Experts nine tips for sleeping during a heatwave on holiday
Global heatwave continues to break record temperatures
Parts of Europe are currently experiencing scorching hot weather, with some areas seeing temperatures of more than 40C.
The heatwave could be potentially dangerous to those affected, with the Foreign Office issuing extreme weather warnings for Britons travelling to Italy, Spain or Greece.
Not only does extreme heat bring with it the risk of dehydration and heat stroke, it can also have an impact on our ability to sleep, making it harder to drift off.
With this in mind Lindsay Browning, psychologist and sleep expert at luxury bed retailer And So To Bed, provided her top tips for sleeping in the heat abroad.
Pack PJs made of natural fibres
Whether you are someone that likes to sleep in cosy PJs or in the nude it is important that if you want to stay cool you should stick to natural fibres such as cotton, she told Express.co.uk.
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She explained: “Cotton pyjamas are great for the heat because they can help to wick away moisture- such as sweat- this helps lower your temperature because the vapour is free to transfer through the fibre, lowering the humidity between the fabric and the body, which provides you with a cool feeling.
“If you do prefer to sleep in your birthday suit (naked) this can also help keep you cool, but only if the bedsheets in your hotel are made of natural, rather than man made, fibres. For example, polyester fabrics do not absorb sweat, which can make for a moist and clammy uncomfortable night.”
Keep the room dark during the day
This technique will stop the sun from heating the room in the day.
She warned: “The sun beaming on your windows creates a greenhouse effect, keeping them closed means that when bedtime comes around the room is a lot cooler than what it would be otherwise.”
Open the windows overnight
Generally, when it is really hot outside it is a good idea to keep windows closed during the daytime, as you don’t want the hot external air to come into the house warming it up, said Ms Browning. She added: “However, after the sun goes down, the outside air will start to cool down.
“At this point, it is a great idea to open the windows to let in a breeze of cool external air into the bedroom, helping cool the room and to provide needed air circulation.”
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Pack a water spray to use at night
She recommended buying a water spray gun or mister (similar to ones used for plants or while ironing) before setting off on your travels.
“Lightly misting your covers, mattress, and pillow with water can help maintain their coolness,” she said.
“Additionally, you can keep the spray bottle by your bed and use it as a refreshing spray for your face, neck, and wrists during hot nights.
“Remember to stay hydrated internally by drinking an ample amount of water and keeping a chilled bottle of water by your bedside.”
Take a cool shower
This can help lower your body temperature before bed.
Ms Browning said: “Your body temperature needs to drop when you go to sleep, giving it a helping hand by cooling off in a cool shower should help you get to sleep faster.
“Note, the shower should be cool or lukewarm. If it is too cold you might wake yourself up, and if too hot you might struggle to cool down in time to sleep.”
Sleep alone if possible
If you are concerned about sleeping in the heat next to a partner it might even be worth requesting single beds, she advised.
She said: “Sharing a bed during hot weather can be quite uncomfortable. If you haven’t made your hotel reservation yet, it is advisable to request two single beds instead of a double bed.
“Some hotel beds are equipped with wheels, allowing you to easily separate them for additional space and comfort for both individuals.”
Keep well hydrated through the day
Ms Browning said in hot weather it is vital that you keep well hydrated through the day with water.
She recommended keeping a cool glass of water next to the bed at night to prevent dehydration.
Ditch your duvet
Ms Browning advised asking your hotel for a straight cotton bed sheet or quilt cotton cover to swap the duvet with.
“If there are two of you, have one each,” she said. “This will ensure moisture wicks away from each individual and bed-sharers don’t end up sticking to each other.
“If you can bear it, sleep with your feet outside of the covers as well. We lose heat from our head and feet, by covering them you are trapping the heat.”
Avoid vigorous exercise too close to bedtime
When you exercise vigorously, your body temperature rises, and it can take some time for it to return to normal levels.
Ms Browning said: “This rise in body temperature can interfere with the natural cooling process that occurs during sleep and make it more challenging for you to fall asleep or maintain a restful sleep.
“Ideally, it’s best to allow a sufficient cool-down period after vigorous exercise before going to bed.”
She recommended leaving two to three hours between intense exercise and going to bed.
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