If you’re prone to tossing and turning when the mercury rises, don’t sweat it. Our Sleep Specialists have more than a few tricks up their sleeves for staying cool at night, when the temperatures take a turn for the tropical…

Here in the UK we’re not generally accustomed to hot weather; so when the Great British summer serves up a serious dose of sunshine many of us struggle to get a decent night’s sleep. Most importantly, we all know how detrimental that can be to both our mental and physical well-being.

Be Prepared

Part of the problem is that soaring temperatures in the UK are somewhat unpredictable; so our homes are simply not equipped to handle them. But the sad reality of climate change is that the planet as a whole is getting hotter, and the UK is no exception: according to Met Office data, heatwaves have been made 30 times more likely! In conclusion, the average summer temperatures are up to 5.4° warmer than they were between 1981-2000.

With this in mind; it’s sensible to plan ahead and invest in some key items that will keep you comfortable in hot weather. Don’t wait until a heatwave strikes to try and buy a fan or an air-conditioning unit; as they quickly become as scarce as hen’s teeth with a price tag to match!

Think Natural

Natural fibres like cotton and linen are far superior to man-made fabrics when it comes to staying cool at night. Wearing loose-fitting nightwear made from organic materials can make a huge difference too; but be sure your bed linen is doing its bit too. Step away from synthetics and choose sheets in fabrics renowned for their thermo-regulating and sweat-wicking properties. For example, Egyptian cotton and percale. It’s also worth knowing that light-coloured sheets will keep you cooler than dark ones, as they reflect sunlight rather than absorbing it.

If you like to use a duvet all year round, switch your winter-weight quilt for a lightweight tog between one and seven; and opt for natural fillings such as feather, down or wool for enhanced breathability. Swapping your pillow for one with a natural filling also makes sense; especially when you consider that the head is one of the hottest parts of the body! In addition, don’t forget your mattress protector should also be breathable; otherwise your best efforts to create a cooling haven will fall at the final heat-trapping hurdle.

What’s on the Inside?

Do you know what type of mattress you’re lying on and what it’s filled with? There’s a whole host of options on the market; but when it comes to air flow and breathability it’s generally the case that sprung mattresses with natural fillings are the way to go.

The Sleep Council recommends you change your mattress every seven years; so if it’s time for an upgrade it may be worth considering not just comfort, but coolness too. We’ve been matchmaking our customers with their perfect mattress for years, so we can help you bust through the jargon to find the one that ticks all your boxes. Our collection includes mattresses from expert manufacturers including Parker Beds, Somnus and Millbrook; all of whom produce sprung mattresses with temperature-regulating fillings such as cotton, lambswool, mohair and silk.

If you’re not looking to update your current mattress, it may be worth adding a natural-fibre topper; such as the Somnus British Wool Topper, which can transform your mattress with a layer of cushioning that works in harmony with your body.

Go with the Flow

Research shows that the ideal temperature for a bedroom is 16–18°; meanwhile anything above 24° can make it difficult to doze off. Maximising the air flow through your sleep space is crucial on a hot day, and there are several techniques you can apply to achieve this.

Opening a window seems like an obvious fix, but keep in mind that this will only help if the temperature is much cooler outside than inside. During the day, it can actually be more beneficial to keep your windows closed and use blinds or curtains to block out the summer heat. If the outside temperature decreases at night, that’s the time to open the windows and let some blissful cool air drift into your home. If you have a fan or an air-conditioning unit, be sure to position it so that it faces an open window to create a cross breeze. You could also try hanging a damp sheet in front of an open window to take the thermometer reading down a notch or two.

Deep Freeze

Your freezer can be a trusted ally in a heatwave, and not just because you can stash it full of ice lollies and cold drinks. Try placing a bowl of ice cubes in front of your fan and positioning it so the air is directed at your face for instant air-conditioning; or filling a hot water bottle with ice-cold water to create a cold pack – especially refreshing when popped under your pillow or pressed against key pulse points at your wrists, ankles, feet and temples.

Some people even swear by putting their sheets and pillowcases in the fridge or freezer for an hour or so before you hit the sack (just make sure they’re in a sealed bag). The effect won’t last all night, of course, but the initial feeling of climbing into a cool, crisp bed may just be enough for you to drift off before the insomnia kicks in.

For more advice on creating a summer-ready sleep space, have a chat with our knowledgeable team on the phone or in one of our stores.