Expert tips on how to sleep in the heat

How to sleep tonight despite the heatwave: Acupuncturist reveals why the key is balancing your ying and yang energies with traditional Chinese medicine – including drinking mint tea and eating watermelon

  • Renata Nunes , physiotherapist and acupuncturist gave tips on sleeping in heat
  • Used Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) based on the theory of Yin and Yang
  • Advice includes trying acupressure methods and using relaxing essential oils 

As temperatures in the UK soar this week, many of us could find ourselves tossing and turning struggling to get a good night’s sleep.

With this in mind, Renata Nunes, a trained British physiotherapist, acupuncturist and masseuse shared with FEMAIL how you can get a decent night’s sleep despite the mercury soaring to 32C, using the power of Ancient Chinese Medicine.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is based on the theory of Yin and Yang and according to the branch of medicine insomnia and other sleep disorders are the result of an imbalance of energies.

Normally, the yin energy which is associated with coolness is more prominent at night, while the yang associated with heat takes over during the day.

However, in the Summer season, the Yang energy, associated with the fire and energy, is at its peak, meaning it’s more difficult to sleep.

Here FEMAIL reveals some top tips to harness your Yang energy and beat the heat this summer.

Renata Nunes, a trained British physiotherapist, acupuncturist and masseuse shared with FEMAIL how you can get a decent night’s sleep this summer. Stock image

Food

Food should always be balanced and with TCM food is seen according to the predominance of Yin and Yang energy. In summer, we should eat foods that cool and moisten our bodies, that is, foods with a predominance of Yin energy.

Yin foods are dark vegetables like spinach, soy products like tofu. Lean and white meats, like fish. Fruits like watermelon and melon. Also, Cucumber, pineapple, chamomile tea and peppermint are very refreshing foods.

Yang foods are rich in fat, protein, calories and sodium, meats like steak and pork, hot spices like cinnamon, ginger and curry, eggs, sesame oil, mushrooms, alcohol, caffeine and chocolate.

It’s important to have an early dinner, at least 3 hours before bed.

Especially for people who suffer from insomnia and who get worse in the summer, these food tips are very important for trying to balance the body’s energy.

Drink

Liquids should be taken at room temperature and not cold, especially at night. During the day we can drink pineapple juice mixed with water and fresh mint to relieve heat, summer headaches and premenstrual tension. 

In the evening, we can have tea with fresh mint or chamomile.

In addition, alcohol and caffeine are not recommended close to bedtime, as well as intense exercise, which should be done mainly in the morning or early afternoon.

Essential oils

For relaxation and good sleep, lavender, jasmine, chamomile or geranium essential oils are recommended to soothe. It can be placed in an infuser or add a few drops in the bathtub. Also, you can add a few drops to soak our feet in hot water before bedtime.

Which essential oil should you use?  

 Lavende: is analgesic, relaxing and calming.

Geranium: reduces anxiety and tension.

Chamomile: is relaxing, sedative and anti-inflammatory.

Jasmine: is a potent sedative, helping to reduce fatigue and stress. Should be used sparingly, as the strong scent of jasmine in a poorly ventilated areas can cause headaches and dizziness.

Essential oils should not be applied directly to the skin and pregnant women should consult a specialist before using.

In the bathtub, dissolve 5 to 8 drops of essential oil in a spoon of vegetable oil and add to the bathtub.

For massage, add 1 drop of essential oil in a tablespoon of vegetable oil. Massage kidney 1 acupressure point (eliminates heat and calms the mind). 

On the sole of the foot, it is found at the height of the metatarsophalangeal joint of the 2nd and 3rd toes, approximately at the junction of the previous third with the posterior two thirds. 

You can make circular movements in a clockwise direction. This point is contraindicated for a pregnant woman.

Add 2 drops in a tablespoon of vegetable oil and add in a bowl with hot water. Place the feet in the bowl until the ankles are covered. Remove your feet before the water cools.

For a room diffuser, the amount of essential oil will depend on the amount of water in the diffuser reservoir. On average, 3 to 5 drops can be added. Turn on the diffuser minutes before bed to scent the room and enjoy the benefits. 

Acupressure

Acupressure can still be done to help calm the mind and relax the body. These points are best for this: Yin Tang, VG 20, Heart 7 and Pericardium 6.

Renata Nunes (pictured) says certain food and drinks can help you sleep 

Yin Tang 

 Located in the centre of the forehead, between the eyebrows:

Gently massage between the inner ends of the two eyebrows in a circular motion clockwise, also you can tap the point with your fingertip. As you apply the pressure allow all the muscles of your forehead to relax. Is a good point to calm the mind and insomnia.

GV20 

At the top of the head, in the middle of the line that connects the apex of the two ears:

Press this point down and back. Also, make circular movements in a counterclockwise direction. Is a good point for insomnia, to clear the mind and relieve headaches.

Heart 7 

Draw a vertical line between 4th and 5th finger and stop at the crease of the wrist:

The point is at the height of the wrist crease next to the tendon. You can press the point and make circular movements clockwise direction. Also, you can rub the whole wrist. Is a good point for insomnia, irritability, and chest pain.

Pericardium 6

 Pericardium 6 which is located 3 fingers below the wrist, between the tendons, on the anterior forearm. Is a good point to calm the mind and reduce anxiety.   

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