Tips for sleeping well during a heat wave in Spain

by Lorraine Williamson
Tips for sleeping
del canto chambers 2

During a heat wave, the nights often become something to NOT look forward to. Sticky sheets, lack of fresh air and tossing and turning for hours on end is not a pleasant prospect. Here are some tips for sleeping in high temperatures. 

If you have air conditioning in your bedroom, you can skip this article. Although air conditioning can ensure you don´t get too hot during the night, you might prefer to follow these tips for sleeping and prevent the high electricity bill that follows.

Don’t stress over one bad night 

Stress only promotes sleep deprivation. One bad night’s sleep isn’t that bad. The body has a habituation mechanism and adapts when it is warm for a longer period of time. In addition, the natural recovery mechanism ensures that lost sleep is made up for. Also realise that in summer when the light is longer you need less sleep. 

Go to bed later 

Even though the night is getting shorter, it is better to go to bed later and get a good night’s sleep than to toss and turn for a while. That only creates stress and that makes you fall asleep even worse. Try to go to bed as soon as you start to feel sleepy. 

Sleep outside 

Do you have the option to sleep outside: do it! Go camping in your garden or on your roof terrace or find a place close to water in the campo during a heat wave. Moisture in the air has a cooling effect. 

Hot air from your bedroom again 

Make sure that the hot air cannot reach your bedroom. Point your fan at the open window so the warm air doesn’t get in. For natural air conditioning, place a bowl of ice or ice-cold water in front of the fan at night and point it at your bed. 

Ventilate and darken 

Ventilate your home during the coolest times of the day, so early in the morning and late in the evening. Open all windows against each other. As soon as the sun shines on a window, close it and close curtains or shutters. 

Sheets 

Sleep under cotton or linen sheets. Put it in a plastic bag in the freezer before going to sleep. They don’t stay cool all night, but they do help you fall asleep. Or put a plastic bottle with chilled water in your bed. 

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Sleep naked 

Wear light (cotton or linen) pyjamas or sleep naked. The first suggestion comes from the American Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Following the second piece of advice can boost your relationship: according to the American Cotton Producers Association, 57% of people who sleep naked say they are happier in their relationship. 

Sleep alone 

A little less cosy this tip, but the best to stay cool. If you are already warm, you are not waiting for the extra heat that your bed partner produces. Consider placing your mattress on the floor. Warm air rises, so the closer to the ground, the cooler the air. 

Compresses 

Cool the parts of the body most sensitive to heat, such as the neck, elbows, ankles, and backs of the knees with compresses dipped in cool water. They constrict blood vessels and cool your body. 

Take a warm shower 

A hot shower half an hour before going to bed lowers your body temperature, although it doesn’t sound very logical to take a hot shower when it’s hot. The blood vessels under your skin open up and this allows the heat to escape. Also keep your feet cool. Heat enters the body through your feet. 

All devices off 

Turn off all lights and electronic devices completely. Standby is not good enough. In this position, the devices continue to give off heat. 

Alcohol 

Do not drink alcohol before going to sleep. Alcohol makes you sleep more restless and less deeply. It is best to drink water or other drinks such as orange juice. Also avoid coffee and tea (with caffeine). 

Eat light meals 

Eat a light meal in the evening. To process heavy and hot meals, the body produces more heat. Yogurt, a salad or a gazpacho, the famous cold Spanish tomato soup, are ideal, as long as you drink a lot of water withit. Water is used by the body to dissipate heat. 

Related post: How to survive the next heat wave in Spain

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