Heat-Health Alert: Sleep Expert Shares 10 Tried + Trusted Tips for Beating the Heat at Night THIS Weekend

Yesterday the first heat-health alert in the UK was sent out as six parts of the UK have been issued a yellow alert. With this in mind, Martin Seeley, the CEO and sleep expert at MattressNextDay has explained why people are likely to get less sleep this weekend unless you try out his 10 unique hacks for beating the heat night. 

Martin Seely said, “Whilst this weekend’s mini heatwave is a real mood booster, it’s likely that many Brits will struggle to sleep during it. Firstly, the heat and humidity can make it hard to fall asleep at night, which leads to tossing, turning, sweating and, therefore, a lack of high-quality sleep.”

“Secondly, you may find that the excitement of longer and warmer days has led to you forgetting to prioritise sleep. When the warmer weather arrives, there’s a new sense of optimism about the number of things you can complete in a single day, as well as having the mental energy to do it all. However, if you’re not logging seven or eight hours of sleep per night, then you’ll slowly start to feel the consequences of sleep deprivation, which will ironically make you feel anti-social, after socialising so much. Instead, try not to spread yourself too thin and prioritise sleep if you’re feeling an afternoon slump.

“If you also find yourself making the most of a pub garden after work, it may also be impacting your sleep. Whilst heading to a bar for some beers is all fun and well, you should make sure to stop consuming alcohol within three hours of your bedtime. Although alcohol can make feel sleepy due to its sedative properties and, therefore, make you fall asleep more quickly, your quality of sleep that night will be lower, and you’ll feel excessive daytime sleepiness the following date.”

10 tried and trusted tips for getting a good night’s sleep during a heatwave.

To create a comfortable sleeping environment, you should keep your bedroom between 16 to 18°C. Naturally, you can use a fan to achieve this lower temperature or if you feel yourself heating up, there are some hacks to achieve a cooler sleeping environment:

  1. Put your pillowcase in the freezer for 15 minutes before you go to bed.

If you struggle to cool down at night, fill your hot water bottle up with cold water and put it in the freezer an hour before you plan on going to bed. Or, if you don’t own a hot water bottle, put your pillowcase in the freezer for 15 minutes before you plan on hitting the hay. 

  1. When you brush your teeth, also run your wrists under cold water.

When you brush your teeth before bed, you should also run your wrists under cold water for a few minutes before bedtime, as this quickly cools your body down. 

  1. Keep your bedroom’s blinds and curtains shut all day. 

Naturally, the sun tends to be the hottest throughout the day so a top tip is to keep your blinds and curtains shut throughout the day, to prevent the sun from coming in. This should keep your bedroom cooler a night-time when it’s time to fall asleep. 

  1. Expose yourself to as much daylight as possible throughout the day.

However, whilst you should keep your bedroom away from the light, you should personally try and spend as much time out in throughout the day. This is because light plays the most integral role in regulating your body’s internal clock, as it signals to your brain when to be alert and when to rest. 

Throughout the day, you should expose yourself to as much light as possible to bring on the feeling of alertness, however, as the day goes on, you should close your curtains to block out the light at night and instead use ambient lamps. By the time you get to bed, your bedroom should be virtually black, so your brain knows that it’s bedtime. If your blind or curtain situation doesn’t allow this, keep an eye mask near your bed to block the light out.

  1. Make sure to drink at least two litres of water throughout the day.

Not only does keeping hydrated boost your energy but your metabolism too. Even mild dehydration can leave you feeling sleepy and tired, whilst negatively disrupting your mood.

  1. Try to avoid napping but if you must, do it the right way.

Whilst the sun makes it incredibly easy to have an accidental afternoon nap, this can have a detrimental effect on your sleep that night unless it’s done right. If you must nap, you should only sleep for between 10-20 minutes as anything longer than 30 minutes can risk feeling groggy as your body will have entered a deep sleep cycle. 

Also, make sure to time your nap right. As your alertness naturally dips in the afternoon, you should pay attention to when you start to feel drowsy and nap straight away (if possible). Make sure this is more than 8 hours before your bedtime though, as it could impact your sleep if not.

  1. Stop drinking alcohol at least three hours before your bedtime.

Whilst drinking a glass of wine or a bottle of beer is customary for most during a heatwave, it’s important to stop drinking at the right time so your sleep isn’t disrupted. Whilst alcohol can make you fall asleep due to its sedative properties and, therefore, allow you to fall asleep quickly, what’s not common knowledge is that your sleep quality is considerably lower after consuming alcohol. You won’t feel recharged the following morning and will suffer from excessive sleepiness throughout the day. So, if you do decide to drink (which is fair!), make sure to stop drinking at least three hours before your bedtime so it’s mostly worn off by the time you drift off.

  1. Switch your duvet cover to a lighter-coloured one.

You should switch your duvet cover to know that is not only lighter in colour but in a lighter material to regulate your body temperature if you tend to sweat at night. It’s important to choose this type of bedding during spring and summer as night sweats can disturb your sleep and significantly impact your mood. Also, remember to wash your bedding once a week in spring and summer to remove any build-up of bacteria if you are prone to sweating.

  1. Place a bowl of ice in front of your electric fan.

Ideally, you should sleep with a fan during a heatwave to keep cool. However, did you know that filling a bowl with ice cubes and placing it in front will make your room even cooler? This is because the ice cubes slowly melt away, dispersing a cool breeze. 

  1. Move your bed to this secret spot which encourages the highest quality of sleep.

If you’re struggling to sleep, you should also consider moving your bed to the best position for sleep, as this can improve your sleep quality beyond the heatwave. Placing your bed against the longest wall allows you to fall asleep faster as when it’s alternatively placed near a door or window, you can be kept away from sounds and shadows, which are likely to happen during the hotter periods of the year as people make the most of the weather. 

Anabel Cooper

Anabel is a graduate of King’s College London and upon graduating, she set out on a journey to inspire and empower women through her words. Besides working as a digital marketing expert, Anabel is a freelance copywriter.