Health and Sleep: Too hot to sleep? How to stay cool in bed when you don't have air conditioning
Posted on 22/08/2017 by
From freezing your sheets to keeping your clothes ON, we have nine tips from a Sleep School expert - plus other things readers swear by.
You don't need to resort to sleeping with your head in a fridge.
It seemed like summer had been and gone with those nice sunny days in April a distant memory - but now it seems to be back in a heatwave.
Yesterday was the hottest day of the year so far, and the sun is out again today.
So after digging out the sun cream and finding where you put your sunglasses to help you get through the day, here is our guide to coping with those stifling hot nights when sleep seems like an impossibility.
The Sleep School's expert Dr Guy Meadows works with Bensons for Beds and has nine top tips to keep you cool and get you to sleep, rather than be hot and bothered, counting sheep.
1. Keep a cool head
Getting frustrated and restless because you're hot only generates more heat and keeps you up longer. Keep a cool head by lying still - only by accepting the heat can you move your mind and body closer to sleep.
2. Frozen bedding
When bedroom temperatures soar drastically, action is often needed. Pop your sheets and pillows into bags and put them in a freezer ready for bedtime.
3. Choose cotton - and pyjamas!
Save satin, silk or polyester sheets for a cooler day. Cotton bed linens are lightweight and breathable, promoting airflow in your bedroom.
And keep those pyjamas on! The temptation may be to go commando, but as cotton lets your skin breathe it also allows for air circulation.
4. Make your own breeze
Humans sleep best in a cool bedroom, with the ideal temperature being 17ºC. Open a window or invest in an electric fan to add an extra breeze.
5. Late night entertaining
Warmer nights lead to delayed bed times, which can lead to later eating and drinking close to bedtime.
This is all good summer fun, but the downside is trouble sleeping.
For best quality sleep aim to leave at least two hours between eating and sleeping, while limiting alcohol close to bedtime.
6. Lose a layer
Use sheets and blankets, rather than duvets; these can help to regulate the body temperature quickly and easily.
7. Reach for the H2O
Have a glass of water by the bed to drink if and when needed. Drinking a full glass of water before bed can lead to multiple toilet visits throughout the night.
8. Cool shower
Take a cool shower before bed for a quick and easy way to cool down. Avoid freezing showers as these can be over stimulating and wake you up.
9. Summer noise
Warm weather encourages outdoor activities with lots of loud, excited voices! Use ear plugs to block out noise for a quiet sleep environment.