How to sleep well in the heat

Tips to get a good night’s rest in hot weather

While it's lovely to have some sunshine, the hot weather can make it difficult to sleep. If you're finding it hard to get a good night's rest, making these changes to your bedtime routine may help.

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Experts suggest a bedroom temperature of around 16-18 degrees°C is best for sleep. In the hottest days of summer, this can be hard to achieve without air conditioning, but there are things you can do.

On hot days, keep your curtains closed to block out the sun, which should make your room a bit less hot. Thermally-lined curtains are a good investment as they keep the room cooler in summer and warmer in winter.

If it's hotter in the bedroom than outside, open the windows to let the heat out – and also open windows in other rooms to create some through-draft. If you find that it's warmer outside than inside (check using a thermometer if you're not sure), then keep your windows closed to prevent warm air entering.

It's worth investing in a couple of electric fans to help create a breeze. If that doesn't do the trick, try filling a roasting tin with ice cubes and position it in front of the fan. The air will pick up cold water from the ice's surface as it melts, producing a cooling mist.

If hot weather is forecast for a spell of time, it's worth making a temporary bed downstairs if possible. Heat rises, so it should be cooler on the ground floor.

Some people swear by hanging a wet sheet in front of the window, while others put their pillow case and sheets in the fridge to cool down. It's also worth having a tepid shower before you go to bed.

Eating and drinking

Remember to drink lots of water, and keep a bottle by your bed. If you're hydrated, you'll sweat more and that will help cool you down. Try to sip cooled water throughout the day, and not just before bed – or you may be kept awake with night-time trips to the loo.

The usual advice applies – avoid big meals before bed and opt for a light snack. Turkey, milk, bananas and yogurt are all good choices as they contain tryptophan, which is known to help promote sleep.

Don't drink coffee in the evening and avoid alcohol, as this will dehydrate you.