Simple ways to sleep through the heat
SAY goodbye to cool nights and a sound sleep, because summer has finally arrived - along with scorching temps persisting well after the sun goes down.
Queensland and NSW nights are now regularly staying above 20C after dark, leaving everyone sweating in their PJs.
So for people without the luxury of airconditioning, trying to get a sound night's sleep while it's sweltering outside can be a frustrating task that results in little to no shut-eye.
Here are some tips on how you can prepare yourself for the hot nights.
According to sleep physician Dr David Hillman, people need to firstly take their sleep more seriously - and think about ways to bring the body down to its optimal temperature.
"The ideal bedroom temperature is between 18-21C," Dr Hillman told news.com.au. "When you get to 24C, you reach the thermoneutral zone, which is when the body takes active measures to regulate temperatures.
"What the body is faced with when it's too hot is [to] try and regulate the surface temperature. This regulating process is what keeps people up.
"While you're asleep, the brain is still active and if there's something that the brain sees as a threat or discomfort and is unable to deal with it automatically, it will take active steps to change it - which include waking up to adjust the fan, having a drink of water or repositioning the body out of discomfort."
So what can be done to regulate the body temperature, without forking out for an expensive airconditioning unit and subsequent bill?
A healthy person's body temperature generally ranges from 36.5-37.5C and will release heat through the hands and feat to keep that temperature. So firstly, ensure that there's no covers around the torso or covering the feet.
"When sleeping, it's important to get as much skin exposure as possible so sweat can be evaporated off the body," Dr Hillman said.
"Lightweight linen that is quite absorbent is a good start, so choose cottons over nylons.
"Same deal with sleepwear. If being naked isn't your thing, opt for breathable clothing."
While fans are the obvious go-to when the mercury surges, there are a few cost-effective tricks to cooling down during balmy summer nights.
• Try placing a wet towel over you. The towel will hold moisture and will be cold and damp without getting overly wet. Otherwise, wet down your sheets before putting them on your bed. Put them on a spin cycle, so they are just damp and not dripping wet.
• Try filling up a hot water bottle and popping in the freezer to create a bed-friendly ice pack.
• If you do have fans, be creative. Don't fall into the trap of having the fan pointing directly at you while you sleep. If you have a box fan, point it out the windows so that hot air is pushed out, and adjust ceiling fan settings so the blades run counter clockwise, pulling hot air up and out instead of just twirling it around the room.
• To minimise heat in the bedroom, disconnect your electronics and keep plugs out of sockets. During hot days, they give off heat, even when switched off.