Hot Days, Cool Nights

As one of our favourite fictional heroines once said: ‘What dreadful hot weather we have! It keeps me in a continual state of inelegance’ (Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte). We at Dormeo can certainly sympathise. Having spent the colder months bemoaning how bitterly cold / wet / miserable it is, it’s now time for us Brits to start complaining to anyone that will listen that it’s simply too hot.

We at Dormeo love the sun, but we also love our sleep and we’re the first to admit that they don’t exist particularly well together. So, having experienced the hottest July day ever recorded this week, our thoughts have turned to the subject of sleeping comfortably at night whilst things are hotting up outside.

Any parent that has ever battled with a blackout blind will know that humans are programmed to sleep best when it’s cool and dark. Our ‘keep it simple’ recommendations for comfortably cool nights all work from this basis.

1. Breathable Bedding

Silky smooth bedding (whether satin, silk or polyester) can give your bed a luxurious feel but is best saved for the cooler weather. During the hottest months you want to choose lightweight, breathable fabrics such as cotton which promote ventilation and allow body moisture to be released. Such fabrics don’t prevent sweating but they do encourage quick drying which is super important in preventing frequent night time waking.

2. Get that air moving!

Air conditioning units are not the norm in the UK. Most of us simply can’t justify the cost for something which, let’s face it, will sit gathering dust for most of each year. The next best (and considerably cheaper) option is to invest in at least one, large electric fan. Placing it right in front of an open window will push hot air out or, if there’s a slight breeze, positioning it opposite an open window will create a cross-breeze. The bigger the fan, obviously the more air movement it’ll achieve.

3. Cold Water Bottle?

We’re all for simple solutions and the science behind this one seems to make sense. We think nothing of filling a hot water bottle in the winter to make our bed toasty, so why not stick one in the freezer instead to create a moisture-free bed-friendly ice pack? When wondering where to put it, it’s worth remembering that cooling your feet lowers your overall body temperature.

4. To robe or dis-robe?

This is an interesting one. It may seem logical to sleep nude when it’s hot, but some advice out there suggests that this actually encourages sweat to stick around. If you choose to sleep clothed, it goes without saying that you need to be wearing lightweight, breathable fabric.

5. You are what you eat (and drink!)

Yes, yes. We all know the theory but it really is super important to stay hydrated. Don’t be tempted to go to bed thirsty because the science actually suggests that dehydration will disturb your sleep much more than the need for a bathroom break. It’s also worth bearing in mind that although alcohol may make it easier to fall asleep in the first place, it also lowers the threshold for night-time waking.

Food-wise, try and stick to small, light dinners that are easier to metabolize and therefore produce less heat.

Hydrating from the outside also has its benefits. A lukewarm shower before bed is a good idea, but don’t make it too cool as this will actually close your pores and discourage sweating which is the body’s natural way of regulating body temperature.

6. Mattress Selection.

Of course, it really pays to ensure that you are sleeping on the right kind of mattress in the first place. If you are a naturally hot sleeper you probably find the summer even more uncomfortable than the rest of us. Traditional memory foam mattresses are known to exacerbate hot sleeping as they provide little ventilation for body heat. Octaspring’s open memory foam springs however, make the mattress eight times more breathable than its competitors. These are our premium mattresses, but if you are looking for something a little more budget-friendly, it’s also worth looking at the Dormeo Memory Fresh which uses breathable Ecocell foam to allow air to circulate and prevent heat retention.

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