Sleep deprivation can negatively affect one’s body. Sleep loss has been shown to shorten a person’s life span and increase the risk of dangerous health complications. Those who sleep less than five hours a night is more likely to catch a cold than those who get in the full recommended amount. Verena Senn, neurobiologist and sleep expert at Emma, the sleep company spoke exclusively to Express.co.uk to give her tips on how to ensure a good night’s rest despite the sweltering heat.
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Mrs Senn said: “With British summer fast approaching and the mercury set to soar into the late twenties, many of us will begin looking for inventive ways to not only keep cool but stay cool at night.
“Cooling our bodies down at the end of the day is a key part of winding our bodies down for sleep.
“Our body core temperature fluctuates throughout the day, peaking in the afternoon and through the early morning hours.”
The optimal bedroom temperature is around 19°C but how can you keep cool when it’s roasting hot outside and there’s zero wind flow through your room?
“It’s common sense to think the lesser the better when you’re hot, and many Brits may even be sleeping naked – there’s been some debate whether sleeping naked is actually better for us,” said Mrs Senn.
“But when it comes to night-time clothing, it’s actually better to wear pyjamas, just as long as they are natural cotton.
“This is because cotton actually helps your skin breathe, while absorbing your sweat during the night.”
Mrs Senn suggests: “Try splashing some water or placing a cold ice-cube on your body’s different pulse points, such as your wrists or the sides of your neck, for a short period of time.
“Your body’s blood vessels will react to the cool sensation and instantly bring your core temperature down.
“However, try and avoid your feet and hands, as this can prevent you from falling asleep.
“This might sound nuts but cuddling a warm blanket or taking a hot shower or bath before bed will help your body reduce its core temperature,” suggests Mrs Senn.
“Warmth in your blood vessels in your hands and feet will dilate and help you to lose excessive body heat.
Wet wet wet
When trying to cool the body right down before slumber, Mrs Senn said: “Apply wet clothes or ice packs to your skin for an optimum cooling sensation.
“You can even try filling a hot-water bottle with cold water and placing it between your legs (for short periods) as this is where your blood flows closest to the surface of your skin and will quickly cool you off.
“Of course, it goes without saying that you should never apply an ice pack directly to your skin. Always wrap it in a cloth or towel to avoid damaging your skin.”
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You are what you eat
Mrs Senn said: “Believe it or not, it’s true! You are most likely to feel the night-time heat if you eat a large meal before bed as your body will be trying to digest it, in turn keeping you awake longer.
“Also, it’s bad news for curry lovers. If you want to enjoy a good night’s sleep, I’d advise that you try and avoid spicy food as much as possible as this is shown to increase your body temperature.
“Definitely not the best way to cool down before bed.”
Keep your room windows and curtains shut
“This might seem a bit counterintuitive at first, as you would expect that if your window was open that more air would come through, added Mrs Senn.
“But keeping them shut during the day is critical, as it ensures that your room stays cooler than if the sun is allowed to shine inside.
“Once the sun has gone down, you can open your windows and curtains to allow a fresh breeze to roll over you although you’ll be dozing off to the sounds of the night.”
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