Top Tips on How To Keep Cool at Night

25 May 2022

How To Keep Cool At Night

Having difficulty keeping cool at night is something that bothers many people here in the UK. And it can cause quite the problem; a night of tossing and turning because you feel overheated can lead to you feeling groggy, tired and - let's be honest - downright miserable the next day.

Over time, being unable to get a decent night's sleep can really start to impact both your mental and physical health.

But fear not, it can be prevented.

In this article, we tell you how you can keep cool at night and reinstate your bedroom as an idyllic place for blissful slumber - even when the heat rises.

Just a quick word before we get into it: It's important to realise that overheating at night is perfectly normal for many. In fact, it happens to the best of us. But, if you are in any way concerned about the extent you are overheating at night, have a chat with your GP to eliminate any potential underlying health concerns.

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Cooling Down Before Bed: Our Top Tips

Believe it or not, what you do before falling asleep can strongly influence your sleep quality that night. This is why it's advised to lay out a solid bedtime routine that you can stick to, so your chances of drifting off into dreamland are higher.

If you struggle to get to sleep because you are too warm, you might want to consider implementing a few of these different pre-bed techniques to find which ones work the best for you.

After all, not everyone is the same, and while some techniques may work for one person, it certainly doesn't guarantee that they will work for the next. However, we are pretty confident that there will be solutions on the list that will suit everyone, bringing you the peaceful night's sleep you deserve.

So let's get into it!

Have a lukewarm shower

Surprisingly, bathing or showering in warm water can actually cool your core body temperature: Yes, really! At first, it will start to rise, but after a time in the warmth, your body temperature will begin to cool again.

Just ensure that the water temperature is neither too hot nor too cold; lukewarm water is best for this. If the water is too warm, you will inevitably begin to get warm - potentially uncomfortably warm, while cold water has stimulating effects on the human body.

Numerous studies have also shown that a lukewarm bath or shower will not only allow your body temperature to cool down slightly but can also relax you enough to fall asleep in the first place.

Definitely a win-win!

Keep a cool facecloth

Although sweating can occur just about anywhere on the body, the head, face, and hands are the areas that are most likely to get a bit sticky at nighttime.

Thankfully, something as simple as a cold washcloth can adequately lower excess body heat on a hot night.

Before you go to bed, place a cold, damp washcloth in the freezer, and take it out just before you go to bed. Use this as a compress overnight - it will help keep you cool for hours.

Don't overeat

Meals that are full of lots of carbohydrates, fats and spices can play havoc with your digestive system at the best of times. But, just before bed is the worst possible time to consume these heavy meals because these can make people sweat more.

If you are feeling a bit peckish in the hours leading up to bedtime, consider eating something lighter, like a fresh salad or perhaps some chicken.

It's not bad news on the food front, however; dark chocolate is said to help you sleep, so you can indulge in a square of two before bed completely guilt-free!

Freeze water

Keeping a frozen water bottle with you throughout the night can be a brilliant solution to your body producing excess heat. Similar to using a frozen face cloth, you can put the cold bottle in the bed with you or place it on your neck and chest if you get too uncomfortable at any stage during the night.

Pulse points

If you decide that you want to cool off your pulse points to get a restful night's sleep, make sure you are aware of as many of these points on your body. It's not just your wrists that you can benefit from; add something cold to the insides of your knees and elbows, even your groin, which can become hot.

It's best to either run cool water over these areas or, better still, use an ice pack. Try to leave it on for as long as possible, but 30 minutes of the cool pack making direct contact with your skin will be enough to cool you down adequately through the hotter nights.

Keep natural light out

When we are lucky enough to get a few days of hot weather, trying to sleep can be close to unbearable! But, there is a great way to limit the amount of sunlight coming into your home during the day, which will then linger at night - simply keep your curtains or blinds firmly closed throughout the day.

Yes, you might look mildly unsociable, but if it keeps out the excess heat, then we say it's worth it! If you are struggling particularly badly, you might want to consider investing in blackout blinds that limit even more heat and sunlight.

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Say no to alcohol

It's an unfortunate truth that alcohol can only play havoc with your sleeping pattern, but it can also cause some very uncomfortable hot flashes as well as night sweats.

When alcohol is consumed, the human blood vessels move closer to the surface of the skin, leaving them more exposed and causing you to sweat.

There's nothing worse than waking up at 2 AM to find your bed sodden with sweat, so if you are serious about keeping overheating at bay, consider limiting your alcohol consumption. Instead, opt for a relaxing herbal tea or a warm glass of milk. You will thank us for it in the long run!

