Coronavirus cure: Could ebola drug Remdesivir be used to treat COVID-19?

US President Donald Trump recently started using hydroxychloroquine as a preventative cure to coronavirus. However, amid growing safety concerns, a clinical trial on the drug by the World Health Organisation has been suspended. The drug has been repeatedly endorsed by world leaders including Donald Trump and Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro.

Could ebola drug Remdesivir be used to treat COVID-19?

Remdesivir is an experimental, anti-viral drug which was initially intended as a potential treatment for ebola.

The drug was quickly pushed through clinical trials during the west African Ebola outbreak of 2013-15 after showing promising results in the lab.

Remdesivir has been revived as a potential answer to COVID-19 after displaying promising results during the Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreaks.

The drug has now been approved for use by the NHS, meaning it could be a potential solution to the pandemic.

Trials show that remdesivir helps hospitalised patients recover from coronavirus almost a third faster.

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Early data shows the drug could cut the risk of dying from COVID-19 by 31 percent, but these findings are still inconclusive.

A statement from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency suggests that patients could be granted early access.

The statement read: “Early results from clinical studies have shown that remdesivir reduced the time of recovery from 15 days to 11 days in patients with severe COVID-19.

“It could also possibly reduce the proportion of people doing from COVID-19.

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“Therefore, remdesivir is being made available for the treatment of hospitalised patients with severe COVID-19 disease.”

The Department of Health and Social Care confirmed that the UK Government is working with US manufacturer Gilead to roll out the drug to some NHS patients.

A global clinical trial which began at the beginning of this month involves an estimated 1,000 patients from hospitals in the UK, US, France, Italy and China.

It was recently reported that a young boy, 14, from Ipswich had been treated with remdesivir after contracting the virus and his condition worsened.

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The teenager woke up from his coma and is now on his way back to being fully healthy.

Experts are now calling for donations as they launch major trials to assess the effectiveness of the drug.

Professor Martin Landray from the University of Oxford said: “There’s a lot of interest in convalescent plasma essentially, think of it as a sort of antibody transplant, if you like.”

Other experts have come out to say remdesivir is “the most promising drug on offer at the moment”.

Dr Stephen Griffin, Associate Professor in the School of Medicine at the University of Leeds said the drug is unaffected by safe guarding proteins, unlike other potential drugs out there.

Dr Griffin said: “We can instead hope for improved recovery rates and a reduction in patient mortality, which we hope will benefit as many patients as possible.

“More pronounced benefit is likely to be seen when treating patients with less severe disease, ideally before they require invasive respiratory support.

“But, this will only follow once the drug is more widely available and will be guided by the final outcomes of ongoing placebo-controlled trials.”

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How well do you know me quiz questions you can use at home

If you’re bored of asking the same old questions to test people on their listening skills, read Express.co.uk‘s list of ‘how well do you know me quiz questions’ and steal some for your weekly quiz. Here are 50 simple to tricky questions about you to challenge your opponents.

What is my middle name?

What year was I born in?

What is my star sign?

What did I want to be when I was growing up?

What is my favourite cuisine?

What was the name of my first pet?

What was my favourite subject at school?

Who was my favourite teacher at school?

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What would I say is my weakness?

What is my favourite season?

What was my first job?

Do I prefer cats or dogs?

What is my favourite junk food?

Do I prefer sweet or savoury food?

What is my favourite ice cream flavour?

What would I choose for my last meal?

Name three places that I have been to on holiday.

What is my biggest fear?

What is my pet hate?

What is the furthest I have ever travelled?

What is my favourite colour?

How tall am I, in feet and inches?

What is my favourite film?

What is my favourite TV show/series?

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Have I ever been in hospital, if so what for?

Have I ever broken a bone?

Have I ever been in the news paper, and if so why?

What is my secret talent?

Who is my celebrity crush?

What was the last book I read?

Who is my favourite musical artist?

What position do I sleep in?

Do I prefer showers or baths?

Am I a morning or evening person?

Am I right or left-handed?

Do I have any birthmarks?

Do I have any tattoos or piercings, and if so where?

What’s my favourite sport to play or watch?

