How to get your beauty sleep.
HOT nights and jet lag the downsides of lazy hazy summers and long haul holidays can play havoc with a good nights sleep. But there are ways of lessening the effects of sticky nights and time changes that can make you feel bleary eyed and irritable. Simple measures can have big results according to Cardiff GP Dr Trevor Thompson of Ely Bridge Surgery (pictured left). It important not to get dehydrated, he said. But have water in the evening rather than tea which can be too much of a stimulant. Have a glass of water next to you in case. It can cool you down if you wake up feeling hot. Dr Thompson suggests using a fan to help the cool air circulate, but positioning it to create a breeze around the room rather than directly on to the body. Taking exercise during the day helps to induce physical fatigue to aid sleep. If youre still wide awake after a while dont lie there getting anxious and fighting to go to sleep, said Dr Thompson. Get up and do something else then go to bed when you feel really tired. Professor Vincenzo Crunelli, sleep specialist at the department of Bioscience at Cardiff University, who comes from Sicily, knows all about coping in hot weather. Make your diet similar to the Mediterranean one, he advised. Have less fried food and lots of fruit and veg. A small amount of wine will help to make you feel tired but no more than two glasses and leave two to three hours after a big meal before going to bed. Looking back to his childhood, Professor Crunelli passes on a tip from his grandmother that still holds good. She used to scream at us during the day to keep the curtains closed to stop the heat of the sun coming in, he said. Keep the house as dark as possible and have a window open during the day and the night if youre not worried about safety or strange insects. Cardiff-based naturopath Emma Jones (pictured right) has plenty of age-old techniques to help encourage a restful night. Theres nothing to beat a banana at bedtime if you want to stay cool in a heatwave and get a good nights sleep. Bananas, apples and yoghurt are all among natures sleeping pills, according to Emma, along with teas and essential oils, not to mention cold water treatments and fresh air. There are plenty of ways to encourage comfortable, restful slumber on a sticky summers night as well as ways to minimise the effects of jetlag through the holiday season. Here are some tips: BEDTIME ROUTINE
A lemon and water nightcap is refreshing and cooling. Simply add a slice of lemon to a glass of cool, but not chilled, water and sip slowly. The minerals in the lemon should help to promote a good nights sleep, explained Emma. Add a few drops of essential oil of lavender or rose to a warm but not hot bath. Dab a single drop of lavender oil on each of the bottom corners of your pillow. THE BEDROOM
Choose natural bedding fabrics such as cotton. Make the room as dark as possible even if youre snatching an after-flight nap in broad daylight. Burn calming oils such as lavender, camomile or rose in the room an hour before retiring so that the room will have a soporific atmosphere by bedtime. WATER TREATMENTS
Both these techniques draw the heat down, taking away the frenetic energy that keeps things going over and over in your head, said Emma. They can help you fall asleep quite quickly. 1. Place the lower arms up to the elbows in cold water for a few minutes before going straight to bed. 2 Put on a pair of socks which have just been soaked in cold water and rinsed. Put a dry pair on top and go to bed. JETLAG
Emma believes that starving yourself of sleep puts too much strain on the body. Its better to try to deal with jetlag gradually and gently, she said. If you arrive in a new time zone early in the morning and feel tired, dont wait until night to go to bed. Your body will undoubtedly already be stressed and out of balance and fighting its need for sleep will only make things worse. Create a false sense of night in a darkened room and just sleep for a few hours. Then get up for the rest of the day and go to bed at the normal time.