As the hot weather takes hold, millions of us will spend the summer months enjoying the sun, weekend BBQs, and evening drinks. But, as the sun goes down, getting to sleep in the warm weather can be a challenge for some.
In this article, we’ve outlined 27 tried and tested techniques to make it easier to get comfortable in bed during the summer months, explaining how to sleep in hot weather, as well as how a lack of sleep can impact your health.
How can lack of sleep affect your body?
Before we delve into how to sleep more comfortably in hot weather, it’s important to understand why it’s important to get enough rest – and how a lack of sleep during the sweltering summer months can impact your health. For instance, lack of sleep can contribute to:
- Lower cognitive functioning
- Lowers immune system
- Risk of cardiovascular disease
- Reduced blood glucose control
- Greater risk of obesity
During summer in particular, one of the biggest contributors to lack of sleep can be the intense temperatures at night. And not only can this lead to you struggling with each of the above, but you’ll also start to feel exhausted and dehydrated during the day, as well as display signs of overheating and heatstroke.
Fortunately, we’ve outlined some of the simple ways you can get comfortable at night, even when it feels too hot to sleep.
Tips for sleeping in hot weather
We’ve drawn up a list of simple-yet-effective techniques you can follow if you struggle to fall asleep in the warmth. Read on to find out how to sleep in a heatwave, including ways to prevent your body from overheating.
1. Avoid napping
The hot weather we experience during the warm summer months can leave us feeling quite drowsy during the day, as our body expends more energy trying to regulate temperature. However, one of the best sleeping tips is to avoid napping during the day, as this can leave you feeling more alert at night.
2. Stick to your regular routines
As the summer warmth begins to feel a bit overwhelming, it can be tempting to skip regular routines on your way to bed and just dive straight under the covers. However, this can have a detrimental impact on the amount and quality of sleep you enjoy. Where possible, try and stick to your usual evening habits, to give yourself the best possible chance of a comfortable night.
3. Sleep with thin sheets
During the warmer months, it can be useful to swap out the thick blankets and sleep with thinner layers to help regulate your body temperature. This helps you more effectively your comfort levels, which is especially necessary if you’re prone to overheating at night
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4. Cool down with a flannel
It’s widely known that your head plays a huge part in how your body regulates heat. So, as you get into bed, if it’s too hot to sleep, place a cool, wet flannel on your forehead, and you’ll quickly find that your bedroom becomes a much more comfortable sleeping environment.
5. Fill a hot water bottle with ice cold water
While hot water bottles are typically used to keep you warm and cosy in the winter, that doesn’t mean they can’t be used all year round.
Before you get into bed, if it’s too hot to sleep comfortably, fill your hot water bottle with ice cold water, and hold it close to your body combat the summer sweats. Of course, your water bottle will thaw during the night, so it’s useful to combine this method with another on our list.
6. Keep your hands and feet out of the duvet
There’s a reason you suddenly feel a little cooler whenever you hang one foot out from your duvet! We lose a lot of heat through our hands and feet, so pulling your blanket over your limbs could be to key to keeping you cool at night.
7. Take a hot shower
In the height of summer, after enduring a sweltering day in the office or garden, it can be tempting to crank the shower down to freezing and enjoy a refreshing chill. However, while this might offer some initial relief, it won’t prevent you from overheating at night.
In fact, while it might sound counterintuitive, the best way to reduce your overall body temperature is to have a hot wash. This is because, as you step out of the bathroom after a steamy shower or long, hot soak in the bath, your body temperature will naturally drop to adapt to the cooler environment, helping you to get comfortable when sleeping in the heat.
8. Soak your feet and ankles in cold water
We’ve just explained why cold showers aren’t the answer to the unbearable night time heat, but this doesn’t mean you should avoid cold water altogether. In fact, targeted cold can be of great help.
Running your feet and wrists under cold water before bed can quickly transfer coolness throughout your entire body, helping you to settle down for the night more easily.
9. Chill your socks
If you’re wondering how to cool down your feet at night, a simple hot weather hack is to put on a pair of socks that have spent the day chilling in the fridge or freezer. While this might appear to be one of our more cartoonish sleeping tips, chilling your socks is effective at keeping your feet cool and preventing your body from overheating at night.
10. Remained hydrated
The general guidance given to adults is that you should drink between six and eight glasses of water a day. However, in the summer months, you may feel like you need more to keep yourself properly hydrated.
So, if you’re struggling with sleeping in the heat, make sure you’re drinking enough water or fluids throughout the day. However, you should avoid drinking too much caffeinated drinks or alcohol, as these can impact the amount of sleep you can get, as well as the quality of sleep you do achieve.
11. Sleep on your side
Sleeping in the heat on your side is a great way to quickly lower your body temperature, as you expose a much greater proportion of yourself to the air, which helps heat escape.
12. Utilise cooling spray
If you’re struggling to sleep in the hot and clammy summer air, a cooling mist spray that you keep in the fridge during the day can be an extremely effective solution. This is a particularly useful sleeping tip if you’re wondering how to cool yourself down at night quickly as you get into bed.
