How to sleep during a heatwave and the cooling buys that will help

how to sleep in a heatwave
How to sleep during a heatwavesimplehappyart

While hot weather is a blessing when you can crack out the BBQ and spend time sunning yourself in the garden, it can become a nightmare when you’re trying to get some much-needed sleep.

If you're anything like us, as soon as rumour of a heatwave appears, you probably start looking for new ways to sleep comfortably in the heat.

"When you’re hot, you become restless and toss and turn more in bed," says Lisa Artis, a sleep advisor from the UK Sleep Council. "The body can’t cool itself down, which interrupts the relaxation process needed to fall asleep."

We all know how important good sleep habits are for staying healthy and feeling your best and, after just one or two nights of poor kip, you may find yourself becoming a tad grumpy or struggling to concentrate.

But there’s no reason to give in to a night of tossing, turning and whipping back the covers with a sweaty, defeated sigh – there are plenty of ways you can beat the heat in your bedroom.

These are our top, expert-recommended tips to help you sleep better in a heatwave, plus the GHI's tried and tested product recommendations to help you keep your cool.

How to sleep when it’s warm

1. Ditch the flannel pjs

It may sound obvious but it’s still worth mentioning: no matter how cosy your fave pyjamas might be, if you want to avoid waking up a sweaty mess, it’s best to switch long-sleeved shirts and trousers for floatier camisoles and shorts in lightweight, breathable materials.

Remember to wash your night clothes regularly too, as sweat and dead skin cells can build up within the material and you’ll obviously sweat more when it’s warmer outside.

Lisa recommends choosing sleepwear made from natural materials, like cotton and linen, which will absorb perspiration, and avoiding manmade fibres like polyester.

We recommending reading our wellness editor's review of Modibodi’s cooling sleep pyjamas if you suffer from night sweats.

2. Roll out the summer duvet

Of course, you can just sleep under a sheet if you prefer, but if you don't like being in bed without a proper cover, then look for a duvet with a low tog rating.

Lisa says that while things like this ultimately come down to personal preference, a three or four tog option – rather than the nine or 10 tog you’d use in autumn – should do the trick.

And if you don’t want the hassle of buying a different duvet for every season, consider purchasing an all-seasons duvet. They have a three-in-one design made up of one lighter tog duvet and another heavier part, which can be used separately or fastened together to suit any weather.

Saying that, if you’re a hot sleeper, there are also one or two tog versions that might be more suitable for your needs.

3. Switch to linen bedding

Aside from being luxurious-looking, linen bedding also comes with a range of cooling benefits. Impressively, this material can hold up to 20% of its weight in water before it starts to feel wet, making it the king of fabrics when it comes to wicking away sweat.

"Linen is the only fabric that becomes stronger when wet," says Molly Freshwater, co-founder of Secret Linen Store. "Unlike cotton, it can absorb a fair amount of moisture without feeling damp on your skin, so it's a great fabric for bedding during warm summer nights."

4. Invest in a quiet fan

The obvious solution to suffering in a boiling hot room is to open a window. Saying that, when it comes to sleeping, you might have safety concerns or want to avoid bugs getting in.

In this case, it's a good idea to invest in a bedroom fan. There are plenty of near-silent models available that won't disturb your sleep.

There is some evidence to suggest that having a fan on overnight can play a part in circulating dust and allergens around a room, so consider whether this might be an issue for you first.

However, if you're worried about allergies, or agitating your hayfever, there are also air purifying fans (like the Dyson Pure Cool tower fan) that work to remove pollutants and allergens while cooling the room.

5. Opt for bedding with cooling elements

If you’ve opened the window, switched a fan on, swapped to lighter fabrics and you’re still too hot, it might be worth investing in a pillow or mattress designed with specific cooling properties.

Opt for pillows with cooling gel pads or ones that have been designed with cooling inner layers to prevent the build-up of heat.

But, if it's still not enough and you need more than just a cool head at night, check out our guide to the best bedding for hot sleepers, which has all the products you need for the perfect temperature-controlled bed set-up. Now you're heatwave ready.

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