Can’t Sleep In The Heat? Try these …
Updated: Jan 19
‘The Sleep Geek’ shares his top tips to help with our recent sleep SOS moments.
It won’t come as a shock that meteorologists think that 2020 could actually be the hottest year since records began. This presents us with a whole host of issues and challenges ... one of those being:
How on earth are we meant to sleep when it's uncomfortably hot and sticky ... and you don’t have aircon? We’ve all been there before. You’re lying in your bed sweating, the hands on the clock keep turning past another long hour, you have to get up in the morning and yet it seems as though you’re never.going.to.fall.asleep.
James Wilson AKA ‘The Sleep Geek’ (and also a core member of the BeingWell family), is here to help:
If you’re struggling to sleep in the heat, try these:
1. Generate a smooth airflow through the house. Keep your windows open on both sides of the house (as long as it’s safe to do so) - particularly during the beginning and end of the day when it’s cooler.
2. Copy nature and create shade! Close the blinds or curtains in rooms that are exposed to direct sunlight during the day. This will help the room stay cooler for when you go back to bed in the evening.
3. If you’re sleeping next to a partner, try having a separate sheet or duvet.
This stops your partner’s heat from drifting over to your side of the bed and making you too hot. It also means that if you run at different temperatures one of you can enjoy just a sheet, whereas the other can enjoy a duvet.
4. Check what your bedding is made out of. Whilst high thread counts can be seen as the pinnacle attribute of good quality sheets, WATCH OUT. The higher the thread count, the less breathable it is. Cotton is really good at absorbing moisture, but not so good at wicking it away. Our top recommendations for sheets and pillow cases are materials such as bamboo or Steadybody. These both allow the moisture from the body to wick away quickly and efficiently. For your duvet, you could try materials like alpaca fleece, bamboo, silk, wool or a man made fibre designed to wick away moisture.
5. Use water to your advantage!
There are many ways you can make use of water before bed to try and drop your core temperature. Try taking a lukewarm bath or shower (it will initially raise your temp but it will drop when you get out). If you want to try something different, fill a hot water bottle full of lukewarm water. YES, really. Place your feet on it as you fall asleep. This will have a similar effect to the shower and will actually cool your core temp (after temporarily causing it to rise). If you’re using a fan, place a bowl of chilled water in front of it to cool the stream of air that will circulate the room.
6. Absolutely never, ever, put your pyjamas, sheets, pillow cases or duvet into the freezer before using them for bed.
These approaches will add more moisture to your sleep environment and that moisture will heat up during the night. This means that although it may cool you down as you go to bed, during the night this moisture will heat up and is likely to wake you as you come out of your sleep cycle.
Above all, the golden rule is: don’t beat yourself up and try not to panic! It might be hard, but staying calm and accepting that you might not have the best sleep of your life will actually do you a lot of favours.
The biggest thing that’s going to impact us from not getting to sleep is telling ourselves that we won’t sleep. A lot of people get more and more anxious that they're not going to get to sleep when it’s hot …. which makes the problem a whole lot worse. You’ve handled days on less sleep before, so trust us, you’ve got this! Don't worry, cooler evenings will return.