The Ultimate Summer Sleeping Guide

Sleeping on a hot summer’s night can be a challenge, especially when we’d love nothing more than to snuggle up under a cosy duvet. Studies show that 36% of UK adults already struggle to get to sleep at least once every week, let alone when the summer heat makes it almost impossible to drift off. 

Attempting to fall asleep when you feel restless and warm is not only frustrating, but it can also impact our all-important rest and rejuvenation time. We all need a good amount of sleep to help both our physical and mental health, so it’s important to find ways to cope with the summer temperatures. 

We search high and low for the perfect cooling bed sheets and for that lovely cool side of the pillow - that's why the team at DUSK have crunched the numbers, analysed the stats and pulled together some top tips to help you sleep better and beat the heat.

Top Summer Sleeping Stats 

It’s recommended that we should get about seven to eight hours of good-quality sleep each night to function the following day. However, when the temperature soars, our bodies struggle to naturally relax into sleep. That’s because our basal body temperature needs to be slightly lower before drifting off - which can feel almost impossible if you’re too hot! 

Lisa Artis at The Sleep Council once said: “Hot weather can be a nuisance when it comes to bedtime, and while we may celebrate the warmth of the sun and the longer, brighter days, heat can cause havoc when it comes to catching those Zzzs.” 

Hot and humid nights are thought to lower sleep efficiency as we tend to wake up more through the night. This restlessness prevents REM sleep, which is an important stage within our sleep cycle that allows our body to rejuvenate and heal itself. 

Let’s take a look at how the warmer weather can interrupt our sleep.

How much sleep do we need? 

Sleep experts say that adults should aim for around 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night, but only 6% of us manage this consistently. The average amount of sleep UK adults typically get is just 6 hours and 3 minutes.

The impact heat has on our sleep

It takes between 10 and 20 minutes for the average person to fall asleep but this number can skyrocket when heat and humidity are added to the equation.

The ideal sleeping temperature is 16-18°C, yet, in recent years, summer temperatures have reached daily highs of 25°C (and, in some cases, higher). This leads to sleep disruption being almost three times higher in the summer, thanks to increased night-time temperatures. 

During the 2019 summer heatwave, searches for “how to sleep in the heat” leapt up by 327% - proving to be the highest search volume for this term over the past five years. 

And every summer tells the same old story…

Searches for ‘summer bedding’ also rise as the temperature does with many of us turning to cooler sheets to help us sleep. 

Our Head of Design, Farah Arshad says: "The best place to start when preparing the bedroom for summer is with the bed linen itself. Choosing bed linen made from natural materials such as 100% cotton is recommended all year round, but particularly in summer as cotton is breathable and won’t trap in heat.”

Our sleep routines have changed over the years, and the summer heat is set to exacerbate this! Did you know…

  • Around 75% of people have experienced a change in their sleeping patterns since March 2020?
  • Approximately 53% of people have changed their usual sleeping routine throughout the pandemic. 
  • 44% of people feel their sleep has worsened because of COVID-19.

But don’t let the warm summer months get you all hot and bothered! Adapting your pre-bedtime routine can help you drift off in cool comfort night after night. 

The most common sleeping-aiding strategies are:

  • Exercise (60.9%)
  • Reading before bed (59.5%) 
  • Reducing caffeine (58.7%)

5 Interesting Health Benefits of Sleep

Sleep is fundamental for our mental, physical and emotional well-being and is essential for giving your body the rest and recovery it needs.

Here are five reasons why getting enough shut-eye is important:

1. Improves your attention span and concentration 

Little to no sleep can lead to you having trouble recalling information as rest plays an important role in both memory and learning. It’s tough to concentrate and focus without much sleep, as quality sleep helps keep our energy levels up. Not getting enough sleep can mean your brain and body won't function as well the next day, so get some much-needed rest and you will stay on the ball all day long.  

