The long-awaited summer brings with it sunny days, which are sometimes so sultry that even at night it is hot and stuffy. The high temperature outside heats up the air in the room and interferes with healthy sleep, which negatively affects the productivity and well-being of a person throughout the day. What habits will help to properly cool the body and sleep peacefully in the heat?
Cooling air temperature in the bedroom
The best method for good sleep is the circulation of air in the room. Even if the house does not have air conditioning, you can keep the air fresh by creating small drafts: for example, open windows or doors on opposite sides of the room. But you need to be careful, because drafts can greatly cool the body and cause colds, especially in children.
The most obvious solution for a restful and deep sleep is the presence of an air conditioner. This device maintains the ideal temperature for sleeping in the room (between 16 and 21 ºC), and additionally, it emits soft soothing sounds to help you fall asleep. At the same time, it is important to close windows and doors so that hot air does not penetrate from the street. However, even small such devices require a lot of electricity and money for their maintenance and care.
If the use of an air conditioner seems expensive, it is easier to use a conventional fan. Unlike the air conditioner, it is much less likely to provoke colds, even if left on all night. But the fan should not be directed to the face and forget to adjust the intensity of its work. In extreme heat, you can put a bowl of cold water or ice in front of the fan. The liquid will evaporate and cool the air, and at the same time the body during sleep.
There is another trick with two fans, when one is placed near an open window to blow the heated air into the room, and the second is placed on the opposite side of the room to bring air to the first. It is desirable that both devices stand evenly on the chairs. The blades must be directed so that the air is blown into the upper part of the window. The ceiling fan is best adjusted so that it rotates counterclockwise, allowing hot air to be sucked in. But you should not use too powerful fans, so as not to provoke a cold.
Regular and abundant hydration is a key way to combat overheating in the heat. Before going to bed, it is advisable to put a glass or a bottle of water on the nightstand next to the bed in order to quench your thirst at night if necessary. Before going to bed, you should take a warm shower so that the body cools down quickly and effectively. You can complete the water procedures by dousing with cold water, or at least rinsing your legs with it, which tend to swell due to the heat.
You do not need to dry yourself too thoroughly with a towel. Keep your body slightly damp to better control your thermoregulation in hot conditions. If necessary, you can spray your face and body with water from a spray bottle. If you need to cool down quickly, then it is most effective to put cold compresses on pulse points: in the wrist, neck, elbows, groin, ankles and on the back of the knees.
Compliance with the drinking regime
During the day, you need to observe the drinking regimen. In hot weather, the body needs more fluid than usual (at least 1.5 liters of water), because the body often sweats and loses a lot of moisture. Cool drinks will keep the temperature at 36.6–37°C. Instead of coffee, soda and tea, it is better to prefer compotes, fruit drinks, clarified juices and plain water. If insomnia often worries, then you should abandon the habit of drinking tonic drinks before bedtime or even after 4:00 pm. Alcohol in the heat should be completely excluded.
Bedding made from materials such as satin, silk or polyester should be left for cooler nights. In hot weather, you need to cover the bed with accessories made of natural breathable cotton in light colors. It will perfectly support air circulation, will not allow the body to sweat a lot and will make sleep more comfortable. Cotton sheets stick to the skin less than polyester underwear, because air bubbles form between the body and the fabric, which provides good ventilation.
Minimum heat sources
Summer is not the best time for dishes from the oven and microwave. It is necessary to cook as little as possible on the stove and use a minimum of electrical appliances, since each of them emits heat, which fills the already heated air in the room. At the peak of the heat, it is better to choose dishes from fresh vegetables and fruits, or cooked at room temperature: salads will be perfect. Even a refrigerator that generates cold from the outside exudes heat into the room. It is advisable to use a grill or barbecue instead of an oven. It is useful to include light snacks in the diet and eat small portions several times a day. It is worth remembering that the body consumes more heat after eating a huge steak than after a tray of fruits or vegetables.
The habit of sleeping in loose clothing
Sleeping habits in pajamas or completely naked are not suitable for hot weather, experts say. It is better to choose a loose T‑shirt and shorts made of soft, breathable cotton. Full exposure of the body does not save well from the heat. Sleeping in simple, loose-fitting clothing made from natural fabric keeps sweat on the body and fights heat better. Thick blankets should be replaced with light cotton or linen sheets, or no cover at all. For people with long hair, it is advisable to tie them at the top of the head so that they do not create excess heat and do not cause sweating in the back and neck.
Food in the heat should not be too heavy and dense, especially before bedtime. Otherwise, the body will spend a lot of energy on digesting food, which means it will release excess heat, provoking overheating. Due to the heaviness in the stomach and the increase in body temperature, it is not easy to fall asleep. The lighter the food and the more abundant the drink, the easier it is to endure the heat. Vegetable salads with greens, fresh fruits, dietary meat and seafood are a good choice for a menu in hot weather. Products containing caffeine and alcohol quickly dehydrate the body, so they should be minimized or completely eliminated from the diet.