How to Sleep When It's Unbearably Hot
Every summer, I wonder if it's hot enough to finally invest in an air conditioning unit and every summer I remember I live in the UK and this heat wave will pass far too quickly so, no.
Saying that, we are indeed experiencing one of those heat waves right now and the nights are proving to be rather steamy (and not for any fun reason other than the stuffy temps). If you're one who already struggles to fall asleep or stay asleep, hot temperatures can make bedtime even more frustrating.
"Temperature is quite important for your ability to sleep, and that's an underestimated factor," says Matthew Ebben, PhD and assistant professor in the Department of Neurology and Neuroscience at NYP/Weill Cornell Center for Sleep Medicine. "Part of your biological rhythms include a cooling of your body as you're sleeping during the night," If it's hot out, your body cannot cool down as needed for sleep to set in, so it might take you longer to fall asleep if heat is not released from your body pre-bedtime.
Oftentimes, high temperatures can also kick-start a stress response in your body that can disrupt your sleep, so you might not be able to stay in that deep restorative sleep as easily throughout the night.
A cool room, ideally at a temperature between 15 and 19 degrees Celsius, will facilitate the sleep process nicely, on the other hand.
So, what can you do to combat feeling too hot at night?
Buy an AC
Studies have found that the air in your house at night often stays the same temps as it was outside during the day, so without aircon to force the air to cool down, you could find yourself basically trying to sleep in midday heat.
Sleep in temperature regulating PJs
Contrary to popular belief, sleeping without any clothes on could make you even hotter, as sweat will just sit on your skin. Nightire's bamboo sleepwear wicks away moisture from your skin to keep you cool and dry throughout the night.
Shower or bath before bed
If you heat up your body before you go to sleep (with a hot shower or bath) then get out of said shower or bath into cooler air, your body's temperature will cool down and you will find yourself growing sleepy (cool body = sleepy body).
Get a fan
Obviously, if you don't have aircon, a fan is a decent second option. Plus! White noise can be helpful because it drowns out other noises that might disrupt your sleep (that's an added bonus). The best way to set up your fan for ultimate cooling is for it to spin counter-clockwise to push hot air out of the way.
Use ice packs or cold compresses
Place these on your pulse points such as your wrist, ankles, behind the knees, and neck, and it will cool down your whole body. You could also try invest in a pillow that literally stays cold the whole night. We have heard The Bear Pillow and Nest Bedding's Cool Pillow are really good options here.
Invest in bamboo bedding
Nightire’s 100% organic bamboo bedding (pillowcases are available for now and soon full duvet sets will be up for sale too) do the exact same as our sleepwear - the fabric is light, breathable and wicks moisture away from your skin. This helps you to not get hot under the covers, as they say.
Don't use memory foam
Super comfortable, but memory foam can be insulating, so it will trap heat in your body. If you can switch to a different type of mattress or remove your memory foam mattress pad for the season, that might be a real game-changer.
Drink plenty of water prior to bed to counter the sweating you will do, but obviously not too much that you are up during the night for loo breaks. Try to avoid alcohol as much as possible for about four hours before bed, because it can dehydrate you in the middle of the night.
Try some breathing exercises
If you're stuck in a hot bed and feeling frustrated about the sweaty mess you're in, try doing a breathing exercise to take your mind off the temperature and calm you down. Breathe in for four counts, hold your breath for seven, and exhale for eight counts until you fall asleep.
Hope that helps!
Written by Nina Clark, Nightire founder