2. Keeps your immune system strong 

Keep germs at bay and your immune system fighting fit with a proper night's sleep! During sleep, your body has time to rest and repair, which is the main reason why you need to sleep more when you are unwell. A good night's sleep will help your body's immune response remain strong, allowing it essential time for rest and recovery to fight any germs that may come your way.  

3. Helps look after your mental health 

Not only will sleep improve your physical well-being but it will also have a positive impact on your mental health. A good night’s sleep is great for lifting your mood and will set you up for the following day. 

4. Relieves stress 

Regular, quality sleep can help reduce your stress levels. When your body doesn’t get enough sleep, it can react by producing an elevated level of stress hormones that can keep you awake at night. Your mind needs time to process your emotions, which is best done when asleep. 

5. Keeps your heart healthy

Getting regular, deep sleep and having a consistent sleep schedule can help to lower inflammation in our cardiovascular system. Whilst sleeping, our blood pressure decreases which gives our heart some much-needed rest. Therefore the less sleep you get, the longer your blood pressure stays up during a 24-hour cycle.

DUSK’s Summer Secrets: How To Sleep In The Heat

So we know why it’s important to get a good night’s sleep and why the warmer weather might not always help us achieve it. Next up, we’re going to take a look at how you can still catch a dream-worthy sleep even at the height of summer. 

1. Think About Your Duvets 

Choose our duvets, as they are the perfect lightweight option. 100% cotton sheets are a great summer choice; being naturally breathable, they tend to become less clammy than synthetic alternatives when your body temperature rises.

2. Keep Air Flowing  

Keep air flowing throughout your bedroom by keeping doors and windows open. This will give the hot air in the house somewhere to escape to and will bring down the room temperature in your bedroom. It’s also a good idea to keep your bedroom doors open to help hot air escape and to circulate cool air from your open windows. 

3. Stay Hydrated  

Drink plenty of water in the evening, and keep a glass by your bedside to stay hydrated if you wake up in the night. One study found that dehydration is linked to insomnia, too. So be sure to sip plenty of H20 throughout the day as a preventative measure.

4. Eat Strategically  

Avoid heavy meals, caffeine, spice or dairy before bed. Caffeinated drinks are known to raise our blood pressure and increase alertness, spicy foods could raise your body temperature, while heavy dairy-filled meals could leave you feeling uncomfortable, hot and restless.  

5. Fill a Bottle with Ice Water 

Get your hot water bottle out and fill it with ice cold water or, if you want to make it even colder, pop it in the freezer ten minutes before bedtime and take it out just before you head off to sleep. 

6. Choose Your Nightwear Carefully

Ditch the thick pyjamas and opt for something light and floaty instead. This will help cool down your body temperature, which will not only help you get better sleep on a hot evening but will regulate your skin’s temperature to stop you from waking up throughout the night. Studies show that light, thin materials like cotton aids sleep in the heat as it draws sweat away from your body whilst still allowing your skin to breathe. 

7. Switch Off Your Electrics 

Turn off your devices an hour or two before bed and read or listen to music instead. Also, turn off all the plug sockets you can to help keep things cool - and save some energy while you're at it. Electrical sockets kick out a surprising amount of heat, and they could be the difference between a good night's sleep and an uncomfortably warm nightmare.

8. Block Out the Sun 

Invest in curtains or blinds as lighter, longer evenings and earlier sunny mornings can disturb your sleeping pattern drastically. Shade is an essential component of cooling down. A simple hack to help you sleep in the heat is to close windows and draw curtains or blinds during the hottest parts of the day, typically between 2pm and 4pm.

 9. Keep Space Between You 

Leaving plenty of space around yourself in bed will help keep the air around you as you won't have anyone else's body temperature adding to yours, ultimately keeping you cooler. 

10. Create a Calming Bedroom Routine and a Sleeping Pattern 

Try going to bed at the same time every night and have an alarm set at the same time each morning. This sleep routine will help your body prepare to drift off which will help you sleep better during warmer weather. Why not add lavender-scented mists to your sleep routine and pamper yourself while you cool down?