Exercise in the morning

This one might seem a little obvious, but we thought it worth a mention. As exercise causes us all to sweat, if you go to sleep hot after an intense workout on the treadmill, your core temperature is going to be warmer than ideal too.

This makes it harder to drift off and increases the likelihood that you will wake up uncomfortable and sticky. Instead, try to stick to working out in the mornings; and there's a pretty good chance doing so will help you sleep much more soundly at night too.

Discover ice water

Fill up your favourite tall glass with lots of ice cubes and fresh filtered water, and take sips throughout the night.

This will help you stay cool during the night - not to mention keep you hydrated!

Keep sun exposure to a minimum

While we should all ensure we get the correct amount of Vitamin D each day, too much sun exposure can be potentially devastating to your skin and your sleep cycle. It might be tempting to go out and sunbathe in hot weather, but if you want to get a restful night's sleep, this exposure needs to be kept to a minimum.

If you've ever tried sleeping after a bad case of sunburn, you'll know how painfully uncomfortable it is as your skin temperature rises and you stick to the bedsheets.

Always stay safe in the hot weather by wearing sunscreen, and you won't have to face this problem.

Cooling Down Your Sleeping Environment: Our Top Tips

Where you sleep and the room's environment will have a direct effect on your sleep quality. Unfortunately for some, the bedroom can get pretty uncomfortably hot.

Remember these top tips to keep your sleeping environment at a healthy and happy temperature, and you'll be enjoying a wonderfully deep sleep in no time.

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Invest in fans

Fans can be an utter lifesaver when there's warm air moving around the home. But, did you know that how you place them can have a direct effect on how effective they are?

If you want to get rid of hot air, place a fan that faces out of the bedroom window to push the unwanted warm air hot to help you stay cool at night. If you have a ceiling fan, ensure this turns anti-clockwise to create a cooling wind-chill effect.

Think about investing in more than one fan; many find the noise of a fan therapeutic and therefore aids sleep while promoting cool air in the bedroom.

Upgrade your bedding

In the warmer summer months, it's important to have the appropriate bedding to ensure you don't overheat. You can say goodbye to those horrible night sweats by investing in sheets and bedding that have moisture-wicking properties which will allow your body to stay dry and cool.

If you are looking to upgrade your bedding, why not consider Belledorm's unbeatable range of spring and summer duvets, breathable duvets and other lightweight bedding that won't make you overheat in the summer months.

Pillows

It's not just your bedding that you need to think about; pillows should also be suitable for those particularly warm nights where it can be difficult to get to sleep. To get a better night's sleep, we suggest using pillows that will regulate the temperature as well as being made from fabric that feels cooler to the touch.

Think about moving your bedroom

Heat rises, so if you sleep on a higher level in your home, it's unfortunately inevitable that your room is likely to get hot in warm weather. If this is the case, it could be very beneficial to sleep on the lowest level in the home, ideally the ground floor.

If you live in an apartment or flat, you can bring your mattress to the floor - moving in lower by just a few feet can have a dramatic impact during a heatwave, so it's worth considering if you are becoming too hot at night.

DIY air conditioning unit

Like many of us here in the United Kingdom, if you don't have air conditioning in your home, you might want to think about creating your own. Thankfully, it's very straightforward to do; all you need is a large bowl filled with ice cubes and a fan. Place the fan over the bowl so it blows a cool breeze throughout the room.

Or, if you prefer, you can get two water bottles, cut the bottom ends of each, tie them to the back of the fan and fill them with ice. And, voila, you have your very own AC unit to help you stay cool.

Keep cool as the Egyptians did

Did you know that the Ancient Egyptians used to cover their bedsheets in cold water in order to get a restful night's sleep? Well, now you do, and if it's good enough for the Pharaohs, it's probably worth a shot!

All you need to do these days, thanks to the help of a washing machine, is take a cold, wet towel and add it to a spin cycle, ridding it of excess moisture. The towel will still be damp, but it won't be soaking. Add it to your bed, lay down, and it will perfectly cool your body heat.

Turn pillows and blankets

There's little as comforting as turning over a pillow and lying on the cool side, is there? But, you can do the exact same with your blankets too, to get a brief blast of coolness. It won't keep you cool for long, but it will bring some temporary comfort.

Freeze your bed sheets

If you have room in your freezer, why not add your clean sheets to it and take them out just before going to bed? Ideally, add them to a ziplock bag and leave them for as long as you can before removing them.

