As experienced runners will know, rest is essential for recovery and a good night’s sleep can work wonders for your athletic performance. But what if it’s too hot to sleep?
With the UK in the grip of the longest heatwave in 20 years and temperatures peaking at 33C, sleep can start to feel like a luxury. Follow our top sleep tips and get some kip.
Act like a marathoner
If you’ve ever run a marathon on a hot day, you will know the drill, so apply hot weather running tips to your normal day and reap the rewards. Replenish lost salts by drinking electrolytes, even if you’re not exercising to ensure you’re not dehydrated and you will be more inclined to sleep easy.
Shut out the sun
Keep blinds and curtains closed during the day as a preventative measure to stop your room from overheating and avoid sunbathing. As tempting as it may be to work on your tan, you'll feel a lot cooler at night if you stay in the shade.
Invest in a fan
An obvious tip, but a cheap office fan can work wonders at night and help you drift off with ease. If you can't stand the whirring noise, pick up some ear plugs too.
Create your own air-con
Place a frozen water bottle in front of the fan. This will cool the air and in turn, lower your body temperature and enable you to sleep better.
If you’re a bed sharer, you might want to consider taking a little snuggle hiatus until the heatwave passes. Having separate beds will mean you can stretch out and prevent your combined body temperature overheating you.
Freeze your hot water bottle
That’s right! Your good old hotty has more uses than keeping your toes warm in winter. Replace it with frozen water and take it to bed. The cooling effect will benefit your sleep.
Use your recovery gel packs
Those weird little pouches you use for injury? Freeze them and take them to bed! You don't need to be injured to enjoy a nice cooling gel pack on your hot bits.
Don’t go commando
As tempting as it may be, don’t whip off your undies just because it’s sunny. Instead, sleep in cotton pyjamas, to let your skin breathe and ensure that any sweat is soaked up, rather than left on your body.
Take a damp sheet to bed
Known as the Egyptian method (apparently) place your sheet and pillow case in the freezer. Before bed that is, you wouldn’t want to actually sleep in the freezer. Then enjoy the cooling affect of chilled linen.
Turn off all electrical devices
Every little helps when you’re attempting to turn your bedroom into an ice palace. Laptops, computers and TV’s all produce heat, as do light bulbs, so keep everything off.
Cool your feet
As a runner, you will be used to looking after your tootsies. Your feet and toes are packed with blood vessels and can help cool your entire body down. Use your frozen hot water bottle as an ice pack for your feet, or if you’re really desperate, plunge your toes into a bucket of cold water before bed.
If you’re looking for something a bit less extreme, try dangling your feet and toes outside of the covers.
As loathe as we are to suggest it, stop running! When you exercise, you raise your body temperature, which retains heat. So give yourself a rest day or five and chill out. A few days off training won’t dramatically affect your fitness but it will enable you to sleep better.
For alternative ways to keep fit during a heatwave, click here!