What’s my favourite alcoholic drink?

Do I still have my wisdom teeth?

Have I ever broken the law, if so, what did I do?

Who would I say is my best friend?

How many tries did it take me to get my driving license?

How many different colours have I dyed my hair?

Which newspaper do I read?

What is my favourite smell?

What is my favourite slower?

Do I have any allergies?

If I could meet any celebrity, who would it be?

Name my grandparents.

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Royal Ghosts: Queen in lockdown in Windsor Castle – home to numerous sightings

However, if legends are to believed, they could be joined by one of 25 ghosts reported as having been seen at the property. The Queen herself once claimed to have seen an apparition of Queen Elizabeth I with her sister Princess Margaret, the Countess of Snowdon. According to Visit Britain, Elizabeth I is “often seen in the library” and “her footsteps can be heard on the bare floorboards before her striking presence appears”.

Elizabeth I ruled from 1558 until 1603 and having died childless was the last monarch of the Tudor era.

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King George III has been reported to have been seen too.

According to the Sun, he has been spotted “looking longingly out of the room beneath the library, where he was confined during his several periods of madness”.

George III would spend the end of his life fighting some form of mental illness, the cause of which remains unknown.

Much of his reign was also dominated by military accomplishments – victory in the Seven Years’ and Napoleonic Wars but also defeat in the American War of Independence.
His son, the later King George IV ruled for the last decade of his father’s reign as regent.

King Henry III and Herne, a huntsman for King Richard III have also been said to have been spotted.

Henry III became King of England aged just nine and ruled until the age of 65.

He was buried in Westminster Abbey, which he had built during a reign in which he had to contend with sometimes hostile barons. 

According to Readers’ Digest, King George VI claimed to have seen the ghost of Queen Elizabeth I eight nights in a row on the onset of the Second World War.

The Queen made a rare public broadcast in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak.

With the exception of her annual Christmas message and state openings of Parliament, it was her first public address since 2002 when she made one following the death of her mother Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother.

This was followed by an Easter address and she also marked the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day this month, addressing the nation as her father George VI had in 1945.

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The Queen and Philip are both in the 90s, but other royals have been able to make contributions in the midst of the pandemic.

Their daughter-in-law Sophie, the Countess of Wessex has volunteered at a food bank and helped prepare meals for NHS workers.

Her grandson Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge and his wife Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge recently acted as bingo announcers via a zoom call for a Cardiff care home.

William’s brother Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex have been spotted delivering meals in California for people who are unable to cook or shop for themselves.

Windsor Castle itself was built in the late 11th Century.

George VI, the Queen Mother, the Queen and Margaret lived at Windsor Castle throughout the Second World War.

The then King and Queen, however, travelled to London daily and returned to Windsor to sleep.

Upon coming to the throne in 1952, the Queen made the castle her principal weekend retreat.

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Daily horoscope for May 23: YOUR star sign reading, astrology and zodiac forecast

Saturday finds the Gemini Moon increasingly influencing your horoscope. The celestial body will feel fresh and exciting – exactly what is required to renew yourself.

With Venus in Gemini Retrograde, in addition to Saturn, Jupiter and Pluto, these are strange times indeed.

Do not wander too far afield or you may not feel like yourself.

Keep a close leash on your heart and explore its contents at the start of another sunny weekend.

But beware – this Saturday could kick-off a fanciful few weeks.

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You are full of fresh ideas after yesterday’s Gemini New Moon and nothing can hold you back.

But you are not alone in wanting to escape from the confines of your home and reconnect with others.

Feeling claustrophobic for so long can take its toll, especially by yourself.

And adding the star sign Gemini to the mix may mean you are unable to contain yourself any longer.

The funky talkative Moon creates a Squares with the Red Planet Mars.

A square is an aspect able to reveal the tension, obstacles and challenges in your life reflecting the planets involved.

Words carry extra weight during this time so be careful what you say.

This Saturday’s Square may make you feel a little restless.

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Asteroid Chiron takes over further down the line, offering an opportunity to regain your footing.

Astrologers agree this is no Saturday to be lazing about, so get going.

