As thunderstorms roll in following the UK heatwave that saw temperatures rise as high as 32C, Brits may think they can finally get a good night’s sleep as the temperatures cool.
However, sleeping through thunderstorms isn’t always much easier than sleeping in sticky British heat.
Keep an eye on the weather forecast
Trying to sleep once a storm has already begun can be difficult, with thunder crashes and sporadic flashes of light making it difficult to drift off. We recommend keeping an eye on the weather forecast; this way, you can plan your bedtime around the time the storm is due to hit your local area and try getting to sleep without the disturbance of the storm.
Aim to get to sleep 2–3 hours before the storm is due to start so that you can be a good way into your sleep cycle, as this will make waking up as a result of the storm far less likely.
Drown out thunder with low-level ambient sounds
Drowning out the sound of the thunder is a great tactic, and low-level ambient sounds, such as white noise, are best for this.
An unchanging sound like white noise allows our brains to focus on just one sound, thus blocking out sudden noises, such as thunder, which are likely to wake light sleepers.
White noise isn’t your only option either. You can use other sounds, including the sound of nature, think the sea or the rainforest. Any low-level consistent sounds should do the trick. Although the weather is still warm, why not kill two birds with one stone and utilise the whirring of your fan as your white noise?
Block out flashes of light
Sometimes it isn’t the sound of thunder that will stop us from getting the sleep we need, but instead the bright flashes of lightning. In a dark room, these light flashes can be so bright and glaring that it almost feels like daylight.
If you don’t have blackout blinds, then sleeping with a nightlight on could help, as the light should diminish the contrast between total darkness and the flashes of light, making the lighting far less of a nuisance.
Feeling relaxed and, in the case of a thunderstorm, safe before drifting off to sleep is important and could be the difference between getting to sleep and not. One way to do this is by sharing your bed with someone you love.
According to experts, hugging causes a release of hormones in our brain, such as oxytocin and serotonin, which help us to feel safe, comfortable, and relaxed, all of which will help you to drift off peacefully.
So whether it is your partner, a family member or even a furry friend, get those cuddles in to ensure you sleep peacefully through the storm.
Reduce your stress levels with a relaxing activity
Before getting into bed, try doing something to lower your stress levels. This could be low-intensity exercise such as yoga or reading your favourite book. Activities like this will not only lower your cortisol levels.
Still, they should also induce a release of those happy hormones, oxytocin, and serotonin, which will aid you into a peaceful slumber once you hit the sack.