Sleep expert offers top tips for getting to sleep during hot summer nights

With temperatures around the country reaching soaring heights in recent weeks, there will be many grouchy and tired Kiwis dotted around offices and schools, struggling with a lack of sleep. 

While in the winter we can layer up with snuggly pyjamas and extra duvets to keep warm, during hot, humid nights in the summer it can leave you feeling like there's not many options. 

Luckily Dr Alex Bartle from New Zealand's Sleep Well Clinic is here to help, offering some advice on getting to sleep before you get to that extreme stage. 

He joined More FM Manawatu's morning show on Tuesday to offer some tips for getting to sleep during the hot summer months. 

Dr Bartle said the difficulties in getting to sleep during the summer are due to the inhibition of "the drop in your core body temperature" that is needed to get into deeper sleep. 

"So if it's very hot in your environment it's going to be very hard to get to sleep," he explained. 

Dr Bartle's top tips for making the sleep process a little easier: 

Close the curtains 

"When you leave your bedroom in the morning close your curtains," he said. "Don't let that hot sun pour into your bedroom all day - particularly if you're in a north or west-facing room. 

"If you have blackout curtains, keep them closed all day and keep that light out." 

Blow the hot air away 

"If you have a fan, blow the hot air out the window," he revealed. "Blow air from the cool side of your house to the hot side of your house, and aim your fan towards the window to suck the cooler air back in."

Blow the cool air around 

"Get a bowl of icy water and blow the fan across the icy water, to blow the cooler air throughout the house - it's like homemade air conditioning." 

The cool side of the pillow 

"If you like to get into a cool bed, put your pillow in a zip lock bag and place in the fridge or freezer to cool down before getting into bed," he offered. Dr Bartle just recommends you make sure the bag is sealed, so the pillow doesn't get deep. You can also do the same with your pyjamas or sheets - cotton pyjamas are also best to be sleeping in. 

Stay chill 

"There's one other really important part - when you go to bed make sure you're not overheating, angry and frustrated," he finished.

"Cool yourself down and cool your brain down - do a bit of meditation, [or] a bit of writing down. Gather some happy thoughts, because that will help you cool down as well."