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12 tips for a good night's sleep in the summer heat wave

Sleep experts share tips to help you beat the heat and maximise your melatonin.

With many Australians being urged to stay indoors and keep cool as the current heatwave reaches its peak, it's easy to forget how important a good night's sleep can be to repair the body.
On an average night, one in five Australians struggle to get enough sleep, but throw in the sweltering summer heat and you've got the perfect conditions for a restless night of tossing and turning.
The latest research from leading sleep experts Sealy shows that women are more susceptible to external factors at bedtime such as temperature, with 41 percent waking up during the night due to being too hot or too cold, compared to 35 percent of men.
Sealy's sleep experts have compiled their top tricks and tips for keeping cool throughout the blistering Australian summer below.
Less is more
While it may seem self-explanatory, dressing your children in loose, short cotton pyjamas will encourage their skin to breathe throughout the night.
DIY air conditioning
Create an A/C replacement by placing a bowl of ice in front of your floor fan and directing the icy breeze towards your bed. The cool air should blow over you and cool you down while you sleep. This tip will also help you saving $$$ on your power bills!
Windows
Shut blinds during the day in the kid's rooms while they are out and about and open windows at night if there is a breeze. This will leave the room cooler at the end of the day and make sleeping a little easier . Be wary that dark blinds will draw heat into their room, so opt for lighter colours where you can.
Loose or little clothing will help your skin breathe on a hot night. Image: Getty.
Sleeping alone
Now this may sound odd, but choosing to sleep alone will avoid the sharing of body heat. Take this one step further by sleeping in a spread eagle position (yes, you read correctly...) with none of your limbs touching to avoid transferring heat from your own body.
Choose the right sheets
Contrary to popular belief, high-thread count sheets often retain the most heat and make summer sleeping even more difficult. Dress your bed with light-coloured cotton sheets to create a breathable environment.
Pulse points
Apply ice packs or cold compresses to pulse points at the wrists, neck, elbows, groin, ankles, and behind the knees to create a quick cooling effect for your entire body.
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Be sun safe
Always cover your kids with sunblock and ensure they're kept hydrated throughout the day. Dehydration can cause sleep disruption, and we all know how uncomfortable sunburn is. Comfort is key.
Heat rises
The higher you are in a house or room, the more heat you will experience. Relocate your bedroom to the lowest floor of your house and check rooms to find the coolest one in your home.
Cool off
Right before bed, have a cool shower to lower your body temperature, but ensure you don't turn the taps too cold - this can have the reverse effect and force your body to compensate for being overly cold by working to warm you back up.
Quality mattress
A good night's sleep begins with a quality mattress. Invest in a mattress that provides a form of temperature control and sleep well all year round.

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