How to Sleep in Hot Weather
Does your sleep suddenly get interrupted in hot weather?
Do you often wake up sticking to the sheets?
Do you feel like your body temperature just isn’t settling?
The ideal temperature for sleep is around 16-18°C, but your brain only needs to be a fraction cooler than the rest of your body for you to sleep well. When your brain is hot, you’ll be tossing and turning more in the night, so you’ll want to keep your body temperature low.
At John Ryan By Design, we take the quality of your sleep very seriously, especially when it comes to keeping you comfortable at night. With this in mind, we wanted to take you through our quick and easy guide to show you how to sleep in hot weather.
Cool the Room
On sunny days, it helps to shut the curtains and blinds in your bedroom. This will keep some of the daytime heat at bay, and prevent the room temperature from rising. You can maximise airflow by simply leaving a couple of windows slightly open during the night. Electronics also give off heat, so make sure that you turn off any gadgets and gizmos in your room when you’re trying to lower the temperature.
Cool Your Extremities
Consider fridge-cooling your socks! Cooling your feet actually lowers the temperature of your entire body. Dangling your feet (and/or hands) outside the duvet also has benefits. This is why running your wrists under cold water is a common piece of advice during a heatwave.
Did you know? A cold shower or bath before bed actually raises your body temperature! You should wash in tepid water instead.
Stop exercising late in the evening. Regular exercise is great for your sleep, but too much exercise late in the day can make it difficult to completely cool down before bed time.
Remember that most people can function on a night or two’s disturbed sleep. Don’t get stressed if sleep is elusive. By all means get up and do something calming like reading, but stay away from phones and other screens. The blue light they emit actually stimulates us.
Unusually hot weather can lead to you varying your usual sleep routines. However, you really don’t want to do that! Your bedtime and sleep routines are your routines for a reason. They work for you, so you don’t want to change them in hot weather.
Hot air rises, so sleeping downstairs can actually help you to stay cooler! If possible, give all that warm air somewhere to go as well. If you happen to have an attic room with a window, leave it open slightly, so the heat can escape.
Did you know? Sleeping low to the floor can cool you down. Temporarily, you could therefore consider putting your mattress on the floor. However, a downstairs bedroom is the more permanent solution, as a mattress without a base can eventually sweat or develop mould.
When the weather is hot, we can feel lethargic. This is because regulating our body temperatures takes more energy, but try your best to avoid napping during the daytime. When trying to sleep in the heat, the feeling of sleepiness can be hard to come by, so save it until it matters.
If you’re used to sharing your bed with a partner (or your pets!) then it might be an idea to avoid doing that in hot weather. A bit more personal space can keep your core temperature down.
Sleep Au Naturel
It’s not for everyone, but sleeping naked can give you a better night’s rest in hot weather. The lack of pyjamas keeps you cooler, but it also allows your body temperature to better regulate. If you’re not comfortable sleeping naked, then pyjamas made from light cotton are the best alternative.
Sleep on Your Side
Side sleeping is already the most common sleeping position, but it also has benefits in hot weather. Sleeping on your side exposes the maximum portion of your body, which lets more heat escape. Spreading out (like a starfish!) is also a simple and easy way to increase air flow around your limbs.
Soak Up Sun
The more sunlight you’re out and about in during the daytime, the less sensitive you are to lighter nights. You should still try and ensure that the room you sleep in is as dark as possible, but making the most of the sun helps to establish regular sleep patterns.
Stay Away From Spice
Skipping spicy food before bed can keep your body temperature lower. In fact, you should altogether avoid eating late in the evenings, as this can cause your body temperature to rise, as your metabolism works overtime. Have a lighter meal earlier if you can.
Think About Drink
Keep yourself well hydrated throughout the day, but not too close to bedtime. You don’t want to be thirsty during the night, but equally you don’t want to be disturbed by needing a trip to the bathroom. Avoid caffeinated hot drinks too, and alcohol. Lots of people drink more alcohol in hot weather, but it actually encourages poorer sleep and early morning waking.
Did you know? Drinking a hot drink can help you to cool down! Hot drinks make you sweat and – if that extra sweat can evaporate – lower the amount of stored heat in your body.
Use a Fan
A small fan is especially effective when the weather is humid, as long as it’s not too near your face. A fan encourages sweat to evaporate, which does wonders for regulating your body temperature. You can even position your fan just behind a tray of ice and water (or a bowl of ice cubes) to blow cooler air in your direction. Failing a fan, a hot water bottle full of ice cold liquid can be very useful, as can a fridge-cooled flannel on your forehead.
Did you know? A sock that’s filled with rice and tied with an elastic band can make a great alternative “cold water bottle”. Pop it in the freezer like an ice pack, and then cool your face and neck with it.
Use Thinner Sheets
You’ll definitely want to reduce the amount of bedding you use in hot weather, but do keep additional covers to hand. Your body temperature usually falls in the night, so you can still wake during the night feeling cold in a previously hot room. It’s also possible to pop your bedsheets in the fridge for 30 minutes before you sleep, or dampen them slightly!
Did you know? Light-coloured cotton sheets are the best choice for hot weather. Other natural bedding choices like linen or bamboo fibres are good too.
The Right Mattress
Many people have turned to memory foam and synthetic fibre mattresses due to advertisements of ‘space age comfort’. However, these are the warmest mattress materials you can choose. With the wrong mattress, it won’t be long before you’re feeling sweaty, clammy and losing sleep in hot weather. Memory foam relies on heat retention, so there’s also no way to cool it down (other than to stop sleeping on it!).
When you’ve got your room temperature sorted and your body heat sorted, it’s time to make sure you get your mattress sorted. If you’re getting too hot in the summer, you may find that your current mattress simply isn’t helping. Perhaps it’s too thick, is filled with synthetic man made fibres, or just holds onto heat longer than you’d like. At John Ryan, we’re proud to offer sleeping solutions that are perfect for when you want to grab some soothing shuteye.
To help avoid overheating, we recommend that you opt for a more natural and traditional mattress. Our bespoke Artisan Range of mattresses has been tried and tested during its construction method to combat the heat.
They’re not only designed to offer high-quality comfort and support, but these traditional Pocket Sprung Mattresses are made with completely natural fillings. These fillings provide a cool sleep surface: one that’s refreshingly more breathable, responsive and durable than other synthetic counterparts. Natural fibres – such as wool, bamboo and alpaca – are both breathable and high wicking. This means they allow air to flow much more efficiently between you and the fibres, whilst also wicking moisture away from the body. They’re the ideal complement for someone who’s looking for a better night’s sleep in hot weather.
Combine your mattress with all-natural comfort layers to fully support your body’s pressure points and overall temperature regulation. You’ll wonder why you ever looked at heat-retentive memory foam again! Your preference for a soft, medium or firm comfort layer is – of course – down to you.
Whether you prefer the softness of the Artisan Luxury, the medium balance of the Artisan Bespoke 004, or the supportive firmness of the Artisan Bespoke, with John Ryan you’ll be able to find a mattress that will work wonders for keeping your body cool, calm and utterly relaxed, allowing you to gently drift off into your dreams.
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