ALTHOUGH summer in Spain certainly has many things going for it, when it comes to getting a decent night’s sleep three out of four people in the country have problems according to a survey by INFITO Phytotherapy Investigation Centre.
The higher temperatures and longer daylight hours change circadian rhythms within the body and this, European Sleep Research Society member Doctor Rafael del Rio explained, can cause difficulty getting to sleep or broken nights.
When we go to bed our body temperature drops to encourage sleep, and extreme temperatures whether hot or cold can make it harder to get to sleep or wake us up in the night. To avoid this, Del Rio recommends the temperature in the bedroom should be between 18 and 22 ºC with humidity levels of between 50 and 70 per cent. Use air-con to cool the room down before bedtime but don’t leave it on all night.
Other tips include drinking at least 1.5 litres of water per day to stay hydrated, having dinner two hours before bedtime, taking a cold shower before going to bed, sticking to normal routines and avoiding alcohol and caffeine before bed.
Sleeping pills should be avoided if possible however meditation, relaxation and breathing techniques and plant-based remedies from the chemist can be useful for those still having trouble sleeping.