BRITS are set for the hottest day on record – with temperatures expected to reach 39C later this week.
The African heat wave – bringing with it sweltering humidity and a Saharan cloud of dust – will have scores of us rushing to buy a fan.
And while it's likely to be a stuffy night and tempting to leave one running while you try to sleep, experts say it could be bad for your health.
According to The Sleep Advisor, as fans circulate the air, they can move around dust particles and other potential allergens that can cause irritation.
This can trigger allergies and is bad for people who suffer with asthma, says sleep expert Mark Reddick.
He said: "For some people, having a ceiling or floor fan in the room helps them fall asleep and stay cool during the night.
"For others, it can keep them awake, trigger asthma attacks or dry out their eyes.
"As a fan moves air around the room, it causes flurries of dust and pollen to make their way into your sinuses.
"If you’re prone to allergies, asthma, and hay fever, this could stir up a whole lot of trouble.
He recommended cleaning your fan before you use them, as dust can collect on the blades.
Another downside to sleeping with a fan on is that it can increase your risk of dry skin and eyes.
As a fan moves air around the room, it causes flurries of dust and pollen to make their way into your sinuses
Mark explained: "A constant blast of air on your body may cause dry skin.
"Lotions and moisturisers will help prevent this, but if your skin is excessively dry, use caution and monitor your skin to make sure you’re not over drying it.
"Another thing to consider is that some people sleep with their eyes partially open.
"Again, a steady airstream will dry your eyes and may cause major irritation."
But there are other ways to help keep you cool in the heat so you can nod off…
1. Wear cotton PJs
As tempting as it may be, don't whip off your undies just because it's sunny.
Instead, sleep in cotton pyjamas, to let your skin breathe and ensure that any sweat is soaked up, rather than left on your body.
2. Splash your sheets
Giving your bedding a very light misting of water can make all the difference when you're struggling to sleep on a hot day.
Don't soak your bed, but sleeping in some slightly damp sheets could help to cool you down and keep you comfy.
3. Cool your curtains
Another use for your slightly damp sheets involves spraying them with water and then draping them over an open window.
This lets the breeze blow some refreshingly cool air around your room, without the added noise of using a fan.
4. Switch off
Turn off all the plug sockets you can to help keep things cool – and save some energy while you're at it.
Electrical sockets kick out a surprising amount of heat, and they could be the difference between a good night's sleep and a sweaty nightmare.
5. Ice some rice
Make a cold water bottle which won't melt all over your bed by filling a sock with rice, and then freezing it.
Press this against your sensitive pulse points – found on the wrists, ankles, tops of your feet and your temples – to instantly turn the heat down a notch.
6. Watch what you drink
Boozing before bed is never a great idea – but your sleep will be affected even more when it's hot.
Instead, make sure you keep a cool glass of water by your bedside to stop you from overheating in the night.
7. Chill your bedding
If you're really struggling, you can always stuff your bedding in a bag and pop it all in the freezer for a few minutes before you go to bed.
This will guarantee you the perfect head-start when it comes to getting a great night's sleep, letting you drift off effortlessly even as the mercury keeps on rising.
8. Go it alone
If you usually share a bed with someone, it's time to get ruthless.
It's obvious, but you'll stand a better chance of keeping cool if you have the bed to yourself, and sleeping apart may be the only way to save your sanity.
9. Get low
Hot air rises, so get down as low as you can to make sure you're surrounded by cool air.
Sleep on the floor, or even head downstairs, if you're getting desperate to escape the heat.
10. Rinse your wrists
Washing either your wrists or your feet with cold water before you hit the hay can help you to cool down and drift off.
11. DIY cold breeze
If you place a bowl or tray of ice in front of a blowing fan your room will become cooler as the ice melts.
12. Shut out the sun
Keep blinds and curtains closed during the day as a preventative measure to stop your room from overheating.
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