Struggling to sleep in this hot weather? Read this to fix it!
Whether you love or loathe this mega-hot weather, we can all agree that it makes a good night’s sleep more challenging! It’s more difficult to get to sleep, stay asleep, and wake up raring to go! Lack of sleep can lead to foggy thinking, food cravings, an impaired ability to get satiated from food, lack of motivation to train, low mood, and more.
Sleep matters, especially when you want to improve your physique and training.
Here’s how to sleep longer, better, and more soundly – even in hot weather.
Good quality sleep is essential for our health and wellbeing, and gets even more critical when we want to push ourselves in training (and stick to an eating plan!)
What constitutes enough good sleep? That will differ from person to person but it’s widely accepted that 7 hours of quality sleep is the minimum. If you try to run on less than that, you’ll run into problems sooner or later.
Food cravings – especially for carbohydrates and sugars
Hunger and inability to feel full
Lack of motivation to train
Impaired training focus and intensity
Low mood, irritability, depression
Impaired cognitive function including decision making and reaction times
Increased risk of obesity, heart disease, and diabetes
700 of the body’s genes are affected when you get less than 6 hours sleep a night https://www.surrey.ac.uk/features/lack-sleep-alters-human-gene-activity
Sleep is am important restorative mechanism which helps us recover from stress, training, injury and illness. It even helps our cells, genes, and hormones regenerate and rebalance.
To get all the benefits of sleep, it needs be continuous and unbroken. Increased temperatures at this time of year can disrupt sleep, making it harder to get to sleep and difficult to stay asleep all night. This can ultimately lead to decreased performance (in and out of the gym), mood changes and immune function impairment.
Clean up your sleep with these 7 sleep hygiene tips (4 & 5 are crucial all year round!)
1 Keep your bedroom between 16 and 18°C (any hotter can lead to a restless and uncomfortable night) https://sleepcouncil.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Key-Facts-and-Figures.png
2 In darkness, our body will release melatonin (the sleep hormone), which is relaxing and helps us to drift off. During light summer evenings, consider a black out blind (or homemade version) or eye mask.
3 Switch to a style of dimmer light which help you drift off slowly and get woken up gently.
4 Don’t take your phone, tablet, or laptop into the bedroom. Not only are you tempted to stay up way too late looking at the Gravity Fitness site (OK – or Insta!) but the LED display’s blue light plays havoc with melatonin.
5 Keep your room as dark as possible, blocking off any lights from plug sockets, electronics, or outside sources.
6 Keep bedroom curtains or blinds drawn during the day to prevent the room getting too hot (and open the bedroom door to let air circulate).
7 Wear cotton bedclothes, and use thin pure cotton bedding – it’s breathable and will help you stay cool.
1 Put your bedding, PJs, or just your pillowcase in the freezer for a couple of minutes before bed (put it in a plastic bag first!)
2 Use cotton pyjamas and thin, pure cotton sheets for your bed – high quality cotton is the ideal bedding material as it’s most breathable.
3 Exercise in the morning rather than evening to give your body time to cool down.
4 Have a tepid evening shower to help lower body temp (not hot – but not cold either!)
5 Put a roasting pan full of ice in front of a fan to cool the air.
6 Rinse your wrists and feet with cold water before getting into bed.