A heatwave might be good news for evenings spent outside, especially in this week of freedom, but the same can’t be said for trying to get some sleep.
The ideal temperature for sleeping is between 16-18°C, and anything above 24°C causes restlessness, while a cold room (around 12C°) will make it difficult to nod off, according to The Sleep Council.
Lisa Artis, sleep advisor at the Sleep Council, said: “If, at night, the outside temperature remains higher, or your bedroom has retained the heat from the day, it can be difficult to keep cool.
“Your body temperature needs to lower slightly before you go to sleep which is why it’s difficult to drop off when you’re too hot.”
Given most people across the UK are likely to be experiencing temperatures way above the optimum of 18°C – some by more than ten degrees – you might want to think about revising your sleeping situation for the foreseeable future.
The Sleep Council and Neil Robinson, sleep expert at Sealy UK, gave HuffPost UK the following tips on how to sleep in the hot weather.
Keep curtains closed while you’re at work
It might seem counterintuitive as heavy curtains feel suffocating and keep stuffy air inside, but keeping curtains or blinds drawn during the day will keep the sunlight out and your room cooler at night. You can always open them when it starts to get dusky.
Be careful about what you eat and frink
Avoid alcohol and caffeine before bed. Both drinks are dehydrating, and dehydrating yourself before sleep on a hot night isn’t the best decision. You might also want to avoid having a really heavy meal as your body will warm up while it is busy digesting your food.
Get a good fan set up
If you’ve got an attic in your house then try opening the hatch - because hot air rises, this will give it somewhere to go (rather than just getting trapped in your bedroom). Then try to create a fan cross flow by opening a window and positioning a fan alongside it. This can help pull cooling flow through the room.
Make your own ice packs
Your hot water bottle might seem like the last thing you want on a night when the mercury is rising, but if you fill it with ice cold water and have it in bed with you it can help cool you down. If you don’t have a hot water bottle then put your pillow case in the fridge or freezer for 10 minutes before bed.
Have a quick cold shower
Pretty self explanatory, as doing this right before bed will help to lower your core body temperature.
At Bed Time
Ditch the duvet
It goes without saying that your heavy winter tog duvet has no place here. Instead just sleep with just a cotton sheet – or if you can’t face a night without your duvet, make sure it has a low tog rating.
Wear cotton nightclothes (or nothing)
Being naked is probably the best solution to keeping cool, but if you can’t get comfortable in your birthday suit, then make sure you wear 100% cotton materials. Anything synthetic is going to make you sweat, whereas natural fabric will absorb any perspiration.
This might not be the most romantic suggestion, but if the heat is really unbearable you might want to consider sleeping away from your bed partner. It can really help stay cool when you aren’t pressed up against another human.
Middle of the Night
Cold press your pulse points
Woken up in the middle of the night in a fluster? Try to cool down again by pressing pulse points on your body. Place a cold flannel or ice cubes in a plastic bag on your wrists and neck to cool off – just don’t let them melt in your bed.
Keep a glass of water nearby
Drink plenty of cold water during the evening and keep a glass by the bed.