Next up, the planet Venus goes Retrograde in Gemini.

This combination could potentially create the perfect Saturday night.

Venus and the Moon fill your heart with innumerable fancies, causing you to flit from here and there, unsure which to satisfy first.

You can, as a result, expect a flirty Saturday night fit for love and passion.

Venus remains Retrograde right now, meaning you are best returning to old haunts and revisiting old pleasures.

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Elvis Presley children: Does Elvis have children with anyone but Priscilla?

Elvis Presley is known for having one child with his only wife, Priscilla Presley. The couple married after a long courtship which started in Germany, and a year later they had their daughter, Lisa Marie. But many have suggested Presley may have had children with other women in his life.

Did Elvis Presley have children with anyone but Priscilla?

Elvis only has one child, Lisa Marie Presley, who was born to him and his ex-wife, Priscilla Presley.

There have been other assertions from people who claim to be illegitimate children of Elvis, however, none of these have been substantiated with DNA proof or have been accepted by the family of Elvis.

One of these people is Elvis Presley Jr, who claims he “is the son of the late Elvis Presley born out-of-wedlock, unbeknownst to Elvis, on December 24, 1961, in Gary, Indiana the result of a liaison between Elvis Presley and Angelique Delores Pettyjohn, a young actress who was an extra in the film Blue Hawaii”.

Blue Hawaii is a film Elvis made in 1961 alongside actresses Joan Blackman and Angela Lansbury.

While Elvis Presley Jr claims on his website he supplied “sufficient documents, sworn testimonies, and additional evidence presented by independent third parties” to a judge, which allowed him to be recognised as Elvis Aaron Presley Jr, these documents have not been made public, and neither has any DNA evidence.

However, there have been a number of others who have suggested they are the child of Elvis, such as Desiree Presley.

Desiree Presley’s claim came after her mother, Lucy de Barbin, wrote a book about her alleged 24-year affair with The King, named Are You Lonesome Tonight?

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Similarly to Elvis Presley Jr, there has not been any DNA evidence released which proves Desiree’s claims, and so she is not recognised as an official heir to Elvis’ fortune or a child of his.

Another person claiming to be the child of Elvis is Deborah Presley, who claims her mother met Elvis in the 1950s and he was her biological father.

Deborah took her claims to court in 1989 where she attempted to be named as a co-heir in his fortune, however, this was not granted.

The only person named as heir to Elvis’ estate is Lisa Marie Presley, his child with Priscilla Presley and his only officially recognised child.

Presley was born in Tennessee, where her father is from, on February 1, 1968.

She went on to live with her mother after her parents divorced in October 1973 after spending some time at Graceland.

Her father died only four years later, in August 1977, at which point Lisa Marie became the joint-heir to his estate along with Elvis’ father Vernon and his grandmother Minnie Mae.

However, Vernon passed away in 1979 and Minnie Mae in 1980, meaning Lisa Marie was the sole heir and inherited his home Graceland when she turned 25 in 1993.

Before Lisa Marie inherited the estate, her mother and executors of the estate had grown the estate to an estimated £76.9million ($100million), however, she sold 85 percent of it in 2004.

Lisa Marie followed in her father’s footsteps in the music world, beginning in 1997 when she made a video of Don’t Cry Daddy, as an adult with her father, which was played at a tribute concert to Elvis on the 20th anniversary of his death.

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Denmark’s former PM outlines how UK could become a global leader after pandemic

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Speaking on BBC Question Time, Thorning-Schmidt said that the UK government needs to have “a deep conversation about: what is the new normal? How are we going to live together the next year, for example?” She said that the world needs to adopt new international standards regarding travelling, for example on trains and aeroplanes.

And she noted: “I would hope that the UK could also be a leader in this globally.”

Thorning-Scmidt added that the international change in transport standards “is almost like after 9/11, where everything changed in terms of how we were travelling across the world”.

She continued: “I think we need to understand this new normal, and that’s why I’m hoping … we can get into a situation where we all can recognise this is a new situation”.

The former prime minister added that governments should acknowledge mistakes that have been made in their pandemic responses.

