Dog Days - Sleep well despite the summer heat

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Restful sleep in the heat? For many, high temperatures are a nocturnal problem in the summer. In order to fall asleep better or sleep through, one should consider what affects the sleep and is a prerequisite for a restful night. Among the things that are important for your restful sleep are the temperature in your bedroom, the bed itself, and whether your stomach is too full or too empty. Although alcohol may make you fall asleep, it will give you restless dreams and often wake you up earlier.

Room temperature in the bedroom

Normally, the body temperature drops in the evening by about one degree. In case of high heat in the bedroom this is not possible. So the body reacts with sweat to cool better. There are problems at the latest with a room temperature of 24 ° C. But damp sheets are not exactly a good sleep aid. So what do you do?

Airing is the first measure against a too hot bedroom. A satisfying result can be achieved if you let fresh air into the room in the morning after getting up and in the evening before going to bed - with the windows wide open. Maybe with open doors and windows you can blow through the wind in other rooms with a draft. Ten minutes are enough.

After the morning airing you should darken the room with roller blinds or curtains, so that the room is not unnecessarily heated by the sun until the evening. External blinds are best suited to ward off the heat. Maybe you also have a very cool room in the apartment, which you can transform into your bedroom in the extremely hot time?

Showering or bathing

Often you feel the need to wash away sweat and road dust with a cold shower. But this is not a suitable way to sleep better in the heat - on the contrary! By the cold, they contract the blood vessels of the skin, the body can give off heat worse and must later sweat in bed.

Conversely, a warm shower causes a vascular dilation and ultimately you feel refreshed. Therefore, a lukewarm shower is recommended before bedtime (the pores are opened and the accumulated heat of the day can escape) or a 10 to 15 minute bath of about 36 to 38 ° C, warmer it should not be. Anyone who tolerates it, can also add bathing supplements of chamomile, lavender, valerian or lemon balm. The essential oils support the soothing effect of lukewarm water.

Equipment for the bed

Thick substances block the exchange of air and conserve body heat. That's why the motto for a nightgown or duvet is: the lighter and absorbent, the better. For the hot nights, bedding made of linen or natural silk is recommended. The latter has a pleasant cooling effect on the skin. In very high heat, you can even omit the duvet - the sheet is enough.

For hygienic reasons, it is not always advisable to do without any piece of clothing in bed, because at night, the body releases up to half a liter of fluid. Lightweight cotton clothing can absorb the sweat well and is therefore better suited. A trick from the south: Lay blankets, sheets and pillows in the freezer until bedtime. Pure refreshment!

Eating and drinking in the heat

At least 3 hours before going to sleep you should not eat anything that is heavy in the stomach - so not too fatty or carbohydrate-rich foods. As a light meal, milk is suitable because it returns many minerals that have been lost throughout the day. Enrich these with a crushed banana - this also contains tryptophan, which increases the body's own serotonin levels and thus dissolves tension. Almonds and cinnamon promotes the production of the sleep hormone melatonin.

Do not ingest more fluids after 7:00 pm: Increased urinary frequency triggers frequent nocturnal waking and can lead to trouble sleeping. Sufficient hydration on hot days is best taken care of throughout the day.

Do not lie sleepless for long

If you still roll wide awake in bed after 20 to 30 minutes, you should get up and deal with something else that does not strain (such as listening to relaxing music). Only go back to bed when a new tiredness has set in.

You should take sleeping pills only in exceptional situations and only temporarily. They often confuse normal sleep phases. In addition, the body quickly gets used to the sleep aids and then can not do without them.

What you can safely take are herbal teas for calming or falling asleep, e.g. with melissa, valerian, hops or lavender. Another option is valerian drops or a mixture of valerian and hops extracts.

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