As the UK’s temperatures reach their peak during the month of July, it is mostly cause for celebration.
The beautiful and long evenings encourage us to get out the house, it allows us the enjoy the great outdoors over the weekends and when the school holidays roll around, there’s finally a good excuse to get the children away from those computer screens.
However, this beautiful l summer weather can also be a hindrance, particularly as it can disrupt our sleep.
If you feel the hot weather has disrupted your sleep, don’t worry that you might be clutching on to an old wives’ tale, because there’s actually plenty of truth to it. Here’re summers 6 most common causes of sleep deprivation.
1. Hot Nights
It’s fair to say that in the UK, we generally don’t prepare for hot weather like many other countries, mainly because we don’t get many. Where workplaces and bedrooms across Europe are filled with air conditioning units, here we frantically scramble for the last desk fan on Amazon.
So when the annual weekly heatwave strikes, sleeping becomes a real difficulty. If you don’t fancy splashing out on some A/C, what are your alternative options?
Well, Mark Burhenne, an expert in the relationship between healthy sleep and healthy bodies suggests plenty of fans. He says, the movement of air will make it easier to sleep, allowing the body to perceive that it’s not sleeping in a stagnant or warm environment.”
He continued, “Sleeping in an air-conditioned room man not be the best thing for your lungs, considering the dry and air conditioned air.”
2. Long Days
Depending on your work pattern, the longer days can also scupper your sleep plans. Also, it can be difficult to get children to bed at their regular bed time if it is clearly still very light outside.
Daylight can affect our body clocks. In this instance, it’s essentially opposite of why we feel sleepy in the winter when the evenings are darker quicker (read more on our blog here).
Your best form of defence from the pesky sunlight is to block it out. Consider some blackout blinds or adopting an eye mask if it doesn’t feel too uncomfortable.
3. Holiday Jet Lag
If you’ve chosen a particularly distant destination for your holiday this summer, it could mean you suffer from jet lag either when you arrive or when you return home.
On top of this, there is the sometimes uncomfortable situation of sleeping somewhere entirely new which can disrupt our sleep.
Sleep experts generally recommend that you do your best to keep hold of your regular routine once you return, even if that means for the first day or two you are awake for a good while longer than usual.
If you’re back to work a couple of days after a holiday, you’ll want to be back in the correct routine so that you can get through the working day as per normal. So, unfortunately, you might have to have one tricky night.
4. Sweaty Sheets
Yes, it’s about the least glamorous thing about the summer, but it happens to us all. There’re few things worse than waking up during the night to the feeling of your skin sticking to your duvet.
Mark Burhenne also makes an interesting point here, saying “sometimes people got to bed naked in the summer, and because they perspire, they stick to the sheets.”
“I would recommend a synthetic polypropylene pyjama that wicks away moisture, especially during those sweaty months. That way the sheets won’t stick to you.”
For more extreme measures, he recommends chilling your pillows by icing them down before bed, and if that doesn’t work, popping them in the freezer for a while before bed.
There is something many of us have in common, once the sun comes out we can’t think of a better place to be than sitting back in a beer garden and enjoying a couple of glasses of something bubbly.
It’s also a misconception that alcohol helps us get a better night’s sleep (read more here), so combine an increased alcohol intake with worsened sleep and potential dehydration and you have a one-way ticket to bad-sleeps-ville.
Dr Amy Wechsler is a dermatologist and psychologist and says no matter the situation, “have a glass of water for each drink of alcohol to avoid dehydration, pace yourself.”
6. Pesky Bugs
No matter how well you think you have cleared your bedroom of insects before you clock off, there will no doubt be a couple that hang around to disrupt your sleep.
Whether it’s a fly’s constant buzzing or mosquito or midge nibbling away at you, there plenty of ways they like to keep us from sleeping well.
You have two tools of defence here, the first is to buy fly tape. Hang one of these up and it should catch them so that they don’t spend all night buzzing past your ear. Secondly, try getting some bug repellent spray which should keep the nibblers at an arms length.