whole body is affected, from your metabolism to your mood. Here's a few tips on how to cope:
Your diet can impact how you sleep and the better you eat, the easier you'll nod off - even in the heat.
"Make sure that you have enough protein during the day, such as meats, fish, beans, lentils, nuts and seeds, as they are full of tryptophan. This important amino acid converts in our body to serotonin, which is known as a ‘happy hormone’ and melatonin that is essential for good sleep" Shona Wilkinson, Nutritonist at Superfooduk.com, the online shopping destination for health and wellbeing, tells Cover Media.
Nutritionist Cassandra Barns recommends foods packed full of magnesium too as it's a 'natural tranquiliser', helping muscles relax, so try tucking into leafy greens, dried fruits and sunflower seeds in a tasty salad. But make sure you don't eat late, as the food will also be keeping you up as your stomach digests it in the heat.
Let air in
Start your night time prep as early as possible, as this will get your body ready for a cool night's sleep.
"Close all of the curtains during the day to stop the heat getting in," Cassandra urges.
"Open the windows on the shady side of the house and close the windows on the sunny one. Open all the windows to get a through breeze one hour before going to bed but close them before you fall asleep – once it gets colder outside during the night your muscles might tense up and wake you up."
She's a big advocate of using a fan, but don't have it too close to your bed as it could mess with your body temperature. The expert also has a genius way to create your own air conditioning - place a bowl with ice cubes in front of the fan for a mist.
All gadgets and small appliances give off heat when plugged in, even if they're turned off. Take the plugs out of the sockets to improve your sleep, and the lack of lights will also make an impact.
“Switch to an analogue clock and a flat screen monitor and keep your wireless network router in a different room to your study or bedroom as blue light might cause not only headaches, fatigue and dizziness but also sleeplessness," explains Dr Marilyn Glenville, the UK’s leading nutritionist and author of Natural Alternatives to Sugar.