10 top tips to help your child sleep in the heatwave

Image of boy with thumbs up hanging from a bar, with the caption 10 Top Tips To Help Your Child Sleep In The Heatwave
10 Top Tips To Help Your Child Sleep In The Heatwave

In the UK we are experiencing an ongoing heatwave, with no signs of stopping. For many people, the sunshine and heat during the daytime is a very welcome change. However, when night-time comes this can lead to a very bad night’s sleep. In an ideal world, a nursery should be kept at between 16 and 20 degrees Celsius, but without an aircon unit, here are some other ways to try and get the temperature down to near that recommended range.

Tips to help your child sleep:

  • Keep windows shut. During the daytime keep windows shut so that the very hot outside air does not come into the house. The temptation is to open the windows, but during a heatwave the air outside is likely to be much warmer than the air inside.
  • Keep curtains shut, especially in sun facing rooms. When direct sunlight gets into a bedroom it will heat up the room. Keep curtains shut to minimise the bedroom heating up.
  • Give children a cool bath before bed. Usually a warm bath is a good plan before bed to help promote sleep, but during hot weather a cooler bath will help to reduce their body temperature before bed.
  • Use a fan. A fan can help move air around the room to help keep the child cool. A frozen water bottle could also be placed in front of the fan to help blow even cooler air around. Don’t point the fan directly at the child’s face, and make sure that the fan and electric cable are out of reach of the child. Some people worry about the noise of the fan keeping the child awake, but don’t worry. The child will get used to the noise of the fan quickly.
  • Wear less clothes at night. Get the child to sleep in as few clothes as possible to help them to feel cool. A baby can sleep in a nappy alone.
  • Use a cool wet flannel on the forehead. If your child or baby is very upset by the heat, try placing a cool wet flannel on their forehead for a short while. This is especially helpful if the child or baby is very upset, as they are likely to make themselves even hotter when they are distressed.
  • Keep the child hydrated. During hot weather it is easy to get dehydrated. Let the child have a glass or bottle of cold water to drink during the night. This will help them to both cool down and also keep them hydrated. Bottlefed babies can be given cool boiled water.
  • Waterproof mattress covers should be removed. The waterproof sheets that can be placed on beds to help prevent bedwetting accidents getting into the mattress, often encourage sweating. So, for extremely hot weather look into other options for bedwetting – such as nighttime pull-up nappies, using a towel on top of the mattress or use a disposable absorbent mat such as the Huggies DryNites bed mat.
  • Fill a hot water bottle with crushed ice and cold water. This can be really helpful to place in the bad to help keep the temperature down. Make sure that the hot water bottle has a cover so that the ice cold bottle does not come into direct contact with the child.
  • Reassure your child. Sometimes a little reassurance is all that is needed. Reassure your child that the weather is unseasonably hot and that it is perfectly normal for them to feel hot in bed, but that you want to help them feel better by suggesting some of the tips above.

I hope that these tips help you. If you need to talk through any sleep issues with sleep expert Dr Lindsay Browning, contact Trouble Sleeping where we would be delighted to help.

www.troublesleeping.co.uk

Adults should get 7-9 hours of sleep per night

Ideally, adults should be getting between 7-9 hours of sleep every night. However, it is estimated that at least 35% of adults are not getting enough sleep.

35% of US adults are not getting the recommended 7 hours of sleep each night.
Did you get enough sleep last night?

 

Research in the Journal Sleep https://academic.oup.com/sleep/article/40/10/zsx135/4056064, even goes so far as to suggest that both short (<6.5 hours) and long (≥9.5 hours) sleep were associated with higher mortality. That is, people who sleep for less than 6.5 hours a night, or more than 9.5 hours a night, are likely to die sooner than those who sleep the recommended 7-9 hours.

People who sleep for less than 6.5 hours a night, or more than 9.5 hours a night, are likely to die sooner than those who sleep the recommended 7-9 hours.

There are many reasons why people are not getting enough sleep. Stress and anxiety mean that it can be harder to get to sleep and stay asleep. Lifestyle factors, such as having electronic devices like phones, TVs and tablets in the bedroom can keep you awake. Also, social jet-lag, where people go to bed late and sleep-in at the weekend, but then go to bed and get up significantly earlier in the working week, can play havoc with sleep. This discrepancy in going to bed and waking times at the weekend compared to the working week is like giving yourself jet-lag, resulting in poorer sleep.

If you are not regularly getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep, you could try comparing your working week and weekend bedtime routines and look to go to bed and get up at regular times throughout the week.

If you are struggling with your sleep and would like to get some help then please contact Trouble Sleeping.

Top tips for a good night’s sleep

When you have a stressful life event it is perfectly normal to sleep poorly for a few nights. However, problems arise when this short term insomnia turns into long term (chronic) insomnia. This is when you may need to seek help.

  • Limit your use of computers, tablets and phones before going to bed, and do not have the devices next to your bed in the night.
  • Try to limit the amount of time you spend in bed not sleeping – instead try to leave the bed when you are awake in the night.
  • Try to get up at the same time every morning, and go to bed at the same time every night.
  • Increase the amount of exercise you do during the daytime.
  • Don’t drink alcohol to help you get to sleep, as it disrupts your sleep later in the night.
  • Limit your intake of caffeine – the stimulant can stay in your system for up to 8 hours.

If you feel that you would like some expert help, look at our services for adults and children.