When “Sleep Geek” James Wilson offered up 7 tips to aid sleep in hot weather, I just knew people would want to know more. In the past week alone, I’ve lost count of the people I’ve spoken to who have complained about poor sleep due to the sticky, hot weather. So what can be done?
7 tips to aid sleep in hot weather:
Let the fresh air in
During the day open windows on either side of the house. Get a nice airflow through and when direct sunlight is on a room ensure the blinds or curtains are closed.
Have a bath before bed
Have a warm bath or shower in the hour before bed. This will slightly raise your core temperature and as you get out of the bath your temperature will drop, which helps you feel sleepy.
“Hot” water bottle
Another great tip with a similar theme is to fill a hot water bottle with lukewarm water and place your bare feet on it. As above, it will raise your core temperature slightly and then it drops, helping your body prepare for sleep.
Your mattress could be adding to you struggling to sleep in the heat. A mattress made of a solid block of foam or latex, is going to make you warmer. For many people, even a foam topper can make them too hot for sleep. I find springs the best option for temperature regulation. On some occasions, filling made of natural materials like wool or silk can help.
Separate covers for sound sleep
A tip that is a real winner for staying cooler in bed is to have a separate duvet or sheets from your partner. Sharing a duvet with a partner means that as well as your body heat you are also getting theirs as well. This can make you both hotter. We also often have different temperature needs to the person we share a bed with. Having separate covers can allow us to adapt to our own needs.
Think about the materials your bedding and duvet is made from. We often perceive that high thread count cotton bedding is luxurious and cool, but actually, the higher the thread count, the less airflow cotton bedding gives, meaning something like Egyptian cotton is not the best material in the summer. Try something like bamboo to help your body breathe.
Get in the right mindset
I find the biggest issue many of us face when it comes to sleeping in hot weather is our mindset. We convince ourselves that it is just too hot and that we won’t sleep tonight. This then leads onto how awful it will be tomorrow if we don’t sleep tonight and before you know it, you have caused your heart rate to rise and you have talked yourself into sleeping poorly. My advice is not to worry too much about it. We live in the UK, at some point the weather will break and it will cool down again. Until then just try and get the best sleep you can.
Also known as ‘The Sleep Geek’, James Wilson is one of the UK’s leading sleep experts. He is a trained Sleep Practitioner, working with individuals on a one-on-one basis and also with organisations such as the NHS, as well as within the sport sector. He is a passionate advocate for poor sleepers, raising awareness of the impact of poor sleep and debunking commons myths. His approach is based on helping those who sleep poorly to understand the simple science behind sleep, and how to apply this and sleep soundly.
For more health tips from “The People’s Friend”, click here