New Zealand heatwave: Worst places to sleep tonight

Bad news for Kiwis struggling to get to sleep - MetService warns another hot night is ahead.

"It was a hot night last night, with a few places not even reaching below 20degC overnight!" MetService posted to Facebook.

"So how much was the discomfort from the humidity and temperature? Well, quite a lot! Unfortunately, tonight is set to be another warm night for many."

The North Island will bear the brunt of tonight's scorching temperatures, with the west coast, central areas and upper North Island hit hardest.

Temperatures around NZ tonight

  • Wellington Region and Kapiti Coast - 18degC
  • Hawke's Bay Region - 17-18degC
  • Bay of Plenty Region - 18-19degC
  • Inner North Island - 18degC
  • Auckland and Northland - 17-18degC
  • Gore and Invercargill - 15-16degC

If you struggle to sleep during the warm summer nights, you're not alone. There's actually a scientific basis as to why you can't sleep when it's hot.

According to Dr Alex Bartle, clinical director from the Sleep Well Clinic, in order to sleep there has to be a drop in your core body temperature.

"So if it's too hot in our environment, we can't get rid of the heat and we can't sleep," Dr Bartle says.

Dr Bartle says it's also particularly difficult to sleep when it's humid, as we can't get rid of the heat.

But there are some simple things you can do to help beat the heat overnight.

The Sleep Well Clinic recommends using a fan or air conditioning if possible, and keeping your windows shut until the evening, when you can open them when it's cooler. It's also helpful to avoid or limit alcohol and caffeine and keep hydrated.

Tips to help you sleep:

  • Close the curtains early in the day
  • Drink cold water
  • Put ice in front of your fan
  • And even leave your sheets in the freezer a while before making your bed

Experts also have tips for those with babies.

"Keep the bedroom as cool as possible," Dr Bartle says. "Don't try to rug them up. Always a temptation to keep them all snuggly and wrapped up tight, but the problem is they can't lose heat then."

He says for babies bedroom temperatures should be 18degC to 20degC, and not to panic if they kick blankets off in the night as they shouldn't lose too much heat.

"They're not as good at thermo regulation as adults are, they don't manage their heat nearly as well as adults," Dr Bartle says.

And if nothing is working he says, just get out of bed.

"Sitting outside, watching the stars, feet in a bucket of ice water will cool you down."

Whatever it takes to keep calm, keep cool and carry on as these summer nights heat up.


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