Tips for sleeping as Lucifer heat dome engulfs southern Europe

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Tips for sleeping through Spain’s devilishly hot “tropical nights” as the Lucifer heat dome engulfs southern Europe.

According to El Tiempo a tropical night is defined as a “night when the minimum temperature is equal to or greater than 20 degrees Celsius.” The Lucifer heat dome, an anti-cyclone bringing hot air from the Sahara north, is about to make sleeping extra-tricky.

Among the tips El Tiempo and others offer to get asleep in the heat are:

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  • Have a cool or lukewarm shower or bath just before going to bed. This cools the body directly and can help reduce the temperature of your skin.
  • Wet your face and arms with a face-washer or towel, or use a water filled spray bottle, then stand in front of a fan.
  • Soak your feet in cold water for 10 minutes before going to bed, as heat is lost more quickly through your extremities (feet and head). Wetting your hair is another alternative.
  • Apply cool wet cloths, cold water or ice packs (armpits and groin for short periods) to the skin, as these areas are where your blood flows closest to the surface of your skin. This will help cool you down.
  • Apply wristbands soaked in cold water, as this will have the similar effect.
  • Keep your home as cool as possible by drawing the shades, curtains and blinds during the hottest part of the day. Keep the windows closed.
  • Get your air-conditioner serviced early if it is not running effectively.
  • If you mainly use fans, ensure blades are dusted and cleaned as it will allow the fan to work more efficiently.

Meanwhile, the Junta de Andalucia has warned residents to go easy on the alcoholic drinks as they can exacerbate dehydration.


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Deirdre Tynan is an award-winning journalist who enjoys bringing the best in news reporting to Spain’s largest English-language newspaper, Euro Weekly News. She has previously worked at The Mirror, Ireland on Sunday and for news agencies, media outlets and international organisations in America, Europe and Asia. A huge fan of British politics and newspapers, Deirdre is equally fascinated by the political scene in Madrid and Sevilla. She moved to Spain in 2018 and is based in Jaen.

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