Hot, hot, hot, summer has really come with a vengeance after its delayed arrival. One day it was still chilly and at nights cold, and now we are being hit by multiple heat waves. With the heat, came the difficulty with sleeping.

Sleep and body control of temperature are intimately connected. The body core body temperature follows a 24-hour cycle linked with your sleep-wake rhythm. Body temperature decreases during the night-time sleep phase and rises during the wake phase. Sleep is most likely to occur when core temperature decreases, and much less likely to occur during the rises.

Our hands and feet play a key role in facilitating sleep as they permit the heated blood from the central body to lose heat to the environment through the skin surface. The sleep hormone melatonin plays an important part of the complex loss of heat through the peripheral parts of the body.

Environmental heat can disturb this delicate balance between sleep and body temperature.

A heat wave may cause several nights of fragmented sleep with the less slow wave and REM sleep.This will certainly be a cause of bad, restless sleep with consequent negative effects on mood and alertness.

Here are 5 tips to help you beat the heat and get a good night's sleep.

  1. Freeze a damp washcloth. This can be used as a nice, cool compress
  2. Turn off the lights. keep rooms cool after dark by using lights minimally or not at all.
  3. Keep your feet cool. Keep a bucket of water near the bed and dip feet whenever you’re feeling hot throughout the night.
  4. Pick a loose, soft cotton shirt and shorts or underwear to sleep in.
  5. Dampen a towel and place it on top of your sheets. Sleep comfortably on the towel. Remember to make sure it is damp and not dripping wet to prevent your mattress from becoming wet.

Do you have any tips or tricks to help you get to sleep when it is just too hot?