Is there anything more frustrating than not being able to fall asleep? (Picture: Getty)
With the temperatures in the UK set to soar to around 30°C in the wake of the Iberian plume heading this way, we’re in for some humid nights in the coming days, with the mercury only falling down to around 15 or 16°C in most parts of the country.
All of which could make sleeping even more of a challenge.
If you struggle to sleep in the heat, follow these tips from sleep experts on how to get a good night’s rest over the warmer months.
How to sleep in hot weather
‘Our temperature is incredibly important to good quality sleep as a drop in heart rate and drop in core temperature are part of the process the body goes through when readying for sleep,’ explains sleep expert James Wilson (also known as, ‘The Sleep Geek’)
‘The hot weather impacts on our ability to do both. Below are some tips on how to get the best sleep possible when the nights are hot.’
Allow the air to flow
While keeping the windows in your bedroom open might be fairly obvious if the room is warm, James advises that keeping your room door open and windows in other rooms of your home will allow more air to flow around the space – and keep everything as cool as possible:
‘Ensure there is a good airflow through the house so open windows on both side to allow the air to pass through.’
Open windows and doors in let air flow throughout your entire home. (Picture: Getty)
Choose your pillows carefully
“Even your pillow material can have an impact on your sleep in the summer,’ explains Deirdre McGettrick, home expert, co-founder and CEO of ufurnish.com.
‘Opt for down filled pillows as these are light and fluffy and more breathable than those with a synthetic fill, making them perfect for summer.
‘You can also choose a pillow designed specifically for cooling such as those made with cooling gel or ventilated memory foam which will help dissipate the heat throughout the night.
Keep the heat out
‘Close blinds and curtains in rooms that are exposed to direct sunlight. The shade will help the room stay cooler,’ James says.
It’s important to do this early on in the day, so that when the sun is at its highest and hottest in the middle of the day, the rooms in your home stay as cool as possible.
Have a cool bath or shower before bed
Having a cool (or if you can stand it, cold) bath or shower before going to bed will encourage your core temperature to drop, meaning that you won’t be as hot before getting in to bed and will hopefully find it easier to drift off to sleep, even if it’s a warm evening.
A cool shower can help with body temperature (Picture: Getty Images)
Or, James suggests: ‘Put lukewarm water in a hot water bottle and place the soles of your feet on it. This will raise your temperature slightly and then it will drop, helping your body prepare for sleep.’
Freeze your sheets
It sounds obvious but keeping your sheets cool will keep you cool too.
‘Place your bed sheets and pillowcases in sealed plastic bags and put them in the freezer for a few minutes before bedtime,’ Deirdre suggests.
‘Take them out just before going to bed and you’ll get instant refreshing coolness as you drift off to sleep.
Make your hot water bottle cold
This might sound like an unlikely solution given how hot it’s going to be – but your hot water bottle can be used for more than just warming up in the winter.
A hot water bottle has many uses (Picture: Getty Images)
‘Instead of boiling water, freeze your hot water bottle to provide a cooling ice block for your bed,’ Deirdre says.
Turn your fan into DIY air conditioning
‘If using a fan, place a bowl of chilled water in front of it to cool the stream of air it is pushing round the room,’ James advises.
Alternatively, we’ve also tried placing a bowl of ice cubes in front of a fan and it’s had the same effect – instantly cooling the air being moved by the fan.
A bowl of ice cubes can level up your fan’s performance in minutes. (Picture: Getty)
Invest in a cooling mattress topper
Deirdre advises: ‘Choose a mattress topper made of gel-infused foam or latex as these are designed to regulate temperature and keep you cool throughout the night.’
Try not to overthink it
James says that the ‘biggest thing that prevent us sleeping in hot weather is the thought “I am too hot to sleep”’
‘My advice would be to accept that you might not sleep quite as well, but that it will probably be over in a couple of days and your body will more than likely make up for the poor sleep by giving you better quality sleep.’
So, if you can help it, try not to think about it too much. Listen to calming music, a podcast, or an audio book to help take your mind off the heat and help you drift off to sleep. Avoid watching TV or looking at something on a screen, as this will keep you awake for a whole different reason!
Share your views in the comments below.
Beat the heat with top tips sleep experts.