SLEEP TIGHT – 7 TIPS TO STAY COOL AT NIGHT
Struggling to sleep in the hot weather? Leading sleep expert, James Wilson AKA the Sleep Geek shares his top tips for staying cool at night
James is one of the UK’s leading sleep experts. He is a trained Sleep Practitioner, working with individuals on a one-on-one basis to improve their relationship and experience with sleep. Additionally, James specialises as a Sleep Educator, working with organisations such as Coca Cola and the NHS, as well as within the sport sector with the likes of SportsAid and Sheffield United.
Don’t put your duvet in the freezer
You will see people advising you to put your duvet, your pillow and your bedding in the freezer. The idea is that it will make them nice and cold when you get into bed. You will be cold, and that cold will be a shock, so your body will try and heat up, which is exactly what we don’t want to happen, as a drop in core temperature is a fundamental part of the process of falling asleep and staying asleep. A duvet, bedding or a pillow that has been in the freezer will actually melt and as that frozen moisture turns into liquid, well and you will end up with a soggy bed!
7 Tips to stay cool in the hot weather
During the day, open windows on either side of the house. Get a nice airflow through and when direct sunlight is on a room ensure the blinds or curtains are closed.
Have a warm bath or shower an hour before bed, as this will slightly raise your core temperature and as you get out of the bath or shower your temperature will drop, which helps you feel sleepy.
- Hot Water Bottle
Another great tip with a similar theme is to fill a hot water bottle with lukewarm water and place your bare feet on it. As above it will raise your core temperature slightly and then it drops, helping your body prepare for sleep.
- Your mattress material
Your mattress could be adding to you struggling to sleep in the heat. A mattress made of a solid block of foam or latex, is going to make you warmer, and for many people even a foam topper can make them too hot to sleep. I find springs the best option for temperature regulation, and on some occasions, filling made of natural materials like wool or silk can help.
- Separate duvet/sheet
A tip that is a real winner when it comes to helping us sleep is to have a separate duvet or sheets from your partner. Sharing a duvet with a partner means that as well as your body heat you are also getting theirs as well, which can make you hotter and hotter. We also often have different temperature needs to the person we share a bed with. In this case the cold sleeper can have a duvet while the hot sleeper could make do with a sheet, maybe made of Bamboo.
- Materials your bedding is made with
Think about the materials your bedding and duvet is made from. We often perceive that high thread count cotton bedding is luxurious and cool, but actually, the higher the thread count, the less airflow cotton bedding gives, meaning something like Egyptian cotton is not the best material in the summer. Try something like Bamboo, or a man-made fibre like SteadyBody to help your body breathe.
I find the biggest issue many of us face when it comes to sleeping in hot weather is our mindset. We convince ourselves that it is just too hot and that we won’t sleep tonight. This then leads on to how awful it will be tomorrow if we don’t sleep tonight and before you know you have caused your heart rate to rise and you have talked yourself into sleeping poorly. My advice is not to worry too much about it. We live in the UK, at some point the weather will break and it will cool down again. Until then just try and get the best sleep you can.