How to sleep through warm nights

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Although many people look forward to the start of summer, the warm days often lead to warm nights, and sleep can become uncomfortable and disrupted.

There may even be occasions when you wish it was already autumn, when the evenings are cooler and sleeping can become much easier, but rather than wishing away some of the most pleasant weeks of the year, there are tips that can help to make sleeping easier and your nights that much more comfortable.

The Sleep Council has put together this list of advice that can ensure you get a good night’s sleep, regardless of the temperature.

A breath of fresh air

Open the windows and doors to help create a draught – take care if you have pets in your house that are not allowed in the bedroom, and also bear in mind the security risks of leaving the window open if you sleep on the bottom floor.

Try keeping curtains or blinds drawn during the day to keep the sun out – it can help to deflect the light outwards and avoid turning your room into an oven, particularly if you have a south-facing bedroom.

If you have an attic in your house, open the hatch, as hot air rises and this will give it somewhere to leave the property rather than recirculating through the house.

Swap the big duvet and blankets for cotton sheets or – if this is too thin a cover for you – consider using a duvet with a very low tog rating.

Dress for the occasion

Wearing light cotton nightwear is also a wise option, and is actually better than wearing nothing at all, as the natural fabric will absorb any perspiration.

If you have long hair, then keep it tied back during the night as letting it fall round your neck can make you feel warmer. 

Consider having your evening shower or bath before bedtime and have the water as cool as possible to help lower your core body temperature.

The same effect can be gained from drinking plenty of cold water during the evening, and keeping a glass by the bed can help if you wake up during the night.

Year-round advice

One year-round tip, and one that is particularly useful during the summer, is to avoid having too much caffeine, alcohol or a big meal before bed; these can all make you feel hot and steamy in the middle of the night through dehydration and over-active digestion.

A hot water bottle can come in very handy, but with a twist – fill it with ice cold water to create a cold water bottle.

Another quirky tip is to cool a pillowcase in the fridge throughout the evening so it is cold before bedtime, and also trying one of the new cooling pillows that are becoming increasingly available.

The same applies to socks, which can be placed in the fridge and put on before bed, as cooling your feet and other extremities lowers the overall temperature of your skin and body.

Invest in tech

The old classic of using an electric fan is a popular choice, with research showing this is the go-to option for 20 per cent of people and – if it is really hot – put a little tray of ice and water in front of the fan to increase the cool air.

Slightly more expensive but effective options include investing in an air conditioning unit and – when buying a new bed – looking out for one that incorporates new temperature-regulating technology. 

Finally, if you share a bed with your partner, make sure it is big enough for two people to sleep in without disturbing each other during the night – aim for a minimum of 5ft wide.

Following these tips can help to lower your overall body temperature during the night, minimising the amount of disruption you have and giving you better quality sleep, ensuring you are fresh and ready to go in the morning, regardless of the temperature.

The Sleep Council was founded by the National Bed Federation, the trade association for British bed manufacturers, and aims to raise awareness of the importance of a good night’s sleep to health and wellbeing. For more information, visit www.sleepcouncil.org.uk.

 

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