Balmy nights are the flipside to hot summer days. While we may love the sunshine while we’re awake, it’s the residual heat during the night that can be a huge problem for our sleep quality. Are you lying in bed sweaty and uncomfortable, tossing and turning through hot summer nights? Do you find it nigh on impossible to drift off to sleep properly and wake up refreshed and rested in the morning?

Luckily, there are things you can do to give yourself the best chance to sleep soundly in the summer. We’ve put together 4 strategies that are well worth trying. Go on, you have nothing to lose but sleepless nights.

  1. Get the right bedroom temperature

The ideal bedroom temperature for sleeping is around 18C. The hotter the room, the less conducive it is to good quality sleep, with room temperatures above 24C likely to cause restlessness. Cool your bedroom down by opening the windows early in the evening when the outside temperature starts to drop, at least a couple of hours or so before bedtime.

Unless you live in a noisy neighbourhood, leave your windows open while you’re asleep to ensure that the cool night air keeps the indoor temperature pleasant enough to help you get a sound night’s sleep. In the morning, close the bedroom curtains and blinds to keep the room cool during the day.

If you’re still too hot at night, a bedroom fan may be the answer. These come in all shapes and sizes, not to mention price and noise levels, so it’s important to do your research. Many people find that the continuous whirring of the fan through the night – the ‘white noise’ – helps them sleep better, as it blocks out any other distracting noises.

  1. Get the body comfortable

If you’re feeling hot and sticky at bedtime, it’s no wonder that you have trouble falling asleep and keep waking up in the night. One excellent solution is to cool your body down with a refreshing shower before bedtime. Make sure the water is not too hot and not cold, but just pleasantly warm.

After your shower, apply body lotion or moisturiser containing aloe vera to cool your skin; this feels particularly pleasant if you’ve been out (too long) in the sun. Going to bed with wet hair (and a towel under your head to protect the pillow) also does the job.

Next, check that your bedding is suitable for the hot weather. Is the duvet too hot? Will a cotton sheet be warm enough? The Sleep Council recommends switching to lighter duvets and bedding during the summer, so it’s worth experimenting with different options to keep your body at the most comfortable temperature.

Frequently, the problem is compounded if you’re sharing your bed with a partner who has different temperature requirements and duvet preferences or a duvet hogging habit. Arguments in the middle of the night are the last thing you need! Separate duvets may not be the most romantic solution but at least you’ll both get a decent night’s sleep.

  1. Sleep in complete darkness

Our body rhythms respond to levels of light and darkness; we release melatonin when it’s dark, which relaxes the body and helps us drift off to sleep. This can be a problem on long summer evenings when the sun just doesn’t want to seem to set. It’s why children find it hard to stick to their bedtime routine during the summer – it’s just not dark enough yet.

When it’s time to climb the wooden stairs to Bedfordshire, make sure the bedroom is properly dark. While it’s preferable to keep the windows themselves open (see above), make sure your curtains or blinds are drawn to keep the light to a minimum.

Remember that our body clocks are easily disrupted by even the tiniest bit of light. Should you need to get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, respond to a child crying, investigate an unusual noise or let the cat in, remember to keep the light firmly switched off. What’s more, you should keep electronic devices and digital gadgets out of the bedroom; the blue light from the LED display suppresses melatonin and reduces your sleep quality

If the bedroom curtain fabric is too flimsy to keep the light out – there’s nothing worse than being rudely awoken by the early morning sun! – consider wearing an eye mask or fitting blackout blinds from specialist suppliers such as this one that offer complete control when total darkness is required.

  1. Watch your food and drink intake

Balmy summer evenings are perfect for socialising over a cold beer or margarita, however alcohol (as well as caffeine) is known to cause fragmented sleep. Cut down on your consumption and experiment with soft drinks or iced herbal teas instead, and increase your water intake.

Dehydration is a common problem during the summer since the heat makes us perspire more. You should be sipping plain water to keep the body hydrated and energised through the day, and have a glass of water by the bedside in case you feel thirsty at night. While hydration plays a critical role in how well you sleep at night, gulping down large amounts of water (or any liquid, for that matter) is not advisable – it will make you get up to pee in the middle of the night!

However tempting it may be to have dinner later in the evening, Mediterranean style, make sure that you leave a 3 hour gap between having your last meal of the day and going to bed. Consuming a heavy meal too close to bedtime can cause heartburn and digestive upsets which can prevent you from falling asleep.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 830 other subscribers.

Follow us on Twitter