The ideal sleeping temperature according to science is 18.5ºC, which is all well and good if you have means by which to create a perfectly dark, cool, cocoon-like sleeping environment. (Thanks, air con.)
But what if you’re a hot sleeper? There are ways to cool down, fast, if you’re sweaty in bed. And many of them are pretty simple to DIY at home.
Turn off your electronics
It sounds crazy, but keeping your laptop on overnight could be heating up your room. Your laptop generates around 50 watts of heat, which isn’t a huge amount but when added up with all the other devices switched on could be raising the temperature from bearable to unbearable. Consider what you can live without overnight – don’t worry, we’re not asking you to switch off your iPhone – and turn it off. Plus, it’s better for your mental health to have some away time from your devices, too.
Crack a window
Anything that helps to promote airflow is a good thing. Keep a window cracked and your door open if you can, to help air circulate through your room late at night.
Hack your fan
It’s pretty old school, but there’s a way to hack your standard, garden variety fan into a neat little air conditioner. Stack a low dish, like a roasting tin, with ice cubes and place it in front of the fan. When you turn the fan on, it will send the air blasting over the ice, creating a cold mist by the time it reaches you. Genius!
Water will help
First things first, make sure you’re drinking it. Lots of it. If you’re well-hydrated then your body can better regulate its own temperature through sweat. Keep a glass of water by your bedside – a cool one, with plenty of ice cubes in it – from which to take a few sips if you wake up hot in the evening. Pressing the ice cubes against pulse points like your wrists and neck will also help cool you down. And a well-timed cool shower before bed – not ice cold, as that will signal to your body to compensate by raising its temperature to keep you warm – will help you start your sleep right.
Don’t work out late at night
If you’re a fan of a late night run before bed, it could be the thing that’s causing you to lose sleep. Vigorous exercise raises your core body temperature, which could lead to a hot night’s sleep. Try and time your workouts for the morning, or early evening, giving your body plenty of time to cool down.
Invest in linen sheets
This clever, high quality material helps to regulate your body temperature, which means it’ll keep you toasty in winter and cool in the warmer months. It’s anti-static, anti-bacterial and becomes more comfortable the more it’s washed; plus linen is a totally natural fibre, known for it’s breathability and ultra-softness.
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How high is your bed from the ground? Hot air rises, so the higher your bed, the hotter you’ll be. Think about coming up with ways to lower your bed – have you considered a futon mattress, for example? – and generate as much cool airflow as possible around you. And if you’re in the position to do so, think about whether or not you could move your bedroom from a higher floor to the ground floor, where the air will be naturally cooler.
Get your feet wet
The idea that having one foot outside of the covers will keep you cool at night was actually grounded in fact. Feet are great temperature regulators because of all the pulse points in your toes and ankles. But rather than just sticking your foot in the air, think about using water to cool them down. A little bowl of cool water will instantly lower your temperature. Keep one by the end of the bed if you wake up in a sweat.
Sorry about this one, but science has confirmed it: Spooning with your significant other will definitely make you warmer. If you’re so hot you can’t sleep take a break from the cuddling and try to sleep on your own side of the bed alone. It’s not romantic, but it will help keep your body temperature down.
Choose your pillow wisely
While you are sleeping, your brain is a hum of activity, which means that your head could be sweating while you’re dreaming. The right pillow will keep your head cool, and it could be as simple as switching out from a soft, squishy, cocoon-y number for a low, flat one. The former might be cosy, but it wraps around your head keeping heat trapped there, whereas the latter allows for continual air motion to cool you down as you dream.
Sounds like a no brainer to us.
Now that we’re on the topic, this is everything you need to know about bedding, from choosing the right pillow to the best mattress for your back, plus 7 surprising things making you tired.
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