Time for a little nap on Australia Day? Our top sleep tips for sleeping in hot weather
It means different things to different people.
A day off work. Time to enjoy the company of family and friends. You might decide to simply sit around in your own backyard and enjoy a meal. Or you might be planning to get out and about in your local park and have a BBQ or picnic.
Or partying hard to celebrate all that’s good about our country might be more your style.
This year is different for so many Australians who have struggled to deal with higher temperatures and the ravages of bushfire. The intensity of the fires and the widespread smoke haze in both city and regional areas has worn many of us down at a time of year when we’re usually taking it easy, replenishing our energies for the coming year.
Whatever you decide to do, it’s a good idea to balance packing-in all those fun activities with trying not to overdo it. Moderation can seem a bit boring, but if you want to last the distance, it’s worth a try.
Here are a few tips to help you enjoy your Australia Day holiday:
Indulge in a sleep-in on Australia Day
Who doesn’t love a good sleep-in? And many of us really need that extra sleep.
A recent report by the Sleep Health Foundation found that more than half of Australian adults had problems sleeping. Whether they had trouble falling asleep, staying asleep or waking up too early, the study found that people are simply not getting the opportunity to clock-up enough hours of shut-eye, leading to chronic sleep deprivation and serious health issues.
For most of us, getting between seven and nine hours a sleep on most nights is a healthy goal. But if you’ve started the year off at a sprint, burning the candle at both ends, a sleep-in can help pay-back some of that'sleep debt . An extra hour or two will do you good and set you up for the big day.
But a warning!
Making a habit of sleeping-in to catch-up on ‘lost’ hours is not great for your health in the long-term.
Messing around with your body’s natural sleep patterns can take its toll. At best, it can actually make you feel more tired. At worst, it can seriously affect your ability to function. It may affect your ability to make decisions and compromise your reaction time - not great when you’re driving a car or using machinery.
Take a power nap before the Australia Day party starts
If you’re feeling a little bit low on energy, a short 20 to 30-minute snooze could help prepare you for the day’s festivities.
A good time to siesta is when your body’s energy is at its lowest – around mid-afternoon. There’s some indication that a short sleep during the day can reduce stress and even help reduce the risk of heart disease.
At the very least, a short sleep could take the edge of your tiredness and stop you from nodding-off as the fireworks go off.
How to stay cool in the heat - sleeping during the hottest time of year
January and February are typically the hottest months of the year in Australia. As temperatures climb, it’s often harder to sleep comfortably and get enough quality sleep.
Some of the things you can do to stay cool and improve your sleep during the heat include:
- Stay hydrated during the day. Not drinking enough water is a common cause of insomnia.
- Shut the curtains and blinds to keep your house cool during the day and sleep in the coolest part of the house.
- Allow for good airflow in your bedroom. Use a fan or air-conditioning if you have them, but don’t make the room too cold.
- Have a cool or lukewarm shower or bath before you head to bed. Or you could try soaking your feet in cool water 10 minutes before bedtime.
- Use a small water mister to spray a light mist of cool moisture over your face.
- Wear light-weight, loose-fitting clothing made from natural fibres (like cotton or linen) – avoid synthetics as these can make you sweat and make you uncomfortable.
- Make sure your sheets and bedding are also made of light, natural fabric.
- Check that your mattress and pillows are made of materials that promote a cool, comfortable sleep.
Happy Australia Day from all of us at SleepX. And, if you’re planning on a big day, getting a good night’s sleep the night before is an excellent start. So.. sleep well!