“When summer comes to mind, we almost always focus on picnics, days in the garden and BBQs,” says Lisa Artis of The Sleep Council. “But hot weather can be a nuisance especially when it comes to bedtime. An ideal bedroom temperature should be around 16-18°C (60-65°F) but as temperatures remain high it can be difficult to fall asleep in a hot stuffy bedroom, leaving many suffering from a disturbed night’s sleep.
“Your body temperature needs to drop slightly before you go to sleep which is why you just can’t sleep when you’re too hot. Below are some simple, very effective, steps that you can take to ensure you stay cool and comfortable in bed.”
- Open windows – and doors – to create a draught.
- Keep curtains or blinds drawn during the day to keep the sun out.
- 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 – just use 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.
- If you’ve got long hair, tie it back. Hair round your neck can make you feel warmer.
- 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 by the bed.
- Avoid too much caffeine, alcohol or a big meal. They can all make you feel hot and steamy in the middle of the night through dehydration and over-active digestion.
- Put a hot water bottle filled with ice cold water in bed.
- Cool a pillow case in the fridge before bedtime or try one of the new cooling pillows that are available to buy.
- Cool socks in the fridge and put on. Cooling your feet lowers the overall temperature of your skin and body.
- Use an electric fan – the remedy for 20% of people. 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.
- Invest in an air conditioning unit.
- Next time you buy a new bed, look out for one that incorporates new temperature regulating technology.
- And, if you share a bed, make sure it’s big enough for two people, so you can sleep without disturbing each other: 5ft wide should be your minimum.