Too hot to sleep? Cool down with our top tips!

Summertime heat-waves can provide plenty of sleepless nights


Marianna Kilburn
@MariannaKilburn


02 August 2014

Cool your body down

Cool yourself down before going to bed with a lukewarm shower or bath with a few drops of lavender oil or lavender shower gel added (my tip is to put the oil in a little milk before putting in the bath). 

It is tempting to shower in freezing cold water but this would actually wake you up and prevent you sweating during the night, so tepid water is much more effective.  

Lavender is a natural cooling and sedative herb, so I  liberally spray myself and my pillow with a lavender water spray before bed or if I wake up in the night (health food shops and many chemists sell lavender sprays and lavender bath/shower products).

Choose natural fibres to sleep in

Apparently, sleeping in next to nothing is not advisable – it keeps the sweat trapped near your body. Light cotton or silk pyjamas are best, as the fibres will draw moisture and heat away from the body.

Freeze your sheets!

I hated this, thought it made the bed clammy and uncomfortable, but a friend swears by it – she puts her sheet and/or pillowcase in a sealed plastic bag in the freezer for a few hours before bed.

Keeping your head cool with a cold pillow is a sensible idea, as your head is very sensitive to changes in temperature. You naturally have pulse points in the head and neck where the blood runs close to the surface of the skin.

By keeping your head cool, you can keep the rest of your body cool too. Alternatively, take a ‘cold pack’ to bed, much as you would a hot water bottle in the winter – use the ones  that can be put in the freezer and used for injuries, the ones used in cold picnic boxes, or you can buy fabric bags/pillows of wheat or cherry stones that can used all year round,  either heated or chilled.

Use herbs as a your night time tipple

What you eat and drink in the evening is significant, as the liver will create heat  in the process of digesting food and detoxifying alcohol. 

Eat lightly, and avoid alcohol/tea/coffee as all are dehydrating – not a good idea in the heat. Turn to infusions made with cooling herbs instead, or try them cold for a refreshing change. 

My favourites are Pukka’s Refresh blend, and Heath and Heather’s Camomile and Spearmint – but there are literally hundreds to choose from in health food shops. 

Look for teas containing sage, peppermint, spearmint, elderflower, hibiscus, rose or lemon balm as these are all cooling.

Lemon balm is very relaxing.  Another favourite of mine is the Jan de Vries Dutch Herb Tea – a tasty, traditional blend of many of the above herbs.

Don’t let menopausal night sweats keep you awake

If menopausal hot flushes are making the hot weather even more unbearable, or keeping you from sleeping – then don’t suffer in silence. 

The tips mentioned above will help, but you may need more intensive help with a supplement – our Menoforce sage tablet, taken at night, is the best place to start. You can get lots more help and advice on the menopause section of our website.

Recommended reading: Top 5 Sleep Hygiene Tips to help you sleep better

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