Flooding follows hail in storm-struck regions

Heavy rain hit the canton of Fribourg, causing flooding in numerous communities on Monday afternoon, a day after hailstorms struck several regions of Switzerland.

Flooding follows hail in storm-struck regions
Photo: Bdahl/Wikimedia Commons

Fribourg cantonal police said emergency crews responded to 27 emergency calls, primarily for flooded basements in the Sarine area.

The communities of Treyvaux, Ependes, Le Mouret, Marly, Givisiez and Chiètres were among those impacted, police said.

Nine fire brigades helped deal with the high water.

Local fire fighters cleared a landslide that covered the Route du Condoz in Villars-sur-Glâne, cantonal police said.

As a precaution due to unstable rock in the area, police closed the road to traffic overnight with a diversion put into place.

No injuries were initially reported.

The rain followed storms on Sunday that swept across a region extending from Vaud to Lake Constance.

Hailstones pummeled the vineyards of Morges and Lavaux in the canton of Vaud, insurer Schweizer Hagel (Suisse Grêle) said.

The insurer said hail also fell on the cantons of Fribourg, Bern, Basel-City, Basel-Country and Aargau.

The company said it received claims from 700 market gardeners, fruit growers, wine growers and horticulturists who suffered damage estimated at up to three million francs.

The cantons of Jura, Neuchâtel and Ticino were among those also reporting heavy rain, the ATS news service reported.

Meanwhile, winds close to 100 kilometres an hour were clocked in Schaffhausen and 90 km/h in Basel.

MeteoSwiss is forecasting a drop in temperatures in most parts of Switzerland on Tuesday with rain across the country and thunderstorms in the southeast.

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‘Don’t sleep naked’: How to get a good night’s sleep in a Swiss heatwave

As temperatures climb again, many people may struggle to get a good night's sleep in Switzerland. Here are some expert tips to help you even when it's sweltering hot.

‘Don’t sleep naked’: How to get a good night’s sleep in a Swiss heatwave

Switzerland’s summers tend to get hotter and this season has seen its share of heatwaves, bringing temperatures closer to 40C and making it almost impossible to sleep.

This could mean trouble for residents of a country better prepared to bear the cold weather than the extreme heat.

The Swiss Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) has three ‘golden rules’ for how to make it through heatwaves; avoid exercise during the hottest part of the day, keep the heat out of your house however you can, drink and eat smart (fresh foods and lots of water).

With night temperatures in some regions above 20C, Swiss residents will also need some help getting through the night.

Here are a few tips to keep cool overnight and enjoy better sleep despite the heat of the night.

Don’t sleep naked

It’s tempting to ditch the PJs when it’s this warm overnight. But sleep experts say this is a mistake, as any moisture from sweat accumulates on your body.

Cotton pyjamas and cotton sheets are very effective in absorbing and removing sweat from your body.

Give a little help to your internal clock

Many people think that it is only the extreme heat in summer making your sleep seem a bit worse than in the colder months. But the fact that days are brighter for longer makes a huge difference.

READ ALSO: How Switzerland’s largest cities are combating the heat

As light suppresses our body’s production of melatonin, the hormone that signals that it is time to sleep, the longer days irritate our internal clock, according to sleep experts.

The old tip of turning off your devices to avoid the blue light is also extra crucial. So around one hour before going to bed, you can start your “darkening” ritual throughout your home.

In that sense, it’s also better to avoid naps during the day to keep a better sleep routine.

Try to cool your room and yourself

Of course, the cooler temperatures are in your bedroom when you go to sleep, the better. You can help get temperatures a few degrees down by following these tips: keep the blinds and windows shut during the worst of the day and ventilate the cooler night breeze during the night.

Sleeping during a heatwave can be difficult. Photo: Yuris Alhumaydy / Unsplash

You can also moisten your curtains just before bedtime and leave the window open; the water evaporation will make it a bit cooler. If you can, another tip is to put your mattress on the floor as hot air rises – excellent advice for those sleeping on a bunk bed.

Don’t forget to turn off (and unplug!) electrical appliances, as those are heat sources.

READ ALSO: Eight great swimming spots to escape the Swiss summer heat

To cool yourself, you could take a lukewarm evening shower (not a hot one, those will make your body react by generating heat).

Fans and humidity help

As long as you’ve kept your room relatively cool, fans work. They help evaporate sweat which, in turn, helps your body regulate its temperature.

Putting a bowl of ice in front of the fan can also help cool the room.

Some people swear by dampening their sheets before going to bed. But if you’re not used to it, the feeling can be a little disconcerting. You can also place multiple ice containers in the corners of your room, which will melt slowly overnight and cool the air.

Why is it essential to have a good night’s sleep?

Several days of scorching temperatures can cause heat stress, according to the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute.

If the nights are not cool enough, the body can’t recover from the heat of the day, creating a dangerous condition called “thermal stress”, which can be fatal for the elderly and other vulnerable people.

While there are no statistics showing how many people have fallen victim to heat stress during the most recent heatwave, several cantons have implemented a system of home visits and frequent phone contact with this at-risk group.

READ MORE: How to keep your cool during Switzerland’s heatwave