Tossing and turning, throwing a leg over the sheets and frustrated by the fact that you can’t get to sleep, or that you’ve woken up sweaty and flustered. These are the familiar signs of yet another uncomfortable summer night. We’ve all been there. Unless you’re willing to run the air con all night (possibly not the most cost and environmentally efficient solution) you need to get creative with ways to stay cool. Living in Australia, our summers aren’t likely to be cooling down anytime soon. In fact, last summer it wasn’t unusual to experience nights with a minimum of 26 degrees! So here are our best ‘sleeping in the heat’ tips to help you get through the hottest part of the year.
- Have a cool shower or tepid bath just before bed. Not only will it leave you feeling fresh after a hot and sticky day as you slip under the bed sheets, but it is proven to bring down the body temperature, which is a great way to start the night.
Opt for lightweight, breathable bed sheets, like cotton, bamboo or Tencel®. It’s also a good idea to sleep on a feather or down pillow with a cotton pillowcase. Switch out your doona for a lightweight summer blanket (if the sheet alone isn’t enough).
Pull out the hot water bottle and set it to chill. In other words, fill it with icy cold water and use it to cool down your feet.
Get creative with your fan positioning - set it up across from an open window so the wind from outside and the fan combine to offer a cooling cross breeze. Or point a box fan out the window in order to push the hot air out. Also, did you know, most ceiling fans are reversible. Typically ceiling fans should rotate counterclockwise in summer to push cool air down creating a cool breeze.
- Go old school and set up your own DIY air conditioner. Place a shallow bowl of ice in front of a fan situated on your tallboy or bedside table. The breeze will pick up the cold water from the ice as it melts, creating a cooling mist.
- Drink a glass of chilled water before going to sleep - this will naturally cool down your body. Also, always keep a glass of water by the bed to help to stay hydrated if you wake in the night.
- While the idea of a cold beer or chilled glass of white wine sounds tempting, try to avoid alcohol. The end result of a restless nights sleep on a hot night feels enough like a hangover as it is! A big meal should also be avoided as both dehydration and over-active digestion can both contribute to increased body temperature.
- Think ahead. On hot days ensure the bedroom is kept dark. Turn the lights off and keep curtains or blinds closed. Open the window only when a cooler breeze arrives in the early evening.
Wear loose and lightweight cotton nightwear. The jury is out on whether going naked cools you down or makes you more uncomfortable and likely to sweat. We’ll leave that very personal choice up to you.
- Allow some room between you and your partner. Let’s face it, cuddling is great and all, but isn’t going to keep either of you cool during the summer months. It helps if you have a big enough bed. Take advantage of summer sales and Upsize offers and invest in a bigger bed.