How to sleep better in the summer heat

Getting a decent night sleep in the summer months can be close to impossible. Your body temperature needs to drop slightly to ensure that you sleep well, but when it’s hot, this is easier said than done, especially if you don’t have air conditioning or don’t want to use it.  Preparation is the key.  And the best time to start preparing?  28th May.

A survey conducted for Soak&Sleep showed that 47% of you in the UK are dreading the hot weather because you find it difficult to sleep.  So how do you make sure you get the best sleep you can when you’re so hot you could cook an egg on your forehead?  These are some of the things the survey found that you do to try and sleep in the heat.

50% said they slept with the windows opened

23% said they slept naked

Some of you slept under a damp towel or put your sheets or sleepwear in the freezer

 

Here are some other things you can do.

 

Change your pillow and mattress

There are such things as a cooling pillow and mattress. They work by allowing heat to disperse rather than retaining it.  You don’t want to be sleeping with memory foam in the summer months as it traps body heat.  But if you don’t want to fork out on a new mattress an alternative is a cooling mattress topper instead.

 

Think about your sheets

Always opt for cotton sheets over polyester, silk, or anything else you may have during summer months.  Cotton is breathable, which helps the heat to escape, unlike other bedding fabrics.  Or you could invest in some cooling sheets. These work by wicking away sweat from your body, keeping you dryer and cooler through the night and don’t hold onto any heat.

 

Get rid of the duvet

How anyone sleeps in the summer with their duvet on the bed, I don’t know.  But 62% of people surveyed for Soak&Sleep said they didn’t consider switching to a lighter duvet.  If you’re scared the slumber monsters will get you if you aren’t covered by something take your duvet out of the duvet cover and sleep with that or just a sheet instead.

 

Make your own air conditioning

No AC, no problem.  Grab a fan, a bowl, and some ice.  Add the ice to the bowl and place in front of the fan.  The air the fan blows around the room will be cooled by the icy water.   Go an extra step and hang a wet sheet in front of the open window.  This works in a similar way and will make your bedroom nice and cool.

 

Sleep in your birthday suit, or light PJ’s

Sleeping naked is controversial. I like to sleep with light pj’s on in the summer months because it wicks away any sweatiness and stops me feeling sticky.  The Other Half prefers not to and sleeps in his birthday suit. It’s down to the individual.  Try both see what you prefer.

 

Sleep alone

If you can, sleep alone.  Nothing worse than someone else’s body heat making you hotter when you’re trying to cool down. It also means you can sleep spread eagle in the middle of the bed, which stops you creating hot pockets of air like other sleeping positions can.  Can’t sleep alone?  Sleep as far away from them as you can without falling out of bed.

 

Prepare during the day

Keep the curtains or blinds shut all day to keep out the sun and heat. If it’s hotter outside than it is inside then only crack the windows for ventilation and open them in the evening when it’s cooler. If it’s cooler outside, then open the windows to allow the heat to escape.

Try not to use anything that emits heat like the TV (although maybe you shouldn’t have a TV in your bedroom at any time).

Put some washcloths and ice packs in the freezer, so they are cold in the evening. You’ll see why in the next point.

 

Use water

Stay hydrated during the day to help your body keep its core temperature down.

Help your body do this just before going to bed by cooling off your pulse points. Those washcloths and ice packs you put in the freezer during the day?  Place them on your wrists, neck, elbows, groin, ankles, and behind your knees. Cooling down these pulse points cools the rest of your body as it pumps your blood around. You can also put your feet on ice packs just before getting into bed too.

 

You now have several tricks to stay cool in the summer months so you can sleep well.

“By looking at upcoming weather patterns we predict a real shift in night-time temperatures from 28 May,” says Brian Lavery, AccuWeather’s Managing director, Europe, “with houses retaining daytime heat, less breeze, and less rain to cool evenings down.”

It’s time to start thinking about preparing your bedroom for the summer.

 

Photo by Sebastien Gabriel on Unsplash

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