Temperatures are soaring, which for many of us means enjoying the sunshine outside, in a park or propping up a bench in a local beer garden. And whilst enjoying an ice cream in the park or at the beach may be the best way to keep cool during the day, a stickier climate can largely disrupt sleeping patterns at night.
Lisa Artis, sleep advisor at The Sleep Council explains: “While we Brits may not have the hottest summers on record, seasonal factors still have an impact on sleep.”
“Hot weather can be a nuisance when it comes to bedtime, and while we may celebrate the warmth of the sun and the longer, brighter days – heat can cause havoc when it comes to catching the Zzzs.”
She adds: “Ideally bedrooms should be around 16-18°C (60-65°F) but if, at nighttime, the outside temperature remains higher, or your bedroom has retained the heat from the day, it can be difficult to keep cool. Your body temperature needs to lower slightly before you go to sleep which is why it’s difficult to drop off when you’re too hot.”
If you need to cool down this weekend here are some more simple and effective tips from The Sleep Council to help you stay cool and comfortable in bed:
- Open windows – and doors – to create a cool draught through your bedroom.
- Keep curtains or blinds drawn during the day to keep the sun out and your room cooler at night.
- If you’ve got an attic, try opening the hatch. Hot air rises and this will give it somewhere to go.
- Get rid of the duvet and blankets and sleep with just a cotton sheet – or a duvet with a low tog rating.
- Wear light cotton nightwear – this is actually better than wearing nothing at all as natural fabric will absorb any perspiration.
- Have a cool shower or bath before bedtime to lower your core body temperature.
- Drink plenty of cold water during the evening and keep a glass of it by the bed.
- Avoid too much caffeine, alcohol or a big meal before bedtime as this can make you feel hot in the middle of the night because of dehydration and overactive digestion.
- Pull out your hot water bottle, but fill it with ice cold water and have it in bed with you.
- Cool a pillow case in the fridge before bedtime or try one of the new cooling pillows that are available to buy – both will help you keep a cool head!
- If you share a bed, make sure it’s big enough for two people so you can sleep without disturbing each other – a 5ft wide bed should be your minimum.
- Try putting socks in the fridge and wear them in bed – cooling your feet lowers the overall temperature of your skin and body, ideal during a hot summer’s night.
- Use an electric fan to cool you down at night. If it’s really hot, put a tray of ice and a little water in front of the fan which will cool the air even more. You can also freeze a bottle of water and then place the “ice bottle” in front of the fan for an added cooling effect on the air – it should last all night.
- If you have a spare room, consider sleeping there rather than with your partner to avoid sharing body heat
- Find the coolest room in the house and set up camp there, rather than in your normal bedroom
- Avoid getting sunburnt – that will only make everything worse
- Consider investing in an air conditioning unit
- Next time you buy a new bed, look for one that incorporates new temperature regulating technology