We all love the Great British Summertime. When the temperature hits 20 degrees you’ll find us out in the garden, firing up the BBQ and soaking up the sun. Got to make the most of it before we’re back to rain, right?
But as much as we enjoy glorious weather during the day, hot nights are another story entirely. In the UK, getting good sleep during a heatwave can feel totally impossible. Our houses are built to keep heat in, we don’t have aircon and we’re not acclimatised to high temperatures – all these factors combine to make for stuffy, uncomfortable nights. Not at all fun!
And a lack of sleep can have a huge impact on our day-to-day life – our bodies need proper sleep to function well, and our minds need that deep rest to support us through work, parenting, life admin, decision making… everything, really!
There are lots of things you can do to ensure you sleep well during hot weather, though. From blocking out the sun to choosing the right duvet, it’s all about being prepared. Here are our top tips for staying cool at night during a heatwave.
Create a cool sleep environment
The most effective thing you can do to ensure you sleep well during a heatwave is to prepare your house during the day. And some of these tips go against all reason, so bear with us! Taking a few steps to lower the temperature across your whole house will make all the difference come bedtime.
When the temperature outside is higher than the temperature inside, the best thing you can do to keep things cool is to block that outside air. Which means keeping your windows and doors closed! It seems counter-intuitive – we all want a nice fresh breeze blowing through, right? But when it’s really hot outside, opening windows just allows hot air to waft through your house, raising the temperature. Keep those windows and doors closed!
Similarly, stopping the sun from blazing in will help keep things cool. In countries like Spain, residents close all windows and draw all curtains during the hottest parts of the day, creating a dark, cool environment that’s much more comfortable to sleep in. Blackout curtains can really help here, as they block out more light and keep rooms shady.
With your bedroom in darkness all day long, the temperature won’t shoot up. When you’re ready for bed, you can open a window and let that cooler air in.
Select the right bedding & mattress
When it comes to keeping cool in hot weather, there are some fabrics that support the body’s natural cooling system and help you keep your temperature balanced. And some which don’t! We often think about warm weather clothing, but bedding is just as important to ensure you get a good night’s sleep even when there’s a heatwave raging.
Look for natural fibres – 100% cotton or linen sheets are ideal in hot weather as they allow our skin to breathe, supporting natural cooling. Linen in particular is great for summer bedding as it feels cool to the touch and is super light and airy. We love this washed linen duvet cover for a summer bedroom.
Don’t forget your bottom sheet, either. Flat and fitted sheets can often be made from mixed materials or polyester blends – these synthetic fibres trap aren’t breathable, meaning they trap heat against your skin and make you sweat. A linen fitted sheet like this is a great, breathable option.
Pillows are important, too! You might find it better to sleep with fewer pillows during hot weather, or choose a flatter pillow that has less volume around your face.
Check your duvet’s tog rating
One surefire way to keep cool at night during hot weather is to swap your heavy winter duvet for a lighter summer version. And you do this by looking at tog ratings! A tog rating tells you how thick your duvet is, and it’s a really quick and easy way to check if your duvet could be making you hot and sticky through the night.
The duvet tog scale runs from 2.5 up to 15, with most summer duvets sitting at 4.5 tog. Summer duvets are lightweight and filled with light fibres that allow heat and humidity to escape, keeping you cooler. In contrast, winter duvets are insulated and often filled with down to really lock in warmth.
Look for low-tog duvets that are made for hot weather, like this 4.5 tog version. Some duvets even advise what temperature they’re best used at, likethis one which is perfect for rooms over 22 degrees.
It’s a good idea to have a summer duvet to hand even if it’s still too hot during a heatwave – we all know the temperature will drop soon enough, and summer duvets are designed to keep you comfortable throughout the night, including when it gets a bit chillier.
Opt for a cooler mattress
Experience enhanced sleep with the numerous benefits offered by cooling mattresses. These mattresses effectively regulate your body temperature, ensuring you stay cool and comfortable throughout the night, free from overheating and excessive sweating. At La Redoute, our collection of cooling mattresses are designed to optimise airflow, promoting better breathability and minimising the build-up of moisture and allergens. With these features, you can enjoy a more restful and rejuvenating sleep experience. Here are our top recommendations below:
This mattress features a cool touch sleeping surface which is up to ten times more breathable than the fabric used in standard mattresses. No more overheating in bed!
A pocket tufted mattress with a natural sleeping surface made from a luxurious blend of wool and cashmere. This provides the comfort and softness you need for a superior night’s sleep. These natural fibres also allow for better temperature control and breathability as you sleep.
Try these hot weather hacks
Our last few tips are some handy hacks you can try to keep things as cool as possible.
- Fill a hot water bottle with ice water and put it between your sheets a few hours before bed. This will cool down your sleep space ahead of time and mean you can slip into fresh, cool bedding when you’re ready to sleep.
- Stand a bowl of ice in front of your fan. This acts like a DIY aircon unit, pushing ice-cold air around the room.
- Use a cold flannel on your forehead. Our head is where heat escapes our body, so cooling your head down first will lower your overall temperature.
- Drink lots of water. Staying hydrated overnight is really important when it’s hot, so keep a bottle of water by your bed and sip it if you wake up.
- Avoid those flannel PJs… just like bedding, your pyjamas can help keep you cool by allowing your body to breathe. These cotton short PJs are perfect for hot nights.
Now you’ve got all the tips and tricks for keeping cool during hot nights, here’s to much better sleep during heatwaves… even if they do only last a few days!