How To Get To Sleep When It’s Too Hot

How To Get To Sleep When It’s Too Hot

Usually, we love the summer and everything that comes with it – the sunbathing, the bright mornings, the excuse to eat ice cream all day every day. But I think we’re all in agreement that it is hot. Too hot. And us Brits just can’t take it. Because if there’s one thing we can’t hack, it’s a bad night’s sleep. So, from sweat-wicking sleepwear to eating early, here’s your official guide to keeping cool on these balmy summer nights…

1. Up Your Fan Game

If you haven’t got yourself a fan already, you can officially consider yourself a heatwave amateur. So first, go out and buy yourself a fan – you can find them almost anywhere and a regular desktop-sized fan is reasonably cheap. But some will find it makes only a small amount of difference when it’s just pushing already-stifling air around the room. Instead, place a bowl of ice in front of the fan in order to circulate cooler air around the room.

2. Plan Ahead

During the day, the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) recommends doing what you can to prevent excessive heat building up in your bedroom. Try ensuring your curtains and blinds are shut during waking hours to keep out sunlight and keep the windows shut if the temperature outside is hotter than it is inside. At night, when the temperature cools, open your windows whilst you sleep.

3. Choose Your Sleepwear Wisely

Ideally, this is birthday suit weather. But for those who can’t strip down to nothing, NSF recommends light PJs made from material that wicks away sweat, such as cotton. This is considered one of the best materials for hot weather and it’s the most breathable.

4. Keep Your Bed Cool

First things first: don’t sleep under a winter duvet in the middle of summer. Swap it out for a duvet with a lower tog rating to stay cooler, or opt for just a sheet to cover you. For an extra slice of chilliness, stick your bedding in the freezer for a couple of minutes while you clean your teeth ready for bed. If you have room, pop your duvet and bottom sheet in a plastic bag and put it in a freezer draw – but if you don’t have room, just try pillowcases and your PJs instead.

You can also use a hot water bottle to keep your bed cool right before climbing in. Fill it with iced water and leave for a couple of minutes under the covers, or once in bed, place it on certain parts of your body to cool down, including wrists, feet, groin, and neck. If ice is a little too hardcore for you, you can always just fill it with chilled water – it’ll give you almost the same effect minus the initial shock factor.

5. Know Which Parts Of Your Body You Need To Keep Chilled

There are some really effective ways to keep your body at a more comfortable temperature throughout the night. Putting a cold press on your forehead as you drift off is the best way to keep your body cool – place a damp face cloth in the fridge half an hour or so before going to bed – or try sleeping in cold, wet socks.

6. Don’t Eat Too Late

Eating can lead to an increase in body temperature – this is because your metabolic rate increases as the energy is needed in order to allow food to digest. The process is known as thermogenesis; as food is digested, it activates brown adipose tissue, a type of fat deposit which contains a special protein known as mitochondria. Once the digesting process has begun, the mitochondria reacts, causing heat production. Therefore, by eating smaller, more regular meals on hot days will help to digest the food throughout the waking hours, rather than having a big meal in the evening and keeping the body awake as it tries to digest it.


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