If you’ve landed on this blog, it’s probably because, like the rest of the UK at the moment, you’re dreading going to sleep tonight in this heatwave. And we don’t blame you - it’s ridiculously warm! Now, we all love the hot weather when it means picnics, ice cream and the occasional Pimm’s, but when it comes to trying to get a good night’s kip it’s a whole different story. So we’re more than ready to spill the beans from our sleep tool Kip Advisor and all our top tips for getting good sleep during the hot weather. Read on to find out what we recommend.
If you keep up with our work here at Beingwell, you’ll know all about our sleep tool Kip Advisor. One thing we reiterate a lot is that in order to drop off at night, we need to firstly drop our heart rate, which usually means doing something relaxing to get it to slow down a bit, and secondly, a drop in our core temperature. So, we wanted to know, does this change when it’s 30+ degrees outside? How can we drop our core temperature when we’re in an English heatwave - the worst of them all in our opinion!
Tip #1: Create good airflow
Our first tip is to make sure you get good airflow in your sleep environment. Open the windows on both sides of the house and to ensure that shutters, curtains or blinds are closed in the bedroom when there’s direct sunlight shining through.
Quick question - What about fans? Are they a yay or a nay?
Whilst some people hate the sound a fan makes and can’t stand it being on whilst they try to sleep, others may find the white noise it creates soothing. If you’re the latter, putting some ice cold water in front of a desk fan can help blow cool air around the room. So really, it’s all down to personal preference for this one!
Tip #2: Choose the right materials
There’s always a lot of questions around this - are there ‘cooler’ materials we should use on a hot night? Well, bamboo is a great material for bedding as it absorbs moisture. If we do opt for cotton bedding, remember that the higher the thread count, the less breathable the fabric is so steer clear of high thread count cotton! As for duvets, alpaca fleece is brilliant as it absorbs and wicks moisture really well, and other good options would be wool, silk, and man made fibres like Smartfil.
Tip #3: Stick to your sleep schedule
As temperatures don’t really drop until later at night during a heatwave, we might wonder if we should still be sticking to a regular sleep schedule. Is this the one time we should break our sleep routine to stand a chance at cooler, more comfortable sleep? Well, whether it’s hot or not outside at bedtime, it’s all about having a targeted sleep time, but we definitely shouldn’t jump into bed if we’re not sleep. This particularly applies in hot weather, and we need to listen to our body and ensure we are trying to do things that drop our heart rate, be relaxed and drop our core temperature, by using a shower or hot water bottle.
And on that note…
Tip #4: Drop your core temperature
Now this can be achieved in more ways than one. If you fancy having a bath or shower before bed, be sure the water is of a lukewarm temperature, not freezing cold. A freezing shower, or putting your pillow/bedding duvet in the freezer (yep, people do it!), is counterproductive too close to bedtime because it wakes us up and it is thought that the body can try and counteract the cold by heating itself up. If you don’t have time for a warm shower, fill a hot water bottle with lukewarm water and put your bare feet on it. This has a similar effect of raising your core temperature slightly and then it drops, helping prepare the body for sleep.
Tip #5: Try not to worry too much
Easier said than done, for sure! But do not worry too much about it if your sleep isn’t great during this weather. If you spend all day telling yourself you are not going to sleep tonight because it is too hot, then you will most likely struggle to sleep tonight, because you have convinced yourself to be stressed and anxious about it! Tell yourself yes, you may sleep worse, but you will be fine tomorrow, and sure enough, the temperature will drop and it will start raining again - we are in the UK after all!
Final note: Stressing about our sleep in this heat is only going to make matters worse. Remind yourself that you’ll always be able to catch up on sleep, and that the cold is always around the corner (hate to break it to you). And in the meantime, there are small, simple changes we can do to try to get as much good sleep as possible.