The brain needs to be a fraction of a degree cooler than the rest of the body to achieve optimal sleep. If you're too hot this can stop you getting to sleep and staying asleep.
Here are a few weird and wonderful tips to help you create this ideal temperature differential:
1. Avoid 'heating' foods/drinks in the hour before sleep - very spicy and rich foods, caffeinated drinks, alcohol, sugary snacks. Cooling foods include cucumber, watermelon, cold milk
2. Cool bedroom down with a fan. If you can place a tray of ice cubes in front of the fan for 20 minutes or so before getting into bed it will cool the room down. Cheap air conditioning!
3. Wash feet with ice cold water before getting into bed
4. Use thin sheet instead of duvet
5. Lightly mist the sheet with water, place in a plastic bag and put in the fridge for an hour before bedtime.
6. Keep damp flannels in sandwich bags in freezer. Place on forehead or feet as soon as you get into bed. Keep flannels in a small ice box beside bed to be used if you wake up hot and sweating during the night.
7. Keep curtains closed from mid afternoon onwards to minimise room heating
8. If you wake up during the night because of the heat, avoid checking the time (always!) and run cool water on the inside of your wrists for a minute or so. Avoid putting the light on in the bathroom. Go back to bed breathe deeply into belly to re-initiate sleep.
9. Sleep spread-eagled (if space allows) with bare feet hanging out of bed. If you can elevate feet on a pillow with a cool towel on it even better.
10. Visualise a cool, blue waterfall or fountain as you drift off to sleep
Sleep beautifully tonight!