How to sleep in hot weather: The key to keeping your bedroom cool at night – what to do

Temperatures reached a stifling 33.3C at Heathrow Airport on Thursday afternoon, breaking yesterday’s record of being the hottest day of the year so far. Glorious as this weather may be, it often amounts to a night of tossing and turning in bed. Heat invariably gets trapped in the bedroom, hampering the sleep-cycle.


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How? Research has shown that there seems to be an ideal temperature for sleep and when this temperature is very high, it takes longer to fall asleep, and once sleep is achieved, it is broken up or fragmented and there is less dreaming, explains the National Sleep Foundation (NSF).

Fortunately, there are simple tips to keep your bedroom cool at night.

The primary goal is to do whatever you can to prevent excessive heat build-up in your sleep environment.

According to the NSF, taking proactive steps in the day can soothe your bedroom at night.

“During the daytime use blinds to keep out sunlight and keep the windows closed if the temperature outside is much hotter than inside,” the health body advises.

At night time, if the temperature is less outside than inside, open your windows, it suggests.

Other ways to cool your sleep environment

Light bedclothes and light pajamas or no pajamas are certainly an important option, notes the NSF.

“There are pajamas made from materials that wick away sweat which might be very helpful,” explains the health body.

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Such nightclothes are available and helpful, for example, in women who are having hot flashes during sleep, who sweat a great deal, it says.

A fan may provide relief but this approach comes with hidden risks.

According to The Sleep Advisor, as fans circulate the air, they can move around dust particles and other potential allergens that can cause irritation.

This can trigger allergies and is bad for people who suffer with asthma, says sleep expert Mark Reddick.


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Speaking to The Sun, he said: “For some people, having a ceiling or floor fan in the room helps them fall asleep and stay cool during the night.

“For others, it can keep them awake, trigger asthma attacks or dry out their eyes.

“As a fan moves air around the room, it causes flurries of dust and pollen to make their way into your sinuses.”

For allergy sufferers, this could be a counterproductive move, he warned.

If the problem persists, there are some simple tips you can take to cool your body down.,

Freeze a damp washcloth — this can be used as a nice, cool compress, advised Joyce Walsleben, PhD, Sleep Medicine Associates of New York City.

If you do have a washcloth or ice pack handy, try using something from your freezer like frozen veggies to cool down your neck, head and shoulders, advises the NSF.

“If worse comes to worst, in some parts of the world people end up sleeping outdoors because it is simply not possible to cool off their dwellings at night,” it adds.

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