Can't sleep in a heatwave? It might be down to what you're eating...

Wondering why you can't sleep in a heatwave? Tried all the tricks but none of them work? The answer to dropping off might surprise you

Can't sleep: how to get to sleep in heatwave
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Want to know how to get to sleep in a heatwave? You might be surprised by the answer. Sleeping better during hot weather might have less to do with popping your sheets in the freezer or taking lukewarm showers (helpful as both are) and more with... watching what you eat.

Yes, what you eat affects your body temperature, believe it or not. If you love a meat feast barbecue and are struggling to get to sleep in the warm weather, we have some news for you: your steak/barbecue ribs are making you warmer. Protein dense foods, in turns out, make our bodies work harder at digestion, and this in turn does raise our body temperature. 

If you're then also eating foods that are diuretic, as they will make you dehydrated, making it even harder to go to sleep. These foods include asparagus, artichoke, and – we're sad to report – mangoes. 

'What should I eat then?', you might be asking. Most vegetables and fruit are good to eat during hot weather, especially water-rich ones such as watermelon and cucumber. Lean protein is also fine, so think turkey or fish. So – plenty of salad and a little bit of protein should be good.

Paradoxically, you don't need to stay away from spicy foods during a heatwave, but when you eat them is crucial. A spicy curry at least three hours before bed will encourage you to sweat, which will eventually bring your body temperature down. Just don't eat it right before trying to doze off.

And, of course, avoid alcohol, which is the root of many sleep problems. Stick to water, and plenty of it. 

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