Sleeping in summer can be difficult due to the hot weather. There are many factors that could be affecting your temperature at night, from your furniture to the appliances in your room. In the following guide, we will assess the various strategies that you can employ to avoid getting too hot while you are trying to sleep.
In the UK, most of our buildings are built from insulating materials that are designed to keep the heat in. This is great for winter and the colder months of the year, however, in summer it can cause problems. Many office buildings have air conditioning, but this is less common in house and bedrooms. So, how can we cool down our sleeping arrangements down to avoid being too hot at night?
Keep your room cool
Opening windows and doors may seem obvious, but there are knacks to making this more effective. If you open windows and doors that are situated opposite each other, this creates airflow which pushes cool air in and hot air out. This can be enhanced by using fans, as they can help move hot air out of your room, especially if the fan is located near a window. Avoid positioning fans facing away from hot objects, like electronics or boilers. Doing so will project the hot air outwards through the fan, resulting in blowing the hot air around your room, which is the opposite of what you want if you are trying to cool down. Instead, place them by a window, facing inwards, to draw in fresh outside air. If you are lucky enough to own a ceiling fan, set it to spin counterclockwise. Doing so will draw the hot air up and away from your room, dispersing it across the ceiling.
For those who don’t want to leave windows and doors open for security reasons, there are many other options available.
Getting in the habit of closing your blinds on hot days will reduce the heating of your room, as the sun’s rays will warm anything they touch. Blackout blinds or curtains are even more effective at this, as their thickness and colouration mean heat will be absorbed or reflected: the white side should face outwards to reflect the sun, and the black side facing in will absorb the heat inside your room.
The lowest levels in your home will be cooler, as heat rises up through the house as it is generated, and common UK houses have their boiler located downstairs. If you sleep downstairs, your room will be less warm.
A simpler way to cool yourself down is to cool down your bedsheets by placing them in the freezer for an hour prior to sleeping. Not only will this cool your body when laying on them, but the cold sheets will help to balance the temperature in the room over time. This method does not last very long as the sheets will warm up quickly depending on the heat in the room, but can be an effective way to cool yourself down before sleep if you are initially very warm.
Finally, turn off any unnecessary electronics that are exuding heat. If you own a computer, consider moving it elsewhere so your bedroom isn’t hotter than usual to begin with.
Cool down before bed with a routine
Good quality sleep can be attained by regulating what you do leading up to sleep. There are many measures you can take to reduce your own body temperature, which will make your surroundings subsequently feel more comfortable.
Doing exercise in the morning instead of later on in the day will leave you more tired and ready for sleep by the time it comes to settling down. While exercise mightinitially feel tiring, it oxygenates the blood, leading to a more energised feeling. Doing this closer to sleep will make calming your body and thoughts much more difficult.
Having a warm shower or bath may seem counter-intuitive if you are already feeling too hot, but your body will cool down at a more comfortable rate after. This is also a good way to wind down for sleep, as a relaxing, steamy bath will make you feel more tired. Combine this with some healthy bath salts for an even better experience.
Eating meals late at night will make it harder to sleep as your body will not settle down for deep sleep while digesting food, but further from this, food heavy in carbohydrates create temperature increases while being broken down. Additionally, you should limit alcohol and caffeine intake after 5PM, as both of these can cause bad sleep quality and night sweats. Instead, eat and drink things with less sugar, such as decaffeinated tea or water.
Having a glass of ice water next to your bed will not only help you if you are feeling dehydrated, but it will also add another cooling factor to your room.
In the British summer, it is easy to forget that one day it can pour with rain, and glow with sunshine the next. Sunburn is painful, but also causes you to sweat more than usual. Always wear suncream in summer. If you are looking to cool your skin, gel – such as aloe vera cooling gel – and alcoholic facial or body wipes can provide better cooling than sweat. If you are worried about getting gel or cream on your bedding, there are less absorbent materials you can go for that will help your skin care – such as silk.
If you have a pet or partner (or both), sleeping close to them will make you feel warmer. The best way to lay in order to lose heat is to spread your limbs out and lie flat, which increases the surface area of your skin exposed to the air, allowing your body to radiate better.
Bedding for cold sleeping
Your surrounding furniture absorbs the body heat that you let off while you sleep. Your mattress and bedding are very large, insulating objects, so they can have a big impact on how warm your room is.
You can get special cooling mattresses and temperature regulating pillows that are designed to absorb less heat, and these are perfect to combine with breathable linen bed sheets. Cotton is the best option for cooling bedding as, despite its cosy appearance and feel, it allows your body to regulate its heat better.
More affordable alternatives – such as polyester blends – are also good options, but the cheaper material is less absorbent and can lead to sweating. Polyester also has the tendency to be itchy and allergenic, which is especially bad if you are suffering from sunburn.
Wool pillows and duvets will further improve your bedding’s regulatory properties, and in many cases works better than removing bedding completely as it draws moisture away. This also works for pyjamas, such as light woollen or cotton shirts.
As a last-ditch effort, you can also flip your duvet and pillows over, and they will be cooler on the opposite side, giving you a short-term instant relief solution.
Shop at Linens
For a wide range of bedding supplies that will help you to sleep better on warm nights, shop Linens, or call 0800 389 0059 or 0161 627 1755 for our first-class customer service.