When summer comes around, you may find yourself struggling on hotter nights. Being too hot to sleep in summer is a common occurrence for many people, which is why knowing how to cool yourself down in bed is essential for a good night’s sleep.
 
 

Why do I get so hot at night?

First of all, it’s important to establish why you’re overheating in bed. In hot weather, it’s not uncommon to find that you’re much warmer at night and struggle to reach the right temperature for sleep. However, if you’re constantly too hot at night, even when the nights are cooler, you may be experiencing night sweats. These can be caused by a variety of factors, including the menopause, taking certain types of medication or even having certain medical conditions. Take a look at our specific advice on night sweats and sleep for more information.

If the soaring temperature outside is causing you to be too hot at night, then take a look at our top tips for how to sleep in summer.

1. A cool stream of air
If you want to keep cool at night, then cooling down your bedroom is a good place to start. Keeping a constant stream of cool air is an effective way to do just that. One way to achieve this is with a fan, though the noise may be distracting for some sleepers, and they can make for a costly electricity bill. Opening a window is often just as good – if not better – as a substitute, for providing a clean circulation of cool air. If possible, try to open a window elsewhere in the house and leave your bedroom door open to create a cross breeze, which should start cooling you down instantly.

2. Wear the right clothing
Wearing the right clothing in bed can have a big effect on your body temperature at night, which is why it is extra important to get your bed time attire right when it’s too hot to sleep. Natural fibres like cotton, linen or silk are light and breathable, and can help to absorb moisture from sweating at night, keeping the body dry and cool. Synthetic fibres don’t have this ability, and are more likely to leave you feeling damp and uncomfortable. Most importantly, avoid wearing socks in bed. The blood vessels in your feet are closer to the skin’s surface, so wearing socks will warm the blood, making you feel hot all over.

3. Ditch the memory foam
Sleeping on a memory foam mattress? This may be adding to your summer time sleeping troubles. The synthetic materials used in a memory foam mattress mean that it’s not breathable, and doesn’t absorb moisture, leaving your body to overheat and sweat while in bed. In order to sculpt to your body, memory foam mattresses require your body heat to warm them up. This traps the heat and reflects it back onto your body, ultimately heating your body to temperatures of around 30°C while you rest – which is significantly above optimum temperatures for sleeping. Avoid a memory foam mattress if you want to stay cool while sleeping in the summer heat.

4. Make a cold water bottle
You probably use your hot water bottle to stay snug in winter – but did you know you can use it to keep cool at night too? Simply fill your hot water bottle with cold water and place it in the fridge or freezer (depending on just how cool you want it to be) a few hours before bed. Place your ice pack under the covers before you get into bed or even keep it with you through the night – it’s a great way of regulating your temperature when it’s too hot at night. If you find it’s a little too cold, simply wrap the case in an extra layer, such as a spare pillow case.

If you don’t quite fancy sleeping with an ice block all night, one of the fastest ways to achieve a drop in body temperature is to take a cold shower, which will leave you feeling cool and refreshed before bed. It should also help you to reach the optimum temperature for sleeping sooner, helping you to drift off when your head hits the pillow.

5. Choose the right bedding
Using light and breathable fabric for your bedding helps to regulate your body temperature and keep it cool even when it’s hot at night. Wool in particular is an effective material for keeping you cool, as it draws moisture away from your body at night, before desorbing it. Using wool bedding, including mattress, mattress protector, pillows and duvet is a smart way to harness the benefits of this fibre to keep you cool through the night. In fact, a recent study revealed that wool duvets are more effective than feather/down or polyester for getting a great night’s sleep.

Knowing how to keep cool at night is essential for getting a good night’s sleep on those summer nights. If you ever feel yourself getting too warm to sleep, use the tips above to keep cool, and let us know how they worked for you in the comments.