12 tips for when it’s too hot to sleep
Many of us find it almost impossible to get to sleep when the temperature soars, and it's no wonder, as 16-18 degrees is the optimum bedroom temperature for a restful night’s sleep. So how can you keep your bedroom - and yourself - cool when it’s roasting outside?
Check out these tips for staying chilled when it’s too hot to sleep. Some of them might surprise you…
How to cool your bedroom down
There are plenty of things you can do during the day to help your room stay cool - it’s all about reducing the amount of warm air that’s trapped in the room.
1. Use fans or air con
Air con units are a bit of an investment, but if you really struggle to sleep in the heat, look for a portable unit that you can set up in your bedroom. A more popular - and cheaper - alternative is to buy an electric fan instead. A fan won’t necessarily lower the core temperature of your room, but by moving the air around, your bedroom will feel far less stuffy and you’ll find it easier to sleep in the heat.
2. Get a through-breeze going
During the day when the sun is at its highest, leave your doors and windows open as much as possible. By promoting air flow, you’ll find each of your rooms - including your bedroom - feels less hot. Just remember to clear the windowsills so flapping curtains or blinds don’t knock things over, and keep an eye out for the kids (or your cat).
3. Gear up your bedroom
Beds are generally very good at trapping heat when you slide into them, which is why you’ll feel too hot during summer nights. Traditional memory foam stack mattresses can be super comfy at first, but they also get hot, which makes you sink in. So when we set out to build the Simba Hybrid® Mattress, it was the first problem we set out to solve. So as well as cleverly contouring comfort springs (which also act like air-flow bellows), we added a cooling layer using open-cell foam and a hypoallergenic sleep surface that supports temperature regulation.
4. Block out the light
It sounds counterintuitive, but pulling the curtains or blinds over your windows can stop sunlight heating up your rooms too much. You don’t want to trap heat inside, either, so we recommend opting for light, semi-opaque curtains that let your room glow with sunlight, but which don’t let in the full force of the sun.
5. Stop using gadgets
Your gadgets may be small and innocent looking, but one of the most effective ways to cool a room is to turn off every single electronic you can. This especially applies to the bedroom where we often have phones, TVs, electric toothbrushes, and more plugged in. Switch off all your electronics to stop them emitting heat, as together they can build up and make quite a difference.
How to cool your body
It’s not always easy to prepare in advance and keep your bedroom cool. Luckily, there’s another approach you can try - cooling your bed, or yourself, instead.
1. Freeze a hot water bottle
Using a hot water bottle might sound crazy but this one's backed by the UK’s Sleep Council. Either freeze a hot water bottle filled with water, or fill it with cold water and ice cubes and place in your bed 30 minutes before you go to sleep. This will help bring your core body temperature down and induce sleep.
Alternatively, soak a flannel in some cold water, wring it out and place it on pulse points like the insides of your elbows and knees, the tops of your feet and the insides of your ankles. Cooling your body down will help you sleep in the summer heat - we guarantee it.
2. Switch the duvet
If you have a duvet with a high tog count, consider switching it for something lighter - and check out this guide to tog counts first.
An easier option is to look for a duvet that's specifically designed to offer good temperature regulation. You can try natural fibres like wool, which is a breathable option that also wicks away moisture on sweaty nights. You could go for the Simba Hybrid® Duvet, which uses Stratos® technology to absorb, store and release heat, which means you shouldn’t feel too hot or too cold. It does this using a fabric application based on the phase change technology designed to keep astronauts at a stable body temperature.
If that wasn't enough, it also packs a super soft, completely recycled, vegan-friendly hypoallergenic fill that's enriched with semi-conducting minerals that help move heat away from you. Now that's what we call cool innovation!
3. Turn up the heat
If it’s too hot to sleep, you could always try making things… well, hotter. A cold shower to ‘cool off’ might seem like a great idea, but this will actually reduce blood flow to the skin, leading to an unintended core temperature increase. Try having a brief warm shower or bath at about 33°C. When sweat evaporates off our skin it has a cooling effect and can increase the amount of heat lost from the body by up to 10 times.
4. Eat smart
Scrap carbohydrate-heavy meals and swap them for lighter foods such as mackerel, spinach and melon which all have sleep inducing properties. Too much carbohydrate will continue to be digested by the body and increase our internal temperature. We teamed up with expert nutritionist Lily Soutter to create a scientifically charged 3-course meal for the perfect night’s sleep. Find all the recipes here.
5. Know your materials
Your pillows and bedding can join your duvet in helping keep your temperature stable. Bamboo, silk, cotton and other breathable linen can keep things breezy - the perfect complement for our height-adjustable Simba Hybrid® Pillows, which also use Stratos™ temperature regulation and that clever heat-dissipating fill. Well, you can't get too much of a good thing, right?
Choosing to wear cooler pyjamas can help you sleep in the heat too. Opt for the same breathable materials that you want in your bed. Or you could just...
6. Sleep naked
That’s right! Skip the pyjama drama altogether by sleeping nude to stay cool at night. It’s not for everybody, but if you feel really warm, you might find it helps a lot. You can read more about the virtues of sleeping pyjama-free here.
7. Fridge it
If you have space in your fridge (or freezer), you might try something really off-the-wall and - yes - put your pillow or pyjamas in there.
There are some caveats to this, namely that your pillow or PJs won’t stay cool for long, and that you need to make sure you wrap them tightly in a bag first. You don’t want to get any food on them!