Tips for sleeping in this hot weather


If you struggle to sleep during the warm summer nights, you're not alone.

Last summer there were higher than average overnight temperatures, and we could be experiencing something similar this time around.

There's actually a scientific basis as to why you can't sleep when it's hot. Sleep is dependent on a fall in your core body temperature, internal temperature, so to do that we need to get rid of heat," says Dr Alex Bartle, clinical director from the Sleep Well Clinic.

Dr Bartle says it's also particularly difficult to sleep when it's humid, as we can't get rid of the heat.

Last summer, MetService said overnight temperatures were higher than normal for coastal areas of New Zealand.

But there are things we can do to help sleep better in the heat.

The Sleep Well Clinic recommends keeping curtains closed during the day, using a fan, or air conditioning if possible, and keeping your windows shut until the evening, when you can open them when it's cooler. It's also helpful to avoid or limit alcohol and caffeine and keep hydrated.

Experts also have tips for those with babies.

"Keep the bedroom as cool as possible," Dr Bartle says. "Don't try to rug them up. Always a temptation to keep them all snuggly and wrapped up tight, but the problem is they can't lose heat then."

He says for babies bedroom temperatures should be 18degC to 20degC, and not to panic if they kick blankets off in the night as they shouldn't lose too much heat.

He also says not to worry if you are having trouble sleeping. If you have one or two bad nights you'll get tired and after two or three nights you will sleep better.