When Britain’s temperatures soar it results in thousands of people feeling exhausted, restless and downright cranky as they struggle to get a good night’s sleep against stuffy bedroom temperatures.
While most homeowners are prepared with blackout blinds to combat light entering a room in the battle for summertime sleep, it’s actually unusually high temperatures that Brits are most unequipped for.
As experts in creating the optimum sleep environment, The Fine Bedding Company has looked at all of the key factors that can affect a quality night’s sleep – temperature being the main one.
Helen Johnson from The Fine Bedding Company offers