Jeddah, Saudi Arabia – Is there anything in this world more frustrating than not being able to sleep when temperatures are sweltering? Our bodies can’t hack a hot bedroom – the best temperature for sleep is between 16 and 21 degrees Celsius – so for when there’s no breeze, windows can’t get any wider, and it’s not physically possible to take any more clothes off, here are some clever tips and tricks that can help our bodies and minds beat the heat.
DO: “Place a cold flannel or ice cubes in a plastic bag on your wrists and neck and you’ll surprised at how this down takes down your body temperature”, says Neil Robinson, Chief Sleep Officer at Sealy UK. Keeping pulse points cold tricks your brain into thinking you’re feeling cool. Alternatively, up the ante and freeze a water-filled hot water bottle and do the same.
DON’T: Keep windows open all day thinking it will keep the house breezy and lower the temperature – you’ll actually find rooms stay cooler during the day when both windows and curtains are closed.
DO: Our extremities – our hands and feet – help regulate our temperature so cooling them down will lower the whole body’s temperature: “Position a bucket filled with cool water next to your bed, then dip your foot in it before and while you drift off”, says Robinson.
DON’T: Buy a chip fan. The cheaper the fan, the more likely you are to hear it, which isn’t conductive to good sleep. Dyson’s Pure Cool Me delivers focused airflow, rotates and can be set on a timer for those times when moving is too hard a task.
DO: Depending on how committed you are to the cause at hand (or how sleep deprived you may be), putting bed line into the fridge or freezer for then minutes pre-bed can offer a lot of heat relief: “If you’re pushed for fridge space, just cool your pillow case”.
DO: Invest in good quality bedding with a high cotton count, like The White Company’s Cavendish Bed Linen, to ensure what you sleep in is as breathable as possible. “The natural fibers help allow air to move freely and circulate through the fabric, which helps to keep you cooler trough the night”, says Robinson. The same rule applies for sleep wear – the higher the cotton count on your pyjamas, the better.
DO: “A simple trick is to have a cold shower just before bed”, says Robinson, as it lowers the body temperature. If icy cold sowers don’t do it for you, try lukewarm water as it will still take body temperature down.
DON’T: Dink alcohol: “You’re only dehydrating yourself before a long hot night’ says Robinson, who recommends drinking half a pint of water not long before bed to avoid having to get up during the night.
DO: Sleep alone: “Not only can our partners disturb us during the night, but the extra body heat also makes it harder to get to sleep”, says Robinson, who also points out that sleeping alone means you’re able to stretch out, helping body heat to escape.
DON’T: Eat too much protein because it heightens metabolic rate, which can prompt the body to heat up.
DO: Ensure you have a well-made mattress because what you sleep on is just as important as what you sleep in. “The mattress you sleep on can affect your temperature through the night. Look for mattresses that are made of smart fibers like Purotex and Tencel, because they have great cooling properties”, says Robinson. Sealy do an array, all of which contain these fibres.
DON’T: Exercise late in the evening: “It raises the body’s core temperature which makes sleeping in hot water much more difficult. I recommend opting for exercise first thing in the morning to kickstar your metabolism and I leave you feeling ready to rest in the evening”, advises Robinson.
DO: Check the TOG rating of your duvet? Never heard of it? A TOG rating is the scale of duvet warmth and while winter duvets, which trap and maintain heat in the cold months, have a rating of 13.5 TOG plus, you should look for lower in summer: “It’s important to have different duvets to help your body adapt to the differing seasons”, says Robinson.