How many of us long for the welcoming warmth of summer, during those wet, windy, freezing months of winter, and the changeable blustery season of Spring? It’s lovely to turn off the heating and save some money on fuel bills, to get out our summer wardrobes, and enjoy long hot evenings in the sunshine, with a frosty glass or two of something deliciously chilled!
But in the height of summer, we can be left hot, bothered and bleary-eyed, when rising temperatures stop us from sleeping properly.
Our body temperature tends to peak in the evenings and then drops whilst we are asleep – which helps us sleep soundly. The ideal temperature for a good night’s sleep is 16-18°C (or 60-65°F), and temperatures above 24°C (71°F) tend to cause restlessness and can interrupt our sleep patterns. This can have impacts on our health and well-being, which are more wide-reaching than you might have imagined!
So what exactly happens during sleep?
- Healing and repairing of your heart and blood vessels takes place;
- Your body’s sugar levels and hormones rebalance;
- Your brain consolidates learning, improving your memory and decision-making abilities; and
- Your mental health is boosted – sleep helps safeguard us against mood swings, stress and depression.
So the effects of getting a bad night’s sleep, especially if you're feeling hot and bothered, or suffer from seasonal allergies, can really take its toll on our well-being during the summer months. Hardly ideal for enjoying the benefits of the lovely weather we’ve been waiting so long for!
But the good news is that there are measures we can take, which can help us keep our temperatures down and get a better night’s sleep!
1. The bed linen
Firstly, you can make up your bed using good quality bed linen, made of comfortable, breathable natural fibres, to allow your skin to breathe stopping you from feeling hot and uncomfortable. Secondly, this may be obvious, but switching to a summer duvet (4.5 tog), and ensuring it’s laundered and fresh if it’s been in storage, makes a huge difference to your quality of sleep in the warmer months. Using a duvet that’s too warm can leave you uncomfortably hot or too chilly to sleep!
Whilst air conditioners are less commonplace in the UK, quite a few of us may be tempted to use a fan to keep the bedroom cool at night. But sleeping with a fan in the room can itself impact on the quality of sleep we get, and how we feel in the morning: a noisy fan can keep you awake, counteracting the benefits of air circulation it brings. Fans and air conditioners can also dry out your skin, leave your eyes feeling dry and uncomfortable, and if you’re sleeping in the wrong position, can lead to a stiff, achy or frozen neck!
Keeping a window open and the curtains or blinds drawn might be one option, but if you have double glazing, you might try leaving your window closed and curtains drawn when the sun shines on that part of the building – preventing the heat from getting into the room in the first place (this has the added bonus of not allowing in more pollen or pollution if you suffer from allergies).
Another option to consider is purchasing an air cooler/humidifier, which can be left running to cool down the room for an hour or so before bedtime, then switched off.
3. Pre-bedtime routine
Setting a pre-bedtime routine can help us to switch off, and wind down, relaxing properly, so that we’ll be more likely to drift off in a matter of minutes when we do go to bed. A few helpful ways to do this are:
- Start to dim the lights - reducing the amount of artificial light we’re exposed to tells our brains that it’s night time, and time to sleep;
- Maintain a regular bedtime and sleep pattern;
- Avoid drinking caffeine and alcohol before bed (alcohol also affects the body’s temperature, and our quality of sleep);
- Switch off your phone and other tech, a couple of hours before bedtime! If you have to use it, try using the blue-light filter.
- Avoid thinking about stressful subjects, problem-solving or anything that could be upsetting or negative, in the last 2 hours before you sleep. Cheery conversations, happy music, easy-going light-hearted books or radio programmes, uplifting scented candles or oils, and maybe journaling about the day can be a good way to help us wind down after the day. Any thoughts about jobs or to-do lists, can just be written down and left for the following day.
- If you get woken by light or sound, invest in an eye mask or a set of good earplugs. If you’re a light sleeper, this will minimise the number of factors which can wake you up.
4. The bed itself
Probably the most important element: having a comfortable, solid, reliable bed is an absolute must if you want to get a good night’s sleep in uncomfortably warm conditions. No-one can properly relax and settle into a bed that’s the wrong size, or that’s wobbly or flimsy! The Wyoming is a virtually indestructible metal meshed platform bed – and it comes with a lifetime guarantee – peace of mind that means you can sleep easier. And if standard-sized beds aren’t built for you, we can make and deliver a bespoke bed to suit your needs.
When it comes to your mattress, selecting the right one for your needs is crucial to getting a good night’s sleep, and for your overall health. Too soft and your back will not get the support it needs. But we believe that if you need a firm, long-lasting mattress, you can’t go wrong with our Extra-Firm Brick Mattress. With 1000 springs, multiple layers of luxury materials, skin-safe technology and air vents, even if it’s too firm you can customise it to your needs by adding our Air Flow Mattress Topper, which includes an in-built ventilation system, to keep you cool, dry and comfortable as you sleep.