UK heatwave: How to get to sleep in the heat, as temperatures reach record highs

Francesca Specter
Yahoo Style UK deputy editor
Crop shot of female soft feet lying on white bed under blanket

We’re in the midst of a UK heatwave, with many of us worrying how to get to sleep despite the rising temperatures.

It’s well-known that being too hot at night is not just uncomfortable – it can also play havoc with our sleep cycles. Temperatures above 24 degrees are likely to cause restlessness, according to The Sleep Council website.

Which is bad news if you’re negatively affected by a lack of shut-eye (so, basically, everyone).

The solution? Well, first you could try camping out in your office or local supermarket and crossing your fingers they leave the air-con on overnight.

Alternatively, Neil Robinson, Chief Sleep Officer at Sealy UK, has listed a number of tips to help you nod off despite the extremely hot weather.

1 Ditch your partner

...Temporarily, that is. If you’re able to sleep in a separate room, or even kip on a comfy sofa, it could help you get a better quality of sleep.

“Not only are partners more likely to disturb you in the night, the extra body heat can make it even harder to get to sleep in the summer months,” advises Robinson.

He adds: “Sleeping in separate beds also means that you’re able to stretch out, rather than curl up, which helps body heat to escape.”

2 Use cotton sheets

If you are feeling clammy in your bed, it might be down to your choices of sheets.

While many bedsheets are made of percale – a cotton-polyester blend – investing in a 100% cotton sheet may reap rewards when it comes to optimising your snooze.

“The natural fibres help allow air to move freely and circulate through the fabric, which helps to keep you cooler through the night,” explains Robinson.

You can also forgo your duvet for a cotton sheet: “If your bedroom is especially hot, opt for a light cotton sheet rather than a duvet to allow even more circulation.”

3 Air your feet

While popular myth would have it that we regulate our temperature through our head, it’s actually more true that our internal thermometer is controlled by our feet and hands, says Robinson.

So, let your feet stick out the end of the duvet in order to help you stay cool.

4 Switch up your duvet

A quick crash course in how duvets work: the Tog of a duvet relates to how how much warmth it provides (not, as many people believe, its thickness).

A Tog count of 13.5+ is what’s known as a winter duvet, which is designed to trap and provide heat through the winter. Bad news if you’re already too hot in your home.

Invest in a lightweight summer duvet to help you get to sleep.

AmazonBasics Microfiber Duvet Light, £16.99

Buy now.

Silentnight Cooler Summer 4.5 Tog Duvet, £16.66

Buy now.

Sealy Select Response Duvet, 4.5 Tog, £29.37

Buy now.

5 Don’t exercise at night

If you were looking for a good excuse to dip out of that evening Body Pump class, here it is.

“Exercising too close to bedtime can not only leave you with a sudden surge of energy, but also raises the body’s core temperature, both of which makes sleeping in hot weather even more difficult,” says Robinson.

If working out is a key part of your routine, try switching it up to first thing instead.

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