The Ultimate Summer Sleeping Guide
Sleeping in the summer can be a challenge for many of us. 36% of UK adults already struggle to get to sleep at least once on a weekly basis, let alone when the heat makes it almost impossible to drift off.
Attempting to drift off when you feel restless and you’re trying to cool down is not only frustrating but it can also impact your 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 body temperature needs to be slightly lower before drifting off - which can be 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 the Zzzs.”
Hot and humid nights are thought to lower sleep efficiency as people tend to wake up more through the night. This restlessness prevents REM sleep, which is an important sleep stage that allows your body to rejuvenate and heal itself.
Let’s take a look at how the warmer weather interrupts our all-important sleep…
How much sleep do we need?
We should aim for around eight hours of sleep every night, but only 6% of us manage this consistently. The amount of sleep an average person gets 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 rocket when the heat does!
The ideal sleeping temperature is 16-18°C, yet summer temperatures reach average daily highs of 21°C (and can, in some cases, be much higher). This leads to sleep disruption being almost three times higher in the summer thanks to night-time temperatures.
Remember the 2019 summer heatwave? Searches for “how to sleep in the heat” leapt up by 327% in June 2019 - this is the most the term has been searched for 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 since lockdown, and the summer heat is set to exacerbate this! Did you know…
- Around 75% of people have experienced a change to their sleeping patterns since March 2020?
- A whopping 53% of people have changed their usual sleeping routine throughout the pandemic.
- 44% of people feel their sleep has worsened because of COVID-19.
Don’t let the warm summer months get you all hot and bothered! Change up your sleeping routine and choose the right bedding to help you drift off in cool comfort night after night.
The most common sleeping strategies are…
- Exercise (60.9%)
- Reading before bed (59.5%)
- Reducing caffeine (58.7%)
5 Interesting Health Benefits of Sleep
For healthy mental, physical and emotional wellbeing, sleep is key! Sleep is essential when giving your body the rest and recovery it needs. DUSK has put together 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 wellbeing but it will also have a positive impact on your mental health. If you’re not sleeping properly and find yourself awake all night struggling with your emotions, you will have a greater chance of suffering from poor mental health. If you're worrying all evening, this could result in a change in your mood, leaving you feeling low.
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 done best when asleep. Therefore, if you cut your sleep short you may experience an increase in negative emotional reactions.
5. Keeps your heart healthy
Getting regular, deep sleep and having a consistent sleep schedule can help to lower inflammation to 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 Sheets
Choose our all seasons duvet, 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
No heavy meals, caffeine, spice or dairy before bed. Caffeinated drinks are known to raise our blood pressure and increase alertness, spice could raise your body temperature and 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 PJs Carefully
Ditch the thick pajamas and opt for something light and floaty instead. This will help cool down your body temperature which will not only help you get a better sleep on a hot evening, but will regulate your skin’s temperature to stop you 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. Clothing that exposes hands and feet is also encouraged as we lose most heat through our extremities.
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 block out curtains or blinds as lighter, longer eves 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 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 in spraying lavender-scented mists to your sleep routine, pamper yourself and have a hot bath before bed to help you to relax?
Shop the Edit: Cooling Bed Sheets
One of the best ways to help you get to sleep during the summer is selecting dream-worthy bedding to help you doze.
Your bed linen can make a tremendous difference to your sleep quality. From choosing the right material through 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 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 Tencel blend is proven to be 30% 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 in all year round.
What are the best duvet fillings for the summer months?
The breathability of feather and down duvets helps you to control your temperature, making it 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.