7 Ways To Sleep Soundly On Hot Summer Nights
Author: Halcyon Dreams Date Posted:3 February 2022
Are you struggling to get a good night’s sleep at the moment? You’re not alone.
It’s been a record-breaking hot and humid summer. Whilst WA has sweltered in hotter than normal temperatures, in Sydney, we’ve been waking up to an average morning humidity of 84%! And, unfortunately, the effects of La Nina are not set to subside until autumn. Sigh!
The optimum sleep temperature is approximately 17-19°C, according to the Sleep Health Foundation. Keeping cool at night is key to getting a good night’s rest. If you don’t have air conditioning, here are some great tips and hacks to help you cool down:
- Fan Hacks
A fan is the standard go-to for staying cool on hot summer nights. If noise from the fan is going to interrupt your sleep, you’ll be pleased to know that there are a range of super quiet fans on the market these days. Bladeless fans are a fantastic option for sleeping due to their acoustic engineering which makes them much quieter. We recommend choosing a fan with a timer so that it switches off automatically at a specified time.
If it’s stiflingly hot inside your bedroom but cooler outside (usually in the evenings) try creating cross-ventilation by using two fans.
Unique Fan Hack!
Place one fan by an open window facing inwards. This will draw the cooler air into the room. Then, place a second fan by a different door or window, facing outwards. This will expel the hot air from the room creating cross-ventilation. If you have 2 fans in your household, we recommend trying out this somewhat unique method!
If you need a noiseless fan to keep you cool throughout the night, we recommend you have a look at the Rowenta Turbo Silence Extreme. This model is ultra-quiet and has a timer that you can set before nodding off.
- Window Tinting
If your home has large windows or glass sliding doors, you may want to consider window tinting as a permanent option. There are window films on the market that significantly decrease heat and glare while working with your insulation to keep your home cool.
Solar window film tints can block up to 82% of the sun’s heat! Not only that, but they can block up to 99% of harmful UV light that can cause skin cancer and can fade your furnishings.
1-way privacy solar window tints are a fantastic way to keep your home much cooler throughout the day and into the night. They also offer complete privacy so you can still enjoy your view in peace or even dance in front of the window in your underwear if you so desire!
Although there is the initial expense of applying window film tints, the money is often returned over a few years with a reduction in demand for air-conditioning or other energy-consuming appliances.
We recommend calling a specialised window tinting company. Most will provide you with a completely free in-home consultation and customised quote based on your specific needs.
- Choose Your Fabrics Wisely – Don’t Sweat The Bed!
What is the best material to choose for hot nights? Summer is definitely not the time of year for flannel. Natural fibres like cotton, bamboo and linen are popular, but other materials like Tencel™ and the innovative Nollapelli™ blend are making waves within the market.
Air circulation is crucial to keeping you cool at night. The material you choose for your bedding and clothing must be breathable...
This will allow the hot air around your body to be released rather than trapped. Trapped heat will only make you a hot mess…and not the fun kind!
Bamboo is becoming an increasingly popular choice because it’s natural, breathable, hypoallergenic and it wicks moisture away from your body. Plus, it’s a sustainable crop which means you can be cool and dry while also caring for the environment.
Now, when it comes to what you wear to bed, whether you prefer to wear what nature gave you or have a penchant for pyjamas your nan would be proud of, the same rules apply. It’s all about airflow.
If PJs are your thing, choose a loose and light design so that you don’t end up peeling off sticky layers in the middle of the night. Think shorts, a baggy t-shirt, a cami top, or a loose shirt.
Cotton and bamboo are cool and comfortable choices, but we’re also starting to see new fabrics on the market that blend science with textiles in exciting ways. Dagsmejan™ and Cool-jams™ are amongst several companies that have developed innovative wicking materials, which may give cotton a run for their money.
- Frozen Options
Freeze your sheets. Ok, this might sound a little strange, but stick with us. This low-tech option actually works well for a cool start to the night. Think of this as the summer version of an electric blanket in the winter. Rather than heat you up, cold sheets will bring your temperature down to get your body in a good physiological state for sleep. Keep in mind your body will gradually warm up the sheets, and they will end up back at room temperature, eventually.
