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As the UK summer finally arrives, our sleep could be beginning to suffer. Here are some top tips to help you stay cool while you sleep during the latest - and the next - UK heatwave.

how to sleep in hot weather: *tips for staying cool* on sweaty nights

Summer has finally arrived! But – us being typical Brits – our love for moaning about the hot weather has already become a topic of complaint. It’s hardly surprising though. As the temperatures soar, getting a good night's sleep becomes an even more challenging task.

Hot weather leaves your bedroom feeling more like an oven than a space to quieten your mind. And the result of this heat? Well, generally it leads to restlessness and discomfort – neither of which are complementary to sleep!

But, did you know that with a few minor adjustments, you can create a cool bedroom even in hot weather? Scroll on to explore some practical tips to help you get the kip you need, even on the hottest summer nights.

1. better your bedding

When it comes to getting a good night’s sleep, it’s best not to underestimate the role your bedding plays. Here are two top considerations you should address sharpish if you’re struggling to sleep in hot weather:

breathable bedding fabrics

When it’s hot, it’s time to switch to lightweight, breathable bedding made from natural fibres (so, cotton, linen, or bamboo bedding rather than polyester). Why? Well, these types of materials promote air circulation. And they’re usually moisture-wicking too. And both of these qualities combined can help you keep cool throughout the night. Steer clear of heavy bedding or bedding made from synthetic fabrics during the heat wave. It’s these types of materials that can trap heat and cause sweating during the night.

have you got the right tog duvet?

Knowing whether or not you have the right tog duvet for the time of year is a good place to start. In the UK, a 13.5 tog duvet is generally seen as a good tog rating for those who get cold in bed and during the winter. A 9 tog duvet is a sort of middle of the road solution and can be handy for those in-betweeny moments. And finally, a 4.5 duvet tog is ideal for hot sleepers and summer heat waves.

2. summer sleepwear

In summer it’s too hot for woolly jammies and flannel nighties. In fact, some nights it’s just too hot to wear anything at all. But, if you’re wondering how to sleep in hot weather and haven’t addressed the PJ sitch yet, it could be wear you’re going wrong!

lightweight pjs are a must

When the night’s are sweaty, steer clear of the slinky, form-fitting nighties. Instead, dust off those loose-fitting, lightweight pjs. And be sure to choose some that have been made from breathable materials such as cotton or silk (if you’re feeling fancy). Avoid wearing tight or heavy clothing to bed on warm nights because they can restrict airflow and cause you to get even hotter. 

go to bed in the buff

If you find pyjamas are just too uncomfortable to bear in the hot weather, try sleeping nude. This can be a really effective way to help your body stay cool as it allows much better air circulation while you’re in bed. And this helps to reduce the buildup of heat.

3. keep your bedroom cool

It almost goes without saying…but in order to fall asleep faster, our bedrooms need to be cool, dark, and quiet. And the summer sun is very good at influencing two of those three factors. So, how do we resolve this in order to be able to sleep in the heat? Find out now:

use a fan

Fans are an essential tool when it comes to keeping bedroom temperature optimal during the summertime. Position your (floor or desk) fan so that it blows air across your bed. Alternatively, if you’re lucky enough to have a ceiling fan in your bedroom, you can use that to circulate the air instead.

block out heat during the day

You can also help to keep your bedroom cool when it’s hot by blocking out the heat during the day. So, when you get out of bed in the morning, don’t open your curtains! Close them instead. Doing so will minimise the amount of sunlight that’s able to enter and warm up your bedroom. And for those of you with a south-facing bedroom window, blackout curtains may be worth the investment for maximum heat reduction.

4. it’s great to hydrate

In periods of hot weather, we generally sweat a lot more. No, we’re not being gross – it’s just a given. Our bodies sweat to cool down. But in sweating, our bodies’ water supplies deplete faster than usual. So it’s even more important than usual to stay hydrated in hot weather. But how? Here’s our recommendations:  

drink water before bed

Staying hydrated isn’t just about drinking enough water during the day. On hot night, you should prioritise having a glass of water before bed too. That said, don’t be excessive in your drinking right before trying to get sleep! Unless you don’t mind a few nighttime trips to the bathroom that is.

avoid caffeine and alcohol

Caffeine and alcohol are stimulants that can dehydrate you. And as dehydration interferes with your sleep quality, it’s best to try and avoid these beverages for at least a few hours before bedtime.

5. switch to your summer sleep routine

If you haven’t already switched from your winter bedtime routine to your summer one, there’s no time like right now. And if you’ve yet to create your summer bedtime routine, we’ve got a few suggestions for you below:

have a cold shower before bed

A cold (or cool, if you prefer) shower can help to lower your body temperature and let your body know that it's nearly time to go to sleep. The cooling effect of the cold, running water can also help to provide some immediate relief from the hot temperatures of the day which could in turn make it easier to fall asleep.

keep a damp washcloth handy

Having a damp washcloth or towel next to your bed could be just what’s needed on those really sweaty summer nights. That way, it you wake up feeling hot you can use it to wipe your face and body for a quick cool-down.

6. try natural cooling techniques

There’s plenty of natural ways to lower your body temperature for sleep in our dedicated blog post. But these centre around what foods we can eat to help us stay cool. If you’re after a more practical solutions with immediate effect, here are our top tips:

sleep on a lower floor

If you’re in a bungalow, this isn’t the right solution for you. For everyone else, heat rises – it’s a scientific fact. So, consider setting up a sleeping space on a lower floor – if possible – where the air is likely to be cooler.

try to create cross ventilation

If you’re lucky enough to have windows on opposite sides of your bedroom, opening them both can help to create cross ventilation. And if you only have one window in your bedroom (like most of us do), open a window in an adjacent room and leave the doors open. This will also help to promote airflow which can ensure that the hot, stagnant air is replaced with cooler, fresher feeling air more efficiently.

how to sleep in hot weather: our conclusion

Sleeping during bouts of hot weather doesn't have to be as impossible as it can seem. Think about the basics: bedding, pjs, and bedroom. These should be optimised as best you can to keep your bedroom comfy and inviting. As for personal tweaks to make, stay hydrated, and switch to a summer sleep routine.

Addressing all of these different sleep-related aspects can help you to enjoy a comfortable night's sleep even on the hottest nights. Now it’s up to you to put these tips into practice. Until next time, eve sleep.