She said: “Mistakes have been made; I will take responsibility as Prime Minister that we did not prepare properly for a pandemic like this.

“We had SARS, we had the swine flu, we had all these things, but we still didn’t prepare properly, and I don’t think the British government did either.

“We have to be in a mode where we breathe and say now is the new normal, we all have to be part of doing that and talking about how we want to do that”.

She also said that everyone must “get out of this automatic reaction where we say ‘we didn’t do anything wrong’, and ‘surely we can’t find a fault with anything’.

“After all this, we also have to evaluate and create new standards together.”

Helle Thornin-Schmidt was prime minister of Denmark from 2011 to 2015, the Syndey Morning Herald reports, and was the first woman to lead the country with her Social Democrats party.

She was also the CEO of the charity Save the Children International until she stepped down from the role in January 2019.

It remains to be seen what new international standards will be implemented in the fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic, or how the UK plans to contribute.

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But within the UK domestically, London’s walking and cycling commissioner Will Norman hinted earlier this month that public transport in the UK capital would shift towards not using it at all.

Norman said: “The only way London is going to operate in terms of our capacity on our roads and capacity on our public transport is to move wherever possible to cycling and walking,” the Guardian reports.

It comes as Sadiq Khan, London’s mayor, announced last week that several main streets in London would be closed off to most vehicles, and remain open only for buses, pedestrians and bicycles.

The move comes as officials seek to find ways of getting people back to work whilst ensuring that social distancing can be observed as much as possible on public transport.

Khan has said that doing this will take a “monumental effort” from Londoners.

And nationally, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced a £2 billion package to “put cycling and walking at the heart of our transport policy” on May 9.

Meanwhile, Mr Shapps also suggested that the UK could consider allowing international travel between it and some countries depending on their rate of infection – or their R-number.

It comes after the government said that travellers from France would be subject to quarantine upon arrival in the UK in an apparent U-turn on previous announcements.

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The Handmaid’s Tale season 4: Fans predict time jump after huge clue in The Testaments

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Hulu’s electrifying dystopian series has followed the attempts of Handmaid June (played by Elisabeth Moss) to rebel against the oppressive state of Gilead. Now The Testaments has introduced new characters to the world of The Handmaid’s Tale, viewers want to know whether the events of the original TV series will line up.

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The Testaments by Margaret Atwood was released last year to rave reviews, including being announced as the joint winner of the Booker Prize alongside Bernadine Evaristo’s Girl, Woman, Other.

Another stellar piece of feminist fiction from the iconic author, The Testaments was carefully written as to not contradict the events explored in Hulu’s adaptation of the series’ first novel, The Handmaid’s Tale.

Although Hulu have confirmed a new series based on The Testaments is currently in the works, fans have been speculating whether the new project will act as a direct sequel or a separate adaptation altogether.

Moreover, with hype for Margaret Atwood’s dystopian world higher than ever after the publication of the sequel in 2019, Hulu subscribers have theorised the events of The Testaments could begin as early as season four.

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Some fans took to Reddit to discuss the possibility of The Handmaid’s Tale upcoming fourth season skipping ahead to include sequences from the sequel.

One fan posted: “After reading the second book I wonder how closely they will follow it. For me what I liked about the show is it did not follow what a lot of conventional stories do.

“Evil triumphs over good and no one was coming to save them. I think this is more in line with the reality in the world as we see in history often no one comes to save the oppressed.”

In both the original text and Hulu’s acclaimed series, June manages to secure small victories over Gilead but fails to enact any permanent change to the oppressive regime.

While The Testaments alternates between three perspectives, much of the action takes place 15 years after the events of the original novel.

A decade and a half later, Gilead is still in place and new character Agnes discovers she is the daughter of a Handmaid.

After devouring Margeret Atwood’s sequel, readers and TV fans alike have been speculating when the series will make a similar jump to the future.

Another fan responded: “I wonder if there’s going to be a time jump at some point in order to follow the books more closely.”

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“But then again, they’d have to keep most familiar characters around in some way or people will lose interest.”

