How to beat those hot, muggy, sleepless nights

Sweltering temperatures mean Kiwis may be struggling to get to sleep this summer.
Sweltering temperatures mean Kiwis may be struggling to get to sleep this summer. Photo credit: Getty Images

Warm summertime air and a stubborn high means most Kiwis will have experienced scorching temperatures this past week. 

Hitting temperatures in the mid-twenties is lovely while at the beach or poolside, but they can be quite the opposite once you find yourself tossing, turning and sweating in bed at night.

The humid nights are only made worse if you're also struggling to get overheated children and babies to sleep. 

Dr Alex Bartle, clinical director at the Sleep Well Clinic, told Newshub there is scientific basis behind those hot, sleepless nights 

"Sleep is dependent on a fall in your core body temperature, internal temperature, so to do that we need to get rid of heat," he said.

So with Auckland hitting highs of 27C this week, Whangarei 25C, Christchurch 25C, Queenstown 26C, and Tauranga 26C, how can Kiwis beat the heat and get a good night's sleep?

Newshub has compiled some tips for staying cool over the next few summer months.

Getting to sleep:

  • To get to sleep, your body needs a drop in temperature. One way to achieve this is by filling a hot water bottle with icy water.
  • You can also try placing a bag of ice in front of your fan to keep the air cool, or using air conditioning if possible.
  • Popping your sheets in the freezer before making your bed is another option.
  • Always stay hydrated and drink cold water before bed.
  • Close the curtains during the day to keep the sun out.
  • Slip, slop, slap, and wrap during the day - there's nothing worse than sheets scratching against a heinous sunburn.
A fan is a cost-effective way to keep the house cool this summer.
A fan is a cost-effective way to keep the house cool this summer. Photo credit: Getty Images

Getting children and babies to sleep: 

  • Children and babies are not as good at thermoregulation as adults are, therefore parents have to be extra vigilant when it comes to room temperature.
  • Alongside keeping the room cool, ways to help babies and children sleep during hot nights include using light, cotton clothing.
  • Covering them with only a sheet when asleep during the day and one more layer at night. 
  • Establishing a regular bedtime routine.
  • Keeping lighting in the house gentle and low in the evenings.
  • Keep breastfeeding during the day short and do big feeds later at night or early morning

Keeping cool during the day:

  • Keep your windows and doors open to ventilate rooms.
  • A fan is a cost-effective way to keep your house cool, the electricity used to power a fan for eight hours a day would only set you back about $4 over a month. 
  • Using a heat pump on the cool setting is another option that costs the same as it does to heat your house during winter. 
  • Have a pool party! Purchase a paddling pool and chill out.
  • Just don't drink too much alcohol at said party, as it interferes with water levels which can lead to heat stroke and dehydration. 

If all else fails, a reprieve is coming: Metservice is forecasting a considerable temperature drop and rain for most places next week. 

The South Island will see the most dramatic change with Invercargill plunging from highs of 27C to a mere 13C.