Getting Your Kids To Sleep In The Heat

Getting kids to sleep after a long summer’s day can be a struggle, but from picking out your kid’s bed linen and new pillows to selecting the perfect mattress and placing a fan in their room, you can ensure your little ones get the ultimate night’s sleep all year round. 

Keep your child’s room out of direct sunlight during the day

When it comes to getting your child to sleep through a heatwave, you will need to try and keep curtains drawn in their room during the heat of the day, but with the window open behind to keep the air circulating. This ensures the room has less of a chance to become stuffy and too hot for them to sleep. 

Make sure the sheets are cotton

It’s important to select kids’ bedding that is super soft and made from cotton for optimum comfort. According to studies, cotton bed linen is the most suitable for children, thanks to its soft feel and breathable finish. This helps to regulate body temperature so that your little ones are never too hot or too cold. Our range of kids’ bed linen is carefully crafted from 100% cotton, so you know that when it comes to bedtime it's a safe choice for your little ones to curl up in! 

Use a small fan

You may worry that the noise of a fan will keep your little one awake at night, but they will soon get used to  it. A fan can help to keep the room cooler and regulate the temperature, allowing your kids to have a restful slumber through the hottest of days. 

Shop the Edit: Cooling Bed Sheets

One of the best ways to help you get to sleep during the summer is to select dream-worthy bedding to help you doze. 

Your bed linen can make a tremendous difference to your sleep quality. From choosing the right material to picking the right tog, there’s a skill in selecting bedding that will keep you cool. 

Breathable Bed Linen

Breathable material will help to keep you cool in the warmer months. Natural materials such as cotton will absorb heat and wick away moisture without clinging to the skin. Light, breathable fibres make ideal duvet covers as not only are they comfortable and cool, they’re stylish too. 100% Egyptian cotton bed linen will provide the soft, comfy feel you need to snuggle up but without overheating. 

Choose a fabric with a low thread count (around 200 is perfect for a heatwave) as the thinner material will feel much lighter and more comfortable when muggy weather sets in. 

Don’t ignore the role colour plays in keeping you cool, either. Lighter colours reflect light as opposed to absorbing it, so why not opt for a fresh and summery colour palette such as crisp white bedding when picking out your bed linen? 

Cooling Mattress Toppers & Pillows

With cooling pillows and mattress toppers, a very specific blend of materials is designed to draw heat away from you which creates a comfortable, cool haven. 

Our cooling pillow’s low thread count and cotton blend is proven to be cooler than cotton - perfect for getting a restful night’s sleep despite scorching summer weather. Complete your summer bedding collection with a regulating mattress protector featuring cooling fibre technology designed to help you sleep in the heat. 

Light duvets for the summer heat

Select a luxury duvet with a low tog rating to see you through the summer months. A 2.5 or 4.5 tog is perfect for warmer weather, while a 9 tog is best for the milder months as we head into autumn and winter. Enjoy the ultimate flexibility with our all-seasons duvets. This versatile duvet option contains two quilts (a 4.5 tog and a 9 tog), which can be used either separately or connected for the colder months - perfect for cosying up all year round. 

What are the best duvet fillings for the summer months?

The breathability of feather and down duvets helps you to regulate your body temperature, making them a popular choice for those who struggle to sleep in the summer. Having said that, heat can be problematic for those with sensitive skin and choosing a non-allergenic option such as a feels-like-down microfibre duvet could be the most appropriate choice. 

Farah Arshad concludes: "Bed linen should be paired with a low-tog duvet to aid a restful slumber during the summer months. People often focus on just the tog, however, it’s the material which makes all the difference." 

Whether you like to keep toasty or prefer a cooler room temperature, the bedding you choose can help you set yourself on the right track for a great night’s sleep. For more sleeping tips and advice on how to choose and care for your bedding, bookmark our blog or follow us on Facebook and Instagram