Live Better Blog: August Round-Up
Whilst a conversation about the weather may be a fairly predictable small-talk starter, it’s actually become quite a heated topic recently (see what we did there?).
The MET has issued simultaneous warnings for extreme heat and thunderstorms across parts of the UK, and with the hottest day of 2021 occurring only a few short weeks ago, the humidity can still be felt country-wide.
It’s most notably affecting sleeping patterns, which can be dangerous… Lack of sleep lowers cognitive functioning and mood, increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, and most topically, decreases the effectiveness of vaccines. So how can we beat the heat, especially when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep?
If you’ve ever been on holiday in southern Europe during summer, you’ll likely find that the locals tend to close up shop for a few hours each afternoon to take a siesta (mid-day nap). There’s good reason – hot weather can make us feel more lethargic during the day as we’re using more energy to regulate our internal temperature. Whilst this makes sense, sleep is precious, and so it’s usually best to avoid napping during the day to save as much as possible for bedtime.
2. Reigning routines.
Try to keep any habits you have during bouts of hot weather – it can be tempting to change them, but these changes could disrupt your sleep! Try to keep to your usual bedtime and routines, and do the things you normally would before bed.
3. Down to basics.
Is your bedroom as cool as it could be during the night? During the day, draw the curtains or blinds to keep the sun out, and make sure to close the windows on the sunny side of your home to keep hot air out.
4. Who needs a duvet, anyway?
However hot it is in your bedroom, your body temperature will fall during the night, so whilst it’s a good idea to reduce your bedding by removing the duvet from your bedsheets, keep it close by (just in case).
5. Keeping it cool.
A fan is the obvious answer here, but if you don’t have one, a good trick is to fill a hot water bottle with ice cold liquid instead. Cooling your feet can also quickly lower your body temperature, so why not chuck a pair of socks in the freezer for a few minutes before putting them on?
6. Hydration is key.
Another obvious point is to make sure you drink enough water throughout the day (but avoid drinking very large amounts before bed). Be wary about soft drinks, as many contain large amounts of caffeine (even the diet ones), and alcohol before bed tends to promote early waking and poorer quality of sleep overall.
So there you have it. Try these tips out tonight and see how much better you sleep!
The small stuff.
Here’s the latest bite-sized stories from across the personal finance world…
High (street) living.
Fancy living in an old shop, office or restaurant? It could become the norm under the government’s relaxed planning laws, in which developers no longer need council permission to turn commercial spaces into residential ones. However, town planners warn that this could lead to the loss of essential services within communities.
A meaty debate.
Would a tax persuade meat eaters to ditch the bacon? According to the founder of Beyond Meat – yes. The world’s biggest plant-based meat firm says a tax on meat products could help developing countries to invest in plant-based protein.
Petrol price surge.
After rising continuously for 9 months, the price of petrol has reached an 8-year high! According to the RAC, you’ll now pay just over £1.35 per litre (a level not seen since September 2013) due to oil prices rising as demand increases, driven by the post-pandemic coronavirus recovery.
Preppers at the ready.
Think you could survive a global civilisation collapse? Well, if you’re in the UK, you’ve got a head start. The UK has made it into the top 5 countries most likely to survive a collapse, with New Zealand topping the list. As fellow island nations in temperate zones, Iceland, Ireland, and Australia are good shouts too.
The manufacturing industry could get a £6 billion boost by 2030 after a report by Vodafone found that faster and more reliable 5G tech could make factories more efficient. 5G is important for building electric cars – a priority ahead of the diesel and petrol car ban in 2030.
Retailers are planning to open up to 17,000 more small stores in neighbourhoods after a survey by Barclays found that the best the best way a retailer could attract them is to open a store in their local area.
What does your commute look like post-pandemic? For some Londoners, it’s non-existent.
1 in 10 say they plan never to commute again and 60% say they’re concerned about the post-lockdown commute, with the main worry being infection control and social distancing while travelling to and from work.
Have you been expecting a package recently? According to Citizens Advice, more than 5 million people had their parcels lost or stolen last year, with complaints about parcel deliveries tripling since before the pandemic.
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