Although much of the sequel was inspired by Ann Dowd’s riveting performance as Aunt Lydia, current stars Elisabeth Moss, O.T. Fagbenle and Yvonne Strahovski would see severe cuts to their screen time if the sequel was adapted faithfully.

They continued: “Maybe the events in The Testaments just happen years before in the show’s universe and the characters in the book are substituted by some of the ones we’ve already seen.”

Seasons two and three of The Handmaid’s Tale have already taken significant liberties with the original text, adding in new backstories for characters and continuing events that weren’t seen in the novel.

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When The Testaments is finally adapted to television, this theory suggests the new series could take similar risks by incorporating the established characters into the events of the sequel.

However one fan argued there are still numerous plot threads to resolve from season three, so a time jump may not be seen for some time.

They added: “I think we then see a leap forward for season five to resolve the plot from the books.”

The Handmaid’s Tale season 3 is available on Hulu.

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Masked Singer winner: Who is Kandi Burruss? Meet singer behind The Night Angel

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After weeks of speculation, the moment came last night (Wednesday, May 21) for the identity of the Night Angel to be revealed on The Masked Singer US. The contestant had won the competition and was revealed to be Kandi Burruss. Here’s everything you need to know about this year’s winner. 

Season three of America’s The Masked Singer reached its climax yesterday as Frog, Night Angel and Turtle went head to head in the grand final. 

After each one of them gave it their all, singing their hearts out for the judges and the live audience, Night Angel was declared the winner. 

This is the first time a woman has won The Masked Singer US as T-Pain and Wayne Brady won the first two seasons. 

When it was announced Night Angel would be taking home this year’s trophy, fans finally got to find out her real identity. 

More to follow…

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Money Heist plot hole: Denver and Stockholm anger fans as they forget key character

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As the Professor (played by Álvaro Morte) sets his crack team of criminal specialists on the Bank of Spain, Money Heist kept the twists coming thick and fast. However, as the plot of the thrilling Netflix series became more convoluted, fans had trouble keeping up with the growing roster of characters.

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Netflix brought the Spanish drama onto its popular streaming platform in 2017 with phenomenal results, as the series has become one of the most widely watched subtitled television series in recent years.

The first two parts saw the Professor’s meticulously planned heist on the Royal Mint of Spain sabotaged by the Spanish police and some shocking interpersonal drama.

With several members of the team dead, and some new specialists introduced at the beginning of Part Three, the Professor was ready to take on his next challenge; the Bank of Spain.

Unfortunately, things don’t go quite as planned, and the criminal mastermind closed the series at gunpoint when his police adversary Alicia Sierra (Najwa Nimri) discovered his hideout.

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Despite the latest instalment delivering shocking reveals at every turn, some viewers have started to find keeping up with Money Heist’s complex heist narrative harder than it was in earlier seasons.

The first two parts shattered expectations when one of the team’s hostages, Monica (Esther Acebo), decided to leave the Royal Mint with the heist crew and start a relationship with Denver (Jaime Lorente).

Between Parts Two and Three, Monica joins the team and is renamed Stockholm, and the series reveals the couple have been raising her and Arturo’s (Enrique Arce) son, named Cincinnati (Luca Anton).

Her new alias is, of course, a play on the Stockholm Syndrome condition, in which a hostage begins to fall in love with their captor, while Cincinnati was named after the city in Ohio in tribute to the team’s convention of city-based nicknames.

Fans were gripped by the developing romance in earlier episodes of the ongoing series, but their relationship seems to have fallen victim to the show’s constantly shuffling character arcs.

Some fans took to Reddit to point out the absence of Cincinnati in the most recent season, who was barely mentioned throughout the entirety of Part Four.

Redditor theOnlyAC13 posted: “Do you guys find it weird that through the entire Season 4 there was not a word about Denver and Stockholm‘s son, Cincinnati?

“I just remembered it randomly. It was a pretty big thing in season three, or at least in the beginning. And no word of him in season four. We don‘t know anything about what happened to him.”

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Cincinnati appears briefly in Part Three, dressed up in an adorable approximation of the team’s heist outfits, complete with red jumpsuit and Salvador Dali moustache.

