How to Sleep in Hot Weather
We might only get hot weather a few times a year, but when we do it plays havoc with our sleep. And no wonder! Because we’re accustomed to cooler night-time temperatures, we Brits have set up our homes and sleeping habits accordingly. So, when a heatwave strikes, we’re tossing and turning as we struggle to sleep.
However, there are a few easy things you can do to make it easier to sleep in hot weather which we’ll cover in this blog. These include choosing the right bedding for the weather and finding ways to keep your bedroom cool.
Why is it so hard to sleep when it's hot
We sleep best at a temperature that’s at around 18˚C. Our bodies naturally cool themselves to prepare for sleep and if the environment around us is too hot it’s more difficult to cool down. That’s because the natural cooling process is linked to the production of melatonin – the so-called sleepy hormone.
If we’re too hot, our bodies need to work extra hard to cool down. Instead of investing in sleep, your body is spending energy on cooling down. This results in poor quality sleep and a less-than-perky feeling the next morning. And of course, the impact of a bad night’s sleep doesn’t just affect our ability to get out of bed in the morning. It can affect our moods, our judgement, our ability to do our jobs well and even the food we prefer to eat. A good night’s sleep is essential for a happy and healthy life!
Sleeping in hot weather hacks for bedding
One of the best ways to improve your sleep in hot weather is to choose the right bedding. Here are some hacks that will help you choose the best summer bedding products.
1. Invest in a good quality mattress
Choosing a good quality mattress will help you sleep well all year round. But if you’re interested in understanding which type of mattress is best for summer, it’s best to look for one made with natural fills. That’s because natural fills – such as wool, cashmere, cotton and silk act as temperature regulators to help you feel comfortable as you sleep – not too hot and not too cold.
If you can’t invest in a new mattress just yet, you could treat yourself to a mattress topper instead. Our New Zealand wool mattress topper adds an extra layer of softness to your mattress and improves temperature regulation for a cooler night’s sleep when it’s hot (and a warmer night’s sleep when the weather turns chilly again).
2. Choose natural fills for duvets
Choosing the right duvet for summer nights is essential to getting a good night’s sleep. First, choose the right tog. If the weather’s hot you’re unlikely to need anything warmer than a 4.5 tog duvet. Second, choose your duvet fill with care. Natural fills are a blessing when it comes to summer sleeping! Wool is one of the best duvet fills for sleeping under in the heat of the summer. The natural wool fibres have temperature regulating properties helping you stay at the perfect sleeping temperature. When your body temperature rises during these warm nights, wool works hard to cool you down. When the temperature drops and your body feels cooler, wool can help warm you up. This natural fill is great for bed sharers, as it works to two different body temperatures in the same bed, helping you both sleep comfortably.
Cotton fill duvets are another brilliant option during hot weather. Natural cotton provides a breathable, temperature regulating fill. The fibres wick away moisture from your body, keeping you cool during the night. Our duvets provide a lightweight, traditional quilt feel to help you sleep soundly in the heat
Finally, cover your duvet with a duvet cover made from natural fibres – cotton or linen are ideal. This will make it easier to keep your duvet clean and will work with your duvet to help regulate your sleeping temperature.
3. Consider buying cooling pillows
Choosing a cooling pillow can help improve your sleep during the heat of summer as well. A cooling pillow has a synthetic fill and is cased in a technical cooling fabric that’s similar to the type of fabric you might see in high-performance sportswear. This fabric has been shown to have 30% more cooling power than cotton – making it a great choice for even the hottest night!
If synthetic fill pillows aren’t your thing, you might prefer a pillow filled with a natural fill such as wool or silk. As with natural fill duvets, the pillow fill helps regulate your sleeping temperature for a more comfortable night’s sleep.
4. Opt for lighter coloured, natural bed sheets
Choosing breathable natural fibres for bed sheets will boost the power of your duvet and pillow to help you stay cool at night. Natural fibres such as cotton, linen and hemp wick the moisture away from your body as you sleep so it can evaporate into the atmosphere. It’s this moisture-wicking that helps you stay cool as you sleep.
Silk sheets are another wonderful choice for staying cool during hot nights. The sensuously smooth fabric is breathable and cool to the touch, also helping regulate your temperature as you sleep.
It’s not just choosing the right fibre that matters. Choosing the right colour is important too. Opting for lighter colour bedsheets will help reflect any heat that comes into your bedroom and keep you cool.
5. Wear loose-fitting nightwear
You might think that sleeping in the nude is the best way to deal with hot weather at night. However, wearing loose-fitting nightwear made from natural fibres such as cotton – or silk for a more luxurious treat – will work hard to keep you cool by quickly wicking away moisture from your skin so you stay fresher as you sleep.
How to keep your bedroom cool in summer
It’s not just bedding that affects the way we sleep in hot weather – the bedroom itself can have a big impact. Here are a few things you can do to keep your bedroom feeling cooler in the summer.
Avoid too many cushions and blankets
Although a beautifully dressed bed looks good, it’s a bad idea for keeping your bedroom cool because of the way the fabrics trap heat. Take them off your bed and store them somewhere safe until the mercury drops again.
Close the curtains and blinds
Keeping curtains or blinds open during the day will heat your home, making it especially difficult to cool things down in the evening. Get ahead of the game by keeping curtains, blinds and windows closed throughout the day to keep your room cooler.
Open the window or use a fan
Opening the window can help cool things down at night, but only if there’s a breeze. If it’s just as warm outside as it is inside, you’ll be better off keeping your windows shut and using a fan to move air around the bedroom. Try placing a bowl of ice or water in front of your fan to cool down the air even more.
Turn off all your electronics
Electronics kick out more heat than you’d expect. So to keep your bedroom feeling cooler, switch off any electronic devices or keep them out of your room.
How to cool down before bed
Keeping your bedroom cool and choosing the right bedding will always help you sleep more comfortably when the weather is hot, but what if you feel the need to cool off too? Here are some tried and tested ways of keeping your cool when the weather’s hot.
Drink more water
Make sure you’re well-hydrated by drinking plenty of water during the day. Your body loses a lot of water during the night as you sweat so it’s important to drink plenty. Keep a glass of water near your bed so you can take a sip if you wake in the night.
Have a warm shower
As well as helping us relax, having a warm (not hot or cold) shower before bed can help you cool down by encouraging your blood vessels to dilate and lose extra heat from your body. This will help increase your body’s melatonin production and improve your chances of a good night’s sleep.
Use a damp compress
If you just can’t get cool, placing a damp flannel in the fridge or freezer before using it on your pulse points can help. Make sure you’ve wrung out as much water as possible to prevent your bedding from becoming uncomfortably wet.
If all else fails, remember that heat rises, so if you’re sleeping on an upper floor, your bedroom will automatically be warmer. If it’s practical, temporarily sleeping on the ground floor will help you get a better night’s sleep while the weather is especially hot.
How to sleep in hot weather
Have you ever considered that your sleeping position may affect how well you sleep in hot weather? Opt to sleep on your side when the weather’s warm and you might just find you get a better night’s sleep. That’s because sleeping on your side exposes a larger proportion of your body to the air and lets the heat from your body escape more easily. This helps you regulate your temperature to a more comfortable level.
It's also a good idea to keep your feet and hands out from under your covers to help you cool down. The high number of blood vessels in our hands and feet mean they act as important heat exchangers helping heat from inside your body to escape so you cool down more quickly.