9 top tips for getting a good night’s sleep in the heatwave

If you’re worried about getting a good night’s sleep during the balmy months, here are some clever tricks for staying cool when you hit the hay.

Since Britain isn’t exactly a tropical country, most of us don’t have air-conditioned homes – so high temperatures can mean misery, not least when we’re trying to sleep.

Recent research from The Wool Room in partnership with Leeds University has revealed that you needn’t get hot and bothered under the covers this summer, as sleeping with wool bedding can help you get a better and less interrupted night’s sleep.

The study showed that whilst over a third of Brits put a lack of sleep down to being too hot at any time of the year, this rises to over half during the summer months. As a result, both men and women are more likely to label the summer as their least favourite season, due to constant fatigue and stress caused by sleepless nights. Other factors shown to affect sleep over the summer include allergies, neighbourhood noise and sharing the bed with a partner.   

[Read more: Heatwave: How to survive the hot British weather]

Chris Tattersall, Managing Director of The Wool Room commented: “Being too hot to sleep at night is actually one of the most common complaints we receive throughout the year, however there is always a noticeable increase during the summer months.

"There are a number of ways to help keep cool at night, wool being the most natural of them all.”

So follow these top tips for getting a good night’s sleep even when it’s hot, hot, hot. Because if you can’t stand the heat… there’s no reason to keep out of the bedroom.

1.Use cotton or wool bedding

Synthetic material retains heat, whereas cotton is breathable and thus will keep you cooler. Wool’s ability to regulate body temperature makes it a fibre with high natural intelligence. Keeping bedlinen natural with fabrics such as organic cotton will work with wool to ensure a good night’s sleep.

The same goes for nightwear, too (and wearing cotton will keep you cooler than going naked!).

2. And put it in the fridge or freezer beforehand

No, really. Pop your sheets, pillow cases and duvet cover in a plastic bag and stick them in the freezer 30 minutes or so before you go to bed. They’ll stay cool for a short while – hopefully long enough for you to get to sleep.

3.Buy a fan (and ear plugs)

Continental temperatures call for good old-fashioned continental measures: a pedestal or desk fan. And if the sound of a fan is going to get some getting used to, invest in a pair of ear plugs, too.

4. Use your fan to make a DIY air-conditioner

For added coolness, follow Silentnight’s sleep expert Dr Nerina Ramlakhan's tip and place a pan full of ice cubes in front of your fan. The resulting breeze will cool the room down as the ice melts.

5. Stay hydrated

Chris suggests drinking a glass of water half an hour before bed to help keep body temperature levels low throughout the night.

6. Put ice packs on your pulse points

And an ice pack isn’t just for keeping picnic drinks cool! They can also be used as handy cool packs for your body: just place them on your wrists, ankles and neck.

[Read more: 9 surprising tips to help you fall asleep at night]

7. Have a tepid shower or bath before bedtime

A cold shower or bath will actually have the effect of raising your body temperature, so to stay cool, make sure the water is tepid. If you don’t have time for a shower or bath, do as Dr Nerina advises and run your feet and wrists under cold water before you go to bed.

8. Sleep in cool wet socks

Or even a damp T-shirt. The heat produced by your body will cause the water in the clothes to evaporate - producing a cooling effect on your skin and lowering your temperature.

9. Keep a flannel – and a plant mist sprayer – by your bedside

As Dr Nerina says, popping a flannel in the fridge for an hour or so before bedtime will produce a lovely cooling cloth to put your forehead as you drift off. And if you need cooling off during the night, simply reach for the mist sprayer!

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