Summer is well and truly upon us, but while we might be enjoying the longer days and warmer evenings, it has to be said that trying to get to sleep when the weather is hot can be a challenge. Last August saw a huge spike in searches for how to get to sleep in the heat (up +1,143%) when a heatwave hit in the UK.
The optimum bedroom temperature for a good night’s sleep is 18°C according to The Sleep Foundation. Not all of us have air conditioning at home which means it can be difficult to get any room to remain at this temperature throughout the night. However, there are things you can do to prevent a sleepless night of tossing and turning...
Jessica Mason, linen expert and founder of Piglet shares eight top tips for getting a good night's sleep in the summer.
1. Ventilate your room
Leave your bedroom window open a crack (having fresh air during the night is always a huge benefit) and consider investing in a fan to help the breeze to circulate around the room. You might also want to leave the bedroom door ajar as this can also prevent the room from feeling stuffy.
If you don’t like sleeping with the window open, just ensure you leave it open for as long as possible during the day.
2. Try linen bed sheets
We sleep best when we are kept comfortably cool and dry, two of linen’s intrinsic technical feats. During the REM sleep stage, we are not very good at keeping our body temperature constant, so what we sleep in is very important. According to a performance study by the University of Lorraine, France, linen achieved the highest score for airflow through the fabric in comparison to other regularly used bedding materials.
Linen sheets are also non-allergenic, meaning they can help with Hayfever symptoms which may still be apparent in the nighttime!
3. Stick to your routine
Avoid napping if you can! The hot weather can make us feel more tired during the day because we are using up more energy to regulate our body temperature but napping can make it even harder to fall asleep at night.
Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day (when possible) for the best sleep quality.
4. Wear good-quality pajamas
We do not sleep well if our skin feels wet from sweat. Linen absorbs and sheds moisture rapidly and is the best material to help keep your skin dry at night. The pleasure of soft and smooth linen helps the feeling of wellbeing, a pre-condition for sleep. Linen pajamas are great because linen is the most breathable material on the market, and it is also great for moisture management and wicking, allowing perspiration to pass through the fabric and keep you feeling comfortable and dry all night long.
5. Block out the sunlight
With shorter nights and brighter mornings in the summer, it's not just the heat that could be disturbing your sleep. Consider investing in black-out blinds or curtains. Alternatively, you may want to use a classic eye mask to keep the summer sun out of your eyes in the early morning!
6. Read a book
Reading before bed is a great way to take your mind off of daily stresses and relax! The physical act of reading is also a good way to tire your eyes. By using your imagination before bed, and taking some time out from the wider world, you will naturally feel a lot calmer which should help to improve sleep quality throughout the night.
It is important to drink lots of water throughout the day to prepare your body for a good nights sleep. In saying this, you should avoid drinking very large amounts of water just before bed so that you don't need to get up multiple times in the night to use the toilet.
Think about what you drink too. Avoid drinking caffeinated drinks like coffee or cola too close to your bedtime. Be careful about soft drinks. Alcohol should also be avoided (though many people find it more tempting to enjoy a beer or glass of wine on summer nights) as it is linked to poor sleep quality.
8. Cut back on screen-time
We're often told that scrolling on your phone before bed isn't the best idea, but do you know why? First off, your phone screen gives off blue light which signals to your brain that it is still daytime. Aside from that, checking your phone before bed can induce anxiety and keep you psychologically alert.
Try to switch off your phone an hour before bed to give your brain some much-needed time to unwind.