How To Sleep Better In Hot Weather

Last updated on : June 12 2021

A hot sun setting

Article Summary

A lack of sleep and deep REM cycles can leave us grumpy, unable to function, and irritable, but there are ways to help. So, let’s take a look at the best way to sleep (and sleep well) in the heat:

Jump to the section you want by using the links below. 

Sleep And Hot Weather

1. Improve Your Sleep Routine And Sleep Hygiene

2. Adopt Strategies To Fall Asleep In The Heat

3. Use The Best Bedding For The Heat


Sleep And Hot Weather

After being shut inside for a year, it’s fair to suggest we’re all in dire need of some sunshine. The spring and summer seasons are sure to bring some warm weather to facilitate that, but there is a knock-on effect of our homes getting a bit too toasty overnight. 

Yes, while barbeques and picnics in the park are all top of the list when the sun shines, good quality sleep is hard to come by in those conditions. Even the heaviest sleepers can find things getting sweaty and uncomfortable. And those late-night garden party voices from the neighbors can carry a long way too. 

A lack of sleep and deep REM cycles can leave us grumpy, unable to function, and irritable, but there are ways to help. So, let’s take a look at the best way to sleep (and sleep well) in the heat:

Here are the crucial steps:

  1. Improve your sleep routine
  2. Adopt strategies to fall asleep in the heat
  3. Use the best bedding for the heat

1. Improve Your Sleep Routine And Sleep Hygiene

“You can use sleep hygiene to improve the quality of your sleep. Sleep hygiene asks you to think about several factors that you have control over to get the best out of your sleep.” 

Dr Natheera Indrasenan

Sleep hygiene is convenient for those struggling to nod off naturally. It’s a series of small changes you can make to your daily life, which can positively impact your sleep-wake cycle.

Getting into a healthy sleep routine is one of them and is key to helping you drop off and get your recommended eight hours of sleep.

But these healthy sleep habits aren’t reserved for bedtime – there are things you can do throughout the day to boost your cycle and improve your chances of falling asleep at the right time.

Start by setting yourself a bedtime and waking time, then stick to them. You may want to lie in and sleep longer on weekends or holidays, but that could harm your cycle, so try to avoid messing your schedule up too much.

Although sometimes a necessity, avoid naps if you can  – they can throw off your natural cycle and mess with your body clock.

The next thing is to get outside and expose yourself to bright light during the daytime. You can get this exposure through exercise first thing in the morning, walking the dog, or gardening – any exposure to daylight will send signals to your brain that this is awake time.

Equally, you should make your room as dark as possible with no lights and blackout curtains or blinds if you can - a true self-care sanctuary.

You should avoid anything that could raise your body temperature and heart rate (such as exercise) late at night as well. While it’s not bad for your sleep cycle, it might make it harder to cool down in the warm weather.

Another way to keep your rhythm on point is to eat more healthy and earlier in the evening rather than later. Eating earlier will allow your digestive system to work through all the food and settle down before your scheduled bedtime.

The idea is to have all your body calm and inactive to signal your brain that it’s time to get your 40 winks.

You could also try natural sleep remedies such as lavender scents and herbal supplements. These use natural ingredients, which are said to calm the body and mind due to their soothing properties.

They’re not prescribed medicine and are considered complementary therapies, but you should always read the label and take advice from your doctor if you’re unsure. 

2. Adopt Strategies To Fall Asleep In The Heat

Girl sleeping in the heat

Even if you follow all the rules and stick to your sleep schedule, those all-important z’s can still be elusive when things are too hot and sticky.

There’s little worse than being tired and ready to sleep, but your body, mind, and room temperature hindering your way there.

Think how bad it is for pregnant or menopausal women as well – they’re already super uncomfortable and adapting to their new body shape, add in an overly hot night, and there’s even less chance they’ll drop off easy.

It’s frustrating for everyone, so let’s explore what you can do to chill out and nod off.

The Sleep Foundation suggests that the optimal temperature to sleep well is around 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18.3 degrees Celsius), so the first thing to try and do is get your room to somewhere around that temperature:

Invest In A Fan Or Air Conditioning Unit

Anything to keep the air moving and cooling down can bring the room to a more comfortable temperature. If you can’t afford an air con unit, get a good quality fan and try a few of these handy tricks.

You can try placing a bowl of ice in front of the airflow for an ice-cooled breeze around the room. Alternatively, put the fan in front of a window to pull in the cooler nighttime air. 

None of these ideas are perfect, though – some people prefer absolute darkness and silence (or near as) to sleep well, and the low humming noise all night long may be a distraction.

The solution is to try to bring the temperature down before you get into bed, then once the room is down to temp, turn everything off – it should stay cool long enough for you to slip off into dreamland.

Open The Windows

Once the sun sets and the air naturally cools, it’s the ideal time to open the windows to let in cooler air. It’s not ideal to leave them wide open throughout the night, though – it’s a temptation to burglars, thieves, and bugs.  

Most modern windows come with latches and incremental opening options to reduce the width of the opening and the chance of a crime. You can also get insect nets to fix to the window frame to prevent any bugs from invading.

Next up are a few ways you can cool yourself and your core body temperature:

Sleep With Your Hands And Feet Outside The Duvet

Avoid the socks and let your arms and toes splay wide outside the covers to cool down.

Your extremities are efficient at losing heat and cooling you down – they are the first places you usually feel the chill, after all, because of their large, hairless surface area and the number of blood vessels located there.

The more blood underneath the skin, the higher the chance of you cooling down sooner.

Sleep On Your Side

Sleeping on your side rather than your back or front exposes more of your skin to cooler air. The more skin exposed, the quicker you’ll cool down.

Wear The Right Pajamas

Thin and natural fibers like cotton or linen are best as they are typically more breathable than artificial materials.

Go for strappy tops and loose shorts. You could also sleep in the nude – there are several benefits to doing so, but not everyone finds it comfortable or practical.

There are a few other tricks like cold-water bottles in your bed before you get in and cooling mist sprays, but these are usually short-term solutions for sweltering nights. 

3. Use The Best Bedding For The Heat

Some more material ways to keep from overheating are in the bedding you choose. Just like your PJ’s, cotton and natural fibers are best to wick away and dry sweat fast, but there are other tricks you can do and invest in:

Refrigerate Your Bedding

Yes, popping your bedsheets into the fridge or freezer for an hour or two will bring their temperatures right down. Not for a long time, but long enough for you to drop to sleep comfortably sans sweat.

Choose The Right Tog

Duvets and covers come in a range of togs or thicknesses for the different seasons, so get the lowest tog you can for the summer months or forego a duvet entirely in favor of a sheet or lightweight blanket.

Try Temperature Regulating Bedding

Pillow innovation isn’t something you’d think of looking into, but you can find a range of stay-cool pillows with gels and cooling technology built in to keep your temperature low enough to sleep.

There are even cooling mattress toppers and protectors too - try organic.


Happy sleep

As the weather warms up, it’s a great time to start thinking about the right summer bedding and sleeping tips to keep things temperate and to avoid sticky, restless sleep:

Sleep can be tricky when it’s muggy, and you’re sweating, but there are cooling tricks and tips to fall asleep in warmer weather that can help you maintain your sleep routine.  

We hope one of two of these works for you.

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