Hot summer nights: tips for how to sleep in the heat

If you're struggling to get a restful night as the temperature soars, we reveal how to sleep in the heat

people have been struggling to sleep in the hot weather. Tips on how to cope
(Image credit: the sleep council)

A survey for Appliances Direct has revealed (surprise, surprise) that 62 per cent of Brits are struggling to get their eight hours as the mercury rises. Unused to such balmy climes, we have been suffering bouts of insomnia as we toss and turn in the sweaty sheets.

Although it is cooler at night than in the day, according to The Sleep Council, if it is hotter than 24°C in the bedroom when you settle down, it is enough to cause restlessness.

Experts say the ideal temperature for nodding off is between 16°C and 18°C, but be wary of ramping the air conditioning too high, as too cold a room – around 12°C – makes it hard to nod off as well.

Mark Kelly, marketing manager at Appliances Direct, says, 'It’s no surprise that so many Britons are struggling to handle the heat as this isn’t the sort of weather the UK regularly experiences for long periods of time. Homeowners living in warmer climates furnish their homes with air conditioning units, shutters on the windows and tiled floors throughout, as opposed to Britons, who fill their homes with soft furnishings, insulation and double-glazed windows designed to keep the heat in. Air conditioning units are not always the top home buy for Brits, but we have seen searches and sales for them increase over recent months as people strive to cool down their living and work spaces.’

So how to keep your cool in bed at night?

Apart from investing in air con or a fan, Appliances Direct has these tips for keeping the bedroom temperature at the sleep-inducing sweet spot of 16°C to 18°C:

1. Swap to cotton

If you feel too hot,  swap your duvet for a cotton sheet which will help you better control your body temperature. Silk, satin and polyester retain heat, while cotton is breathable and will provide the best ventilation for a cool night’s sleep.

2. Keep window dressings closed in the day


Keeping blinds and curtains shut during the day to stop the sun and hot air filtering into the bedroom, so it's cooler when you come to use it.  

3. Invest in black out blinds

Our bodies naturally assume it’s time to wake up when it gets lighter outside. Invest in blackout blinds and curtains to make sure you are not woken prematurely.

4. Take a cold shower

A cool shower before bed can lower your body temperature after a hot day and help prepare you for a good night’s sleep.

5. Sleep downstairs

Heat rises, so if you can’t reduce the temperature enough in the bedroom, maybe consider temporarily sleeping downstairs.