How To Stay Cool At Night

Britain has been basking in a sunny spring and there’s every indication that the summer will be equally as glorious.

We all know the benefits of a good night's sleep. But lots of people struggle to get their recommended eight hours shut-eye a night. Feelings of profound tiredness, irritability and a lack of productivity the following day can blight the summer for many.

During the UK’s longest heatwave for more than 40 years, in the summer of 2018, a sleep expert reported that between 30 and 50 per cent of all people seen at their clinic were experiencing problems with having a restful night due to heat.

And with our summers showing no sign of cooling down, we will all need to find ways to quite literally chill out if we’re going to catch those all-important Zs every night.

Tackle The Seemingly Obvious First

Research shows there is an optimal temperature at which to sleep. The Sleep Council suggests this is around 18 to 20 degrees centigrade. A few notches on the thermometer above this can really impact on how easy we find it to drop off.

Keeping a window open at night helps, though sometimes this might not be possible for security or noise reasons. Most modern windows can be opened a little on a lock setting, but it’s usually safest to keep downstairs ones shut.

During the day, use blinds to keep out sunlight and keep your indoor temperature down; remember, heat rises, so you could even consider installing an air conditioning system to maintain a cooler bedroom. Some people find a dark sheet placed up against the bedroom window can help, or you could consider positioning some ice packs in front of the opening in a bid to cool down any breeze coming in.

Darkness is important, as is reducing noise which can disrupt sleep. Switch off those devices before bed as the light emitted can disrupt our circadian rhythms – the body’s natural sleep-regulating system.

Turn Your Bedroom Into An Oasis Of Cool Calm

Water is a fantastic cooling agent. A shower or a bath at a cooler temperature than normal can lower body temperature, as can using a spray of mist to apply water to the skin. A fan in the room will also help.

Light pyjamas and sleepwear are a must, or consider wearing no pyjamas at all. Drink lots of cool fluids or freeze a damp washcloth to make a cold pack for your head – even frozen veggies can work wonderfully to apply a cooling pack to the body.

You may wish to limit contact with your partner during the night when you need your rest. Also, even if the bottom of your bed is your pet’s favourite snoozing place, it’s probably best to encourage them to sleep elsewhere.

A bed frame with slats is likely to allow air to circulate better than a divan base and iron or brass frames are better at conducting heat away from the bed than the padded, cushioned and insulated variety that we all tend to favour during the cold winter months.