However, as the heist gets underway, Denver and Stockholm’s young son is swiftly forgotten about in the chaos of the Professor’s hit on the Bank of Spain.

Other fans argued it made sense for the couple to forget about their son during their high stakes mission, especially considering the traumatic death of Nairobi (Alba Flores).

They commented: “He’s with the silent monks in Italy so I guess there’s no reason to bring it up randomly. Everyone inside is worried more about getting the gold and getting out with their lives.

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“I think in that high risk situation, knowing exactly where Cincinnati is and knowing that he’s being taken care of helps Denver and Stockholm not worry too much.”

Even so, it was still jarring for many viewers for relatively new parents to not be concerned about the future of their child once things start to go deadly wrong for the team.

With Part Five reportedly on the way, though not officially greenlit by Netflix, fans are hoping the series can return to its roots and deliver a more streamlined series when Money Heist eventually returns.

Money Heist Part 4 is available to stream on Netflix.


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Sleep in hot weather: How to sleep in a heatwave – 4 simple tips

Parts of the UK are set to be hotter than both Marbella and Ibiza this week. Hot days are a real morale booster during this difficult time, but no one likes a hot night when you’re trying to get some shut-eye.

Express.co.uk spoke to the experts to find out how to stay cool at night.

From bed sheets to hot water bottles, we’ve found out all the top tricks.

Read on to find out what they are.

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How to sleep during a heatwave

Choose the right mattress

Jonathan Warren, director at bed specialist Time4Sleep said: “There are a number of mattress options available that can help you to regulate your body’s temperature.

“Generally speaking, a mattress with a high content of natural fillings such as wool, cotton or bamboo is often a great choice for those struggling to sleep in the heat as they tend to be cooler as well as being naturally hypoallergenic.”

He added: “Other options to consider are new generation elite gel memory foam mattresses that include intelligent temperature regulating technology to help keep you cool in the summer and warm during winter.

“These mattresses include a temperature regulating cool gel that adjusts with your body temperature to ensure you’re never too hot or cold during the night, resulting in a truly refreshing night’s sleep.”

Pick breathable sheets

It’s time to ditch your thick winter bedding and opt for something lighter.

Lucy Ackroyd, Head of Design at Christy England explained: “Pure cotton sheets have sensory benefits and are naturally breathable so they help to regulate your temperature and moisture levels while you sleep, stopping the clammy feeling you can experience with synthetic fibres.

“Secondly, high thread count fabrics are smoother against the skin so as well as being much more comfortable you are less likely to feel tangled up or trapped by rougher fabrics that cling, especially to nightwear.

“Try Percale as opposed to Sateen sheets, as they’re made with a looser weave and are therefore more breathable.”

She added: “You should also make sure you have the right duvet for the hotter months.

“For summer, a lighter tog of 4.5 is perfect, if you like something a little heavier but still breathable – try a 10.5 tog.”

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Choose the right window treatment

Blinds and shutters aren’t just used for keeping the light out, they can be used to effectively control the temperature in your home and this is especially useful in the bedroom.

Jason Peterkin, director at 247 Blinds said: “You’ll first need to consider factors such as which direction your window faces; a south-facing room will benefit from thicker, thermal materials to help keep it cool.

“Privacy is also an important factor to acknowledge. Adjustable blinds such as shutters, Venetians and day nights are great in the bedroom as they can allow light in without compromising privacy.

“Wooden Venetian blinds or plantation shutters are great for keeping the temperature down in the home as they allow you to adjust the amount of light filtering into the room by altering the size of the gap between the slats.

“The wood also acts as a natural heat conductor, helping to keep the warm air out during the summer months.”

He said: “To completely block out the sunlight, opt for blackout blinds. The thick fabric is not only great for keeping the temperature down, it’ll help you get a better night’s sleep during the brighter months and lighter mornings.”

Use a hot water bottle

Your hot water bottle can be used throughout summer to cool down your bed.

Fill it up with water and freeze it for a few hours before bedtime.

You could use more than one to really spread the effect across the bed.

This little hack may prove useful in helping you to fall asleep much more quickly.

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