We’re not suggesting you dump your entire doona into the freezer!
Try popping your top and/or fitted sheet into a sealed plastic bag and freeze for 10 minutes to 2 hours before you go to bed...
Just make sure that your sheets are dry otherwise you’ll end up with an ice block!
If frozen sheets are not your thing, try freezing a hot water bottle to take to bed with you on those hot summer nights. This simple hack can keep you cool for hours and can be positioned to meet your needs. We tried the frozen hot water bottle method on a recent humid summer night – resting the bottle on our side provided significant cooling to our entire body.
If you think this may be too cold for you, try putting a cover on your bottle or place it beside you to cool the sheets and your body more moderately. Bottle covers will also limit the amount of condensation on your sheets.
Don’t forget, water expands as it freezes, so don’t overfill the bottle. We recommend having a dedicated frozen hot water bottle for summer and separate hot water bottles for winter. Alternatively, you could use an ice pack wrapped in a tea towel.
If money is no object, take a look at the Chilipad™. This unique mattress topper uses water to regulate the temperature in your bed. If you share a bed with your partner, you can even set different temperatures for each side.
- Check Your Doona
Australia is a land of extremes. Summer to winter temps can vary wildly. This makes changing your bedding throughout the seasons a must – even more so if you are having trouble sleeping.
Your body temperature naturally drops during the night, so you may want to have a summer doona to provide you with some light cover. If you live in a warmer climate in Australia, a light blanket or even just a top sheet might be the best option for you.
For those who sleep with a doona in summer, the type of doona you have may also affect your sleep.
First of all, check the material fill of your doona. Often cheap quilts are made from synthetic materials like polyester. They are easy to clean but are not very good at keeping you cool, as they do not breathe. This causes heat to become trapped, which means your bed keeps getting warmer and warmer until you wake up drenched in sweat. Or maybe you’re caught in an annoying cycle of overheating, kicking the doona off, cooling down, pulling the doona back on…you know the drill. And neither situation is conducive to deep sleep.
Remember, air circulation is the secret to a cool night.
Natural fibres are breathable, so you are less likely to wake up feeling hot and sweaty. Materials like cotton, bamboo and wool (yes, wool) are the best choices.
Believe it or not, wool is a great temperature regulator.
Check the weight or GSM of your doona. GSM (Grams per Square Metre) is the measurement of thickness. Generally speaking, the higher the GSM, the thicker the quilt, the warmer you will be.
If your doona is causing you to overheat in summer, it could be time to invest in a lighter summer option.
- Keep Your Pillow Cool
Memory foam pillows can be great to rest your head on, but they are known to retain a lot of heat. For this reason, many memory foam pillows now use cooling gel interiors. A little research can go a long way before you buy to make sure that you choose an effective brand that suits your personal needs.
Cooling pillowcases are a cheaper alternative to replacing your pillows.
There are pillowcase products on the market that use cooling fibres on one side to keep you cool during summer, and cotton on the other, which is warmer during autumn and winter.
And, of course, you can also freeze your standard pillow covers before bed (along with your sheets) to soothe even the hottest of heads!
- Partner Sleeping Hacks
A little heat between the sheets is a good thing in a relationship…unless you’re just trying to get to sleep and your partner feels like molten lava.
If you share a bed with a partner, you may have already agreed that body contact is off the table when sleeping together on hot summer nights. Fortunately, there are several clever solutions to this common nocturnal problem. Halcyon Dreams’ Partners Heaven Split Doona was created specifically for couples who sleep at varying temperatures. You can even select the GSM for each side for maximum comfort. Whereas, the Sleep Number’s DualTemp™ single layer is similar to the Chilipad™ but uses airflow to regulate the temperature on one side of the bed. You just have to decide who gets it!
We will explore more methods that help you get a great nights rest with your partner in our next blog this month.
From us all at Halcyon Dreams, “Good night!”