13. Choose the right sleepwear
What you wear to bed can have an impact on both the amount and quality of sleep you enjoy at night. Choosing loose, temperature-regulating materials will help to draw sweat away from your body on a warm evening, and let your skin breathe comfortably – even when sleeping through a heatwave.
14. Exercise in the morning
Rather than exercising too close to bed, consider heading out on your run or completing your gym session in the morning or on your lunch break – or any time during the day, in fact.
Exercising during the day is a great way to expend abundant energy, and you’ll naturally feel more tired by the time you do get into bed at night. On top of this, exercising too late in the day can raise your body temperature just, which means you’ll risk overheating at night.
15. Turn off your electronics
This one isn’t exclusive to the summer, but is proven to help improve sleep quality in all conditions. Turning off your electrics at night means putting your phone, laptop, or tablet to one side as you get into bed.
The reason for this is that the blue light emitted from your devices disrupts your circadian rhythm (your sleep cycle), making you feel less sleepy and more awake late at night.
16. Draw your curtains before bed
During the summer months, sunlight and warmth can quickly flood your space throughout the day – which can pose a problem at night when you’re trying to get to sleep.
To get around this, simply draw your blinds or curtains a little before you plan on getting into bed, to reduce the overwhelming warmth and keep your bedroom cool and comforting. This is a simple sleeping tip, but one which can ensure you’re keeping cool at night.
17. Keep your curtains drawn
While it’s useful to pull your blinds or curtains shut a little before bed, if you’re wondering how to sleep in a heatwave, consider going one step further and keeping them closed all day. That is, if you’re not worried your neighbours will wonder what’s going on!
Keeping your curtains closed throughout the day eliminates the chance of your room becoming a hot and stuffy prison, and ensures you have a comfortable retreat after a day in the sun.
18. Invest in a fan
Are you wondering how to sleep in a hot and stuffy room as the temperatures continue to soar? If you find it hard to sleep at night because of the warmth, something as simple as a bedside fan could be all you need.
Going to sleep with a fan on helps to regulate airflow and circulate cool air throughout your bedroom, helping you to remain cool, even when sleeping in heat.
19. Ice your bedroom air
If your fan isn’t quite cooling your room down enough, another sleeping tip is to go one step further and ice your bedroom air. To do this, simply fill a tray with ice and cold water, and position it just in front of your fan. As the ice melts during the night, the cool air will be blown in the direction of your bed, helping you to enjoy a comfortable night’s sleep in the heat.
20. Keep your pets off the bed
It can be nice to have your pets in bed with you. They’re cosy and cuddly, and love being by your side. But the more bodies in your bedroom, the harder it is to cool down. So, if the weather’s getting a little warmer, it might be time to keep your pets out of the bedroom.
21. Don’t shut your bedroom door
To keep your bedroom cool at night, it’s important to ensure you properly ventilate your space. This means allowing the air from your open bedroom window to flow through and out of your door. If possible, also open another window outside of your bedroom, to initiate a gentle breeze.
You’ll be grateful for this later on, when you’re ready to get into bed and your bedroom has remained at a cool and comfortable temperature.
22. Ventilate the attic
If your home has an attic, it can be helpful to open any available hatches to improve ventilation. This allows all the hot air that’s risen to escape, which will have the positive effect of cooling down the rest of your home. As a result, you’ll enjoy a cooler bedroom environment, which will prevent your body from overheating at night.
23. Avoid spicy food
Before you go to bed, think about what you’re having for your evening meal, as the food you eat can impact your quality of sleep. This is especially true if you’re eating something spicy, as studies prove that the chemicals found in chillies can quickly raise your body temperature. In short, if you’re wondering how to cool your body down, one of our key tips for sleeping is to avoid hot foods!
24. Avoid stress and keep calm
It’s one of those things that perhaps sounds like it’s easier said than done, but stress and anxiety can make it harder to sleep at the best of times – so it can feel almost impossible to drift off into a cosy slumber on a hot night. However, there are a series of simple ways to reduce anxiety at night.
If you are feeling stressed, rather than worrying about getting to sleep, the best thing to do is take deep breaths and try to spread yourself out into a comfortable position. Once you’ve managed to cool your body down, you may find it easier to sleep.
25. Consider your duvet tog rating
When you get into bed after a warm summer’s day, you want to settle down for a comfortable night’s sleep. So it’s important to ensure your choice of duvet supports this and prevents your body from overheating.
A duvet’s tog rating refers to its overall warmth, with lower tog duvets often favoured during the hotter months. Generally, if you have a duvet with a tog rating of 7 or below, you’ll be able to enjoy a comfortable night’s rest, but this is down to personal preference. For even more insight, check out our complete guide to duvet togs.
26. Invest in the right pillow
If you want to keep cool throughout the summer, it can be helpful to invest in a temperature regulating pillow that keeps your head cool as you sleep – even when it feels too hot to sleep. Buying pillows that regulate body temperature will help to ensure you remain comfortable during the night, which will improve long-term sleep quality.
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27. Choose natural bedding
Just as it’s important to buy the right pillows, investing in natural, temperature regulating bedding will allow you to enjoy complete comfort at night as you slip off into a long and relaxing sleep. Eucalyptus silk sheets and duvets are breathable and moisture-wicking, preventing your body from overheating and helping you to sleep soundly without waking up in sweats.