13 Jul 5 tips for getting to sleep on hot summer nights
Now that summer is well and truly here, there’s a good chance you’ve already experienced the frustrating tossing and turning that can take place when you’re trying to nod off on warm nights.
The recommended sleeping temperature is 16–18°C, while a reading of 24°C is likely to cause restlessness (Sleep Council) so, when it’s hot, sticky, and hard to get comfortable, the amount of rest that you get can suffer, which can have a knock-on effect to your daily schedule.
With a continuing heatwave forecast for the coming weeks (Met Office), it’s likely your sleeping woes will continue unless you take action. To give you a fighting chance, we’ve put together five top tips that will help you beat the heat over the coming summer nights.
Know what to do with your windows
If you want to make sure that your home is as cool as possible during a heatwave, it pays to know how to use your home’s windows the right way.
When the sun’s out and it’s hot all day, it can be tempting to open your blinds or curtains and let what little breeze there is filter through each room. But, if the temperature outside is warmer than it is inside, all you’re doing is allowing the warm air to heat up your home. If this is the case, keep your windows closed and your curtains or blinds shut to prevent the room from heating up.
Should it be cooler outside than it is inside, feel free to get those windows open, but be sure to keep your blinds or curtains closed. If your home is too warm on a regular basis and you have curtains, it may be worth switching to blinds as they offer the same sun blocking ability, but with much more effective ventilation for keeping the interior cool.
Make sure you have the right type of bedding
When you’re trying to get to sleep, having the right type of bedding can go a long way towards keeping you cool. Firstly, it’s worth investing in light sheets and duvet and pillow covers: cotton and linen are the best materials, as they’re much more breathable and won’t retain as much heat.
Next, you should have a duvet set that is lightweight for the spring and summer, such as the one included in our Spring/Summer Deluxe Bedroom Bundle, as your regular winter duvet will be too heavy. There are also specialised pillows on the market that are made with summer-friendly materials: our Fresh Classic Pillow makes use of COOLMAX® fabric and an innovative breathable design to deliver a cool night’s rest.
If you regularly have issues with being too warm in bed, it might be worth investing in a new mattress that’s designed to keep you cool, rather than just absorbing heat. For instance, our Octaspring range uses a unique memory foam spring system to ensure air can flow through your bed, while still providing all the comfort benefits of memory foam.
Eat and drink the right things
The types of food and drink that you put into your body before bed can also have an impact on how you sleep when it’s warm. It’s very important that you stay hydrated, as the higher temperatures will cause you to lose water and electrolytes through sweat, and being dehydrated can cause headaches, illness, and a loss of sleep. However, be sure that you don’t go ahead and drink beverages containing a lot of caffeine, alcohol, or sugar, as these will just work against getting to sleep.
When it comes to eating, try to avoid foods that is high in protein in the run up to bedtime, as these can actually boost your metabolic rate and cause your body to heat up. Then there’s the old tip about spicy food that can come in handy: eat it at least three hours before bed and it can make you sweat more, which should cool your body down in time for sleep.
Create a cooling airflow
If you’ve got access to a fan, it’s possible to creating a more cooling airflow than if you were to just point it at your bed. Position it across from an open window and the wind blowing in from outside and the air moved by the fan will create a cross-breeze, circulating the cool air around your room.
You can also create a cold airflow by placing some ice cubes in a bowl in front of a fan. As the ice melts, the fan should disperse a cool breeze around the room.
Try something a little more icy
Along with the more conventional tips, there are some methods for staying cool that are a bit more basic, but effective nonetheless.
One of our favourites is creating a simple, homemade ice pack by filling a hot water bottle with water and putting it in the freezer. Then, you can place it under your covers or pillow to get a temporary cool spot in your bed — it may not last all night, but it’ll probably be enough to help you get to sleep.
You can also apply ice packs or cold compresses to pulse points like your wrist, neck, elbows, and knees to get a quick and effective cooldown. Some people even go so far as putting their sheets and pillow in a bag then placing it in the freezer for a temporarily cold bed.
Getting to sleep on a hot summer night is more difficult than usual, but not impossible. Follow our advice and you can give yourself the best chance of a good night’s sleep.
Got any questions about sleep or need advice on a new bed? You can get in touch with our team and they’ll be happy to help. Take a look at our blog and advice centre for regular advice on improving your sleep.