Similar to turning your pillow over, they won't keep your body heat down all night, but they could just provide the coolness that's needed to allow you to fall asleep.

Make a cross breeze

In order to keep the temperature in your home comfortable, you should think about limiting as much heat from entering your property as possible. You can successfully use both doors and windows to increase air speed which will have a cooling effect on your home.

Try to open the windows that sit opposite each other; a small window will let air come in, and a larger window or door will work as the exit to push hot air out that has accumulated in the area.

Staying Cool While You Sleep

Once you have utilised some of the above steps (remember, try to employ as many as possible for the best results), you will want to ensure you do not become overly warm while you are sleeping.

Below are some useful and practical measures you can take so your slumber is not interrupted by overheating.

Forget nightwear

Leaving your nightwear off can help with decreasing your body's temperature. So say goodbye to your nightie or pyjamas being soaking wet; sleeping in the nude will allow your body to regulate itself better, allowing you to stay cool.

Sleeping naked also has several other great benefits, including improving your mental, physical and even sexual health, so it's worth a go.

Sleeping solo

Bad news for some: your partner or even your pet could be the very reason your body heat rises, making you wake up uncomfortable and covered in sweat. So if you do share a bed, it really could be worth slipping into the spare room on those extra-warm summer evenings to get a good night's sleep.

Or, if that isn't an option, move your partner or furry friend out to the living room couch instead - we're sure they'll forgive you! And, after all, it's not like we will run the risk of nice weather being a prolonged incident here in the UK any time soon, so it won't be for long!

Freeze socks

You will probably, at this point in the article, be acutely aware that here at Belledorm, the freezer really is out best friend when the warm weather hits. Another great way to ensure your temperature stays down during the night is to wear freezing cold socks.

During the day, place your socks in a zip pack and pop them into the freezer; you can even soak these in cool water before you do this if you wish. Try to leave them for as long as possible but even if you don't have the time or forget, a quick hour or two will help make a difference.

When you are ready for bed, simply slip them on, and you will feel instant relief from the warmth. Furthermore, you can even use a bandana or gloves in the same fashion. Even your nightwear (if you insist on wearing any - as we previously mentioned, we recommend wearing nothing at all on warm nights) can be put in the freezer to cool you down come the nighttime.

Keep your skin cool and moist

Allowing the largest organ in your body, your skin, to keep cool throughout the night is a great way to reduce excess body heat. There are lots of ways of doing this. Some people use gels and cooling sprays, while others prefer having a wet facecloth or a hot water bottle filled with ice readily on hand.

You can also opt to use facial and body cooling wipes that purport to keep you cool; these also have deodorant in them to keep away any lurking BO. Always opt for those that contain alcohol, as this is the property that works the best for ridding the body of heat just under the surface of the skin.

Adjust how you sleep

Many people aren't aware that their sleeping position has a lot to do with their body temperature. For example, if you sleep on your back, it might be time for a rethink. The fewer parts of your body that touch the bed are the key, so try, if you can, to practice sleeping on your side.

FAQs

What causes people's core body temperature to increase at night?

Usually, hot nights are to blame, but other factors can influence your body's temperature at night. This includes illnesses such as colds and viruses, but certain medications can also dictate your body temperature.

If you have any concerns, speak to your GP or pharmacist for advice on why you may be experiencing hot flashes at night.

Are night sweats normal?

Oh the whole, night sweats are perfectly normal, with almost all of us experiencing them at one point or another.

However, while it isn't generally considered a sign of anything bad, it can be extremely uncomfortable, not to mention expensive, with having to constantly clean and dry your sheets.

Do I need air conditioning to reduce my body heat?

No! The good news is that you absolutely do not need to spend out on expensive AC units to keep cool. There are so many tried and tested methods to keep you cool, from keeping cold water close by to drink, having a warm shower before bed, keeping a spray bottle handy, using fans, sleeping naked, and many more!

Is it possible to keep my bed cooler at night?

During a heatwave or a typical warm summer evening, you can opt to put cold, damp bed sheets on your bed to allow your temperature to stay cool during the night.

But, it's also really important to have the correct duvet to match the season. Look for quality, breathable bedding which will not allow you to overheat.

Final Thoughts

Warm weather can make it difficult to fall asleep, but it needn't be impossible. Follow our hints and tips to stay cool at night, and you should start seeing a drastic difference in your quality of sleep rather quickly.

Remember, for best results, try to adopt a few of these techniques, and you'll be sleeping sounding in no time!

Sweet dreams!

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