One of the biggest challenges of the hot weather is that kids get hot and bothered and this can really affect their sleep. Getting your children to sleep and staying asleep on a sweltering night can be extremely hard and this can lead to irritability the next day. However, worry not! There are numerous strategies to make bedtime easier, even in the sweltering heat.
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Here are my top tips:
1. Dress light – first and foremost, make sure your child is appropriately dressed for bed. Opt for light bed clothes (even just a nappy for the littles could be enough), and use thin sheets rather than duvets. This will help ensure that their body can naturally regulate its temperature.
2. Use a fan – a fan can be an excellent tool to cool down a room. However, remember to not direct the airflow straight at your child, as this can cause skin dryness and discomfort. Instead, aim the fan towards a wall or the ceiling to keep the air circulating. Some people find fans too noisy, but others like the background humm.
3. Cool showers – a cool shower or bath before bed can help lower body temperature and signal that it’s time to wind down. Just be careful that the water isn’t too cold, as this can be a shock to the system.
4. The magic of a cool flannel – place a cool wet flannel on your child’s forehead. This simple technique can be remarkably effective at cooling them down and aiding sleep.
5. Hydrate – keep your child well hydrated throughout the day. Dehydration can exacerbate feelings of heat and make it even harder to sleep.
6. Use a hot water bottle… with a cool twist – try filling a hot water bottle with crushed ice and cold water. Ensure the hot water bottle has a cover, so the icy cold bottle doesn’t come into direct contact with your child’s skin.
7. Control the room’s temperature – during the day, keep curtains, blinds and windows closed to prevent the sun from heating up the room. Open windows at night to allow cooler air to circulate. A black-out blind can help to stop the sun shining through the windows before it’s dark, and early in the morning.
8. Eat sleepy foods – certain foods can naturally promote sleep. Consider incorporating cherries into your child’s diet, especially in the evening as they contain melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep. Chamomile tea is also a winner for helping kids to wind down and you can use this in my ice lolly recipe.
9. Try essential oils – both lavender and frankincense help to induce sleepiness and can be combined together in a pillow spray or rubbed into the feet. Frankincense helps to promote a feeling of calm and restfulness and smells divine and comforting especially when combined with lavender.
10. Explore food supplements – magnesium, lemon balm, passionflower and quercetin have properties that can help sleep. Magnesium aids in relaxation, while lemon balm and passionflower have soothing properties on the nervous system and promote the neurotransmitter GABA which keeps us calm and relaxed. Quercetin can be especially beneficial if your child has hay fever or allergic symptoms, which may cause them to become overly hot, irritable, sneezy and itchy at night.
These tips should help to keep your kids cool so that they can sleep well on hot summer nights and wake up refreshed the next day. I hope that by following these tips not only will you have happily snoozing kids, but you will be able to enjoy lovely peaceful summer evenings and a good night’s sleep yourself!
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- Influence of Dietary Sources of Melatonin on Sleep Quality: A Review
- The Role of Tea in Sleep Improvement and Cancer Prevention
- Plant Extracts for Sleep Disturbances: A Systematic Review
- A critical review on clinical evidence of the efficacy of lavender in sleep disorders
- Effects of essential oils on central nervous system: Focus on mental health
- The Role of Magnesium in Sleep Health: a Systematic Review of Available Literature
- Association of magnesium intake with sleep duration and sleep quality: findings from the CARDIA study
- Herbal Remedies and Their Possible Effect on the GABAergic System and Sleep
- Structure-Dependent Activity of Natural GABA(A) Receptor Modulators
- Effects of Passiflora incarnata Linnaeus on polysomnographic sleep parameters in subjects with insomnia disorder: a double-blind randomized placebo-controlled study
- Use of Plant-Derived Natural Products in Sleep Disturbances
- Quercetin and/or Ascorbic Acid Modulatory Effect on Phenobarbital-Induced Sleeping Mice Possibly through GABAA and GABAB Receptor Interaction Pathway
- Quercetin improves the imbalance of Th1/Th2 cells and Treg/Th17 cells to attenuate allergic rhinitis