Get a good night’s sleep in when the heat is on!
As much as we all love hot days and balmy nights sitting in the garden, when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep, we can often find ourselves restless, uncomfortable and irritable the next morning after a night of tossing and turning! Either the pillow just isn’t cold enough, you can’t find the right spot, the fan is too noisy, or we just can’t seem to shut our minds off. Help is at hand as we look at the most common summer sleep problems and how you can fix them for a night of blissful zzzzzz’s
How does summer effect our sleep?
There’s actually a scientific reason that the summer months actively effect our sleep, during winter months and at night-time our bodies release a chemical called melatonin that sends a signal that we need to sleep. Due to the longer days and shorter nights of summer, our melatonin levels are secreted in shorter supply so we’re not triggering the same need to sleep and naturally stay up later. Added to this, our bodies have a natural ‘alarm’ system that kicks in when we’re too hot and wakes us up until we reach a comfortable temperature, which leads to that frustrating time in the middle of the night where we just can’t drift off again. Luckily there are lots of ways to cheat the system and get the summer nights sleep you deserve!
How to sleep in the summer …
From natural remedies to little summer life-hacks, we’ve tracked down the most useful summer sleep tips right here
- Although it’s tempting to draw the curtains back and pull up your blinds to let the gorgeous sunshine stream in on a hot day, it’s better to keep the sunlight out all day until you go to bed. This stops your bedroom heating up and gives you a great head start at getting the optimum temperature for a good night’s sleep.
- Save your workouts for the afternoon – a good workout is really beneficial and helps you feel more tired later on, but if you work-out too close to the time you want to sleep, this can make your temperature spike which will in turn stop you drifting off.
- This one is going to sound crazy, but it actually works! Try taking a warm bath just before bed, although you might not feel like it, a bath naturally helps you feel relaxed and settled, plus the temperature drop when you leave the bath will help your body get right into sleep mode.
- A cooling pillow is an absolute summer must-have. Hot pillows are one of the biggest frustrations in summer, but pillows with cooling technology will help you feel restful and stop all that fidgeting!
- Have you ever tried freezing your pillowcases? It sounds like an urban myth, but it does work a treat and gives you a lovely cooling sensation when you put them back on at bedtime. You can also fill a water bottle with ice cold water to help bring the temperature down and stop your bed becoming a heat trap.
- We all hydrate during the day but during the summer months it’s a good idea to keep a glass of iced water by your bed so you can get instant relief when you wake up due to the heat.
- If you’ve got a fan, try putting a tray of ice-cubes in front of it to create a cool breeze, it also goes without saying that it’s worth investing in a fan that makes less noise rather than having the pay-off of a cool room but the noise of a jet taking off!
- Try a refreshing lavender pillow spray or add a few drops of lavender essential oil to your bath as this will help create a relaxed state of mind.
- During summer it’s easy to forget the usual sleep advice but you should always turn off your devices before bed, avoid caffeine, read a book or meditate – all of these will help you avoid the summer night sleep madness!
What to wear at bedtime in the summer?
Obviously less is more in the hotter months, fleece PJs are an absolute no-no, and you should avoid any fabrics that cling. You want to go for breathable, cool fabrics like cotton or linen that are a dream to wear on hot, sticky nights. Stick to a loose fit that’ll allow air to circulate, especially if you suffer from any skin conditions, as you don’t want anything sticking and causing irritation. You should also consider switching your bedding for a more breathable fabric and if you’re in a couple, then try having a sheet each – this not only helps manage frayed tempers (there’s nothing worse than a summer night fidget with the bedding!) but it also helps keep moisture away from each other by having a separate ‘space’.
Our summer sleep saviours!
We’ve picked out some of our favourite products that have helped us get the maximum slumber this summer, sweet dreams!
This pillow from the Wellbeing collection has a pressure-activated gel pad that works to absorb excess body heat and has a cooling effect which in turn helps you to feel relaxed and comfortable all through the night.
When you try the warm bath trick, add a few drops of this to really super-charge the relaxing experience. Steeped in Haute-Provence Lavender, this transforms your bath time into a dreamy,
soothing escape at the end of the day.
This is the perfect fan for whatever room you’re in this summer, not only does it have several options from a light breeze to a cooling blast – it also has a silent mode so you can get on with sleeping in peace!
If all else fails and you still can’t seem to switch off, we highly recommend these cooling and soothing eye gel pads. With caffeine, hydrolyzed collagen and other essential ingredients they’ll have you looking like you’ve had a full 8 hours in a couple of minutes (it’s ok to cheat sometimes!)