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I’m a sleep expert — don’t go to bed naked in a heat wave

She’s rebuffing the theory.

Although sleeping in the nude may seem like the obvious way to stay cool in a heat wave, a UK psychologist is warning that the practice won’t lead to restful sleep.

“I wouldn’t recommend sleeping naked, as much as this might appeal, because sweat then collects on your skin rather than being absorbed by the fibers of your clothing and cooling you down,” Suzy Reading told UK bedding company

Instead, she advises wearing “loose fitting, airy, light garments in natural fibers,” suggesting cotton, silk, eucalyptus or bamboo, preferably in lighter-colored hues.

There are also meals you should avoid if you want a good night’s rest — with Reading saying to steer clear of foods that are spicy or high in fat, as it will increase body temperature.

Woman sleeping in bed with sheet over her.
Cavan Images

“Be careful with fermented foods like teriyaki or soy sauce, tofu, and miso, also citrus fruit, cured meats and aged cheeses,” she explains. “These contain the amino acid tyramine, which can increase brain activity and make it harder to fall asleep.

And bad news for those who enjoy a nightcap — Reading encourages people to avoid alcohol before they hit the hay — as it diminishes the quality of sleep and causes “micro wake-ups,” which can leave you feeling exhausted in the morning.

If you share a bed, separate covers could ensure you and your partner still sleep tight.

”A simple way to more effectively optimize your personal sleep environment is to use separate coverings so you can tailor it to your preferences and reduce the possibility of bed time tug-o-wars,” Reading counsels.

Man with tattoos sleeping.
raquel arocena torres

The good news is, a bath before bed can help ease you into sleepy town.

“Taking a bath 1-2 hours before bed has been scientifically shown to help you get to sleep,” Reading reasons. “It works by drawing your core heat to your extremities where it is released.”

“While the warmth of the bath is relaxing,” she adds, “it’s the dissipation of core body heat when you get out that actually promotes sleep.”