A nice summery day with warm sunshine is one thing; but night-time temperature that’s too hot to sleep is entirely something else. And if you’ve been tossing and turning trying to get some shut eye recently, you’re not along. According to a recent survey by AppliancesDirect.co.uk, no less than 62% of Brits find it difficult to sleep due to the hot weather we’re currently experiencing. Which begs the question: what can we do when it’s too hot to sleep?
Fortunately, there exists quite a few ways in which one can stay cool during the night (did you know that the ideal bedroom temperature is between 16 to 18°C?). Let’s see what they are!
• Encourage airflow in your bedroom by opening as many windows and doors as possible. Cracking the ones at the front and back of the house can also ensure a slight draft to help pull out the warm air and cool down the rooms.
• During the day, keep curtains and blinds drawn to drown out the sunshine. We recommend investing in proper blackout blinds, and shutters will also come in handy to block out light while letting through air.
• Got an attic? Try opening the hatch – as hot air rises, this will give it somewhere to go.
• Turn off all lights and appliances that don’t need to run all night – they generate a lot of heat.
Not all rooms in a house are equally warm or cool. As heat rises, you might find one of the downstairs areas more comfortable for a good night’s sleep. North-facing rooms also tend to be a lot cooler than others.
homify hint: Set your bed as close to the ground as possible to beat the rising hot air. In a ground-floor bedroom, that may mean placing your mattress on the floor.
• Away with thick duvets and blankets. Opt for cooler options like cotton sheets. And if you absolutely must have a duvet, get the lowest tog rating available.
• Get bedding made of natural materials. Man-made polycotton, acrylic and viscose are essentially made of plastic, meaning they’re unable to absorb moisture or conduct heat away from your body. Instead, treat yourself to 100% cotton sheets for those warm nights
• Fill up that hot water bottle and pop it in the freezer before bed time.
• Cool a pillowcase and sheets in the fridge a short while before going to bed (stuff them in a zip-lock bag to keep them dry). Or try one of those new cooling pillowcases. They’re filled with a temperature reactive gel, so the pillows absorb excess heat and draw it away from your body.
• Think that sleeping in the nude is the best idea? Think again – wearing nothing will result in natural fabrics absorbing your perspiration. Rather opt for light cotton nightwear.
• Pop your socks in the fridge along with your pillowcases and sheets – cooling your feet lowers your body’s overall temperature.
• Got long hair? Tie it back, as hair around the neck can make you feel warmer.
• Invest in a good old electric fan. Although quiet tower fans complete with timers and various settings are the modern choice, regular desk fans and pedestal fans will also work. For really hot nights, place a shallow bowl of iced water in front of the fan to help cool down the air.
• Treat yourself to a new bed that flaunts new temperature regulating technology.
homify hint: Point your box fan out the window so that it pushes hot air out. And adjust those ceiling fan settings so the blades run counter-clockwise, pulling hot air up and out.
• Keep as still in your bed as possible, as thrashing around will only make you feel hotter. Perhaps try some meditation techniques?
• Enjoy a cool shower or bath right before bedtime to lower your core body temperature.
• Place a cold flannel or ice cubes in a plastic bag and press them on your pulse points (wrists and neck) to cool down the rest of your body.
• Mix a few lavender essential oils in cold water and sprits it around your bedroom – it’s a fantastic sleeping aid.
• Keep a glass of cold water by your bed to avoid dehydrating. And speaking of which, refrain from alcohol, caffeine or a big meal to heighten your chances of sleep, as they can all aid in dehydration or over-active digestion.
• Sleep alone, as cuddling with a partner increases body heat.
• Rig up a hammock or simple cot – as these types of beds are suspended on all sides, they increase airflow.
From a practical sleeping space to a positive one – see A Feng Shui bedroom in 7 easy steps.