Ah yes, the annual heatwave in the United Kingdom is upon us, with some serious vigour. With record temperatures climbing to 40 degrees and the Met Office sending out extreme weather warnings, we’re not surprised if you’re having trouble sleeping at night in this heat.
Let’s face it, the UK just isn’t built for this kind of weather. And neither are we.
Whilst the heat and sun are welcomed with open arms at the weekends and in the day times when we have time to enjoy it, during working hours, and particularly at night – it’s safe to say that many of us would opt to do without the tossing, turning and sweating that comes with getting a good night's sleep in a heatwave.
We’ve all been there. Tossing and turning, positioning as many fans as possible to face the bed, flipping your pillow every five mins… but how can we deal with it? It seems this heat just isn’t going away.
How can I sleep in hot weather?
When it comes to getting a good night sleep – not just in the heat, as humans we require a couple of conditions. Nothing too crazy, a quiet room, dark surroundings, minimal distractions and a cool 20-degree temperature, or there abouts. Unfortunately, not many of the population are blessed with an air conditioning unit, and the supermarket fan stocks are flying off the shelves.
But, never fear. The Innermost team are here with our top tips to getting a good night sleep in a heatwave, so you can kiss those sleepless nights goodbye ASAP.
1. Plan ahead of time
Planning is key. You know what they say, fail to prepare, prepare to fail.
Before you head out for the day, there are a few things you can do to set yourself up for a cool welcoming when you get back.
Firstly, make sure you’re doing everything you can to keep your room cool. Keep your curtains drawn (and if it's seriously hot and still, your windows closed), and set your fan on a timer – you can do this with a plug extension (top tip). Set your fan to come on just before you get home so that you aren’t wasting electricity all throughout the day, but can still feel the benefit when you just get back from work. Bliss.
Next, it’s time to head down to the kitchen. Grab an ice pack and throw it in the freezer or freeze some water in your hot water bottle if you have one… it makes a great icy pillow. If you’re into your skincare, grab an eye or sheet mask and pop them in the fridge.
2. Sleep alone
If you’re someone that shares a bed with your significant other, or maybe your young child – this one could be a little tricky, but it’s a great way to keep the heat down. Unfortunately, sharing a bed with someone else can make a warm night feel like you’re trying to sleep in the desert. Not ideal.
Whilst in the winter, we all appreciate the body heat of someone else in the colder nights, during the summer (and particularly a heat wave), adding someone else’s body heat to the mix is sure to make getting that cool night sleep a little trickier… to say the least.
So, if you can, opt to sleep alone until temperatures get a little cooler. You can starfish then, too. Win win.
3. Ditch the duvet
Some people, even during the hottest of nights, just love a duvet. And we get it. It’s comfy. It’s relaxing.
But this is counter intuitive, you’re just trapping in that heat that you’re so desperately trying to escape. Ditch the duvet, wear cotton clothing (or none at all, if you’re down for that) and opt for a thin sheet to keep things as cool as possible.
4. Stay cool and keep hydrated
Soaring hot temperatures are a one way ticket to dehydration if you aren’t staying on top of your hydration properly. Always have a drink with you (water, preferably) and avoid caffeine if you can. This will ensure your body is properly fuelled to deal with the heat, and keeps your body temperature cool through the day.
Have a cool bottle of water by your bedside too, for that 2am sweaty wake up call. You’ll thank yourself for it.
5. Avoid napping
Now, if you’ve had a particularly bad night sleep the night before, tossing and turning in the heat – a nap in the sun might seem tempting. Resist!
Try and keep your sleeping routine as normal as possible, so that when you get into bed, your body knows it’s time to sleep. It’s all about giving yourself as much chance as possible as falling asleep ASAP, setting yourself up for those necessary 8 hours.
Tips and Tricks
We’re sure that the office and your group chats are bustling with nifty tips and tricks for keeping you cool. From placing a cool flannel on your forehead to rinsing your wrists, there are plenty of tricks being thrown about at the moment.
We’ve done our research, asked around and even tested some techniques, and these are our favourites…
- Chill your socks
At first, we were a bit sceptical too… but really, try it. A couple hours before you hit the hay, pop a pair of socks in the freezer. You can pop these on during the night for a cooling sensation – and it’s a great way to keep your body temp down. If a little weird.
- Place a frozen water bottle in front of your fan
Ever notice how your fan seems to just be oscillating all the hot air around your room? Us too. Position an icy water bottle in front of your fan, sit back and enjoy the cold breeze.
Let’s face it – sleeping in the heat is no easy feat. But tonight, test out some of our tips for sleeping in a heatwave, and we’re sure that you’ll get a little bit more relief. If you're still struggling to relax at night, why not check out The Relax Capsules? Formulated with natural research-backed ingredients to promote relaxation, these nootropics are sure to help you get that great night sleep.
Hang in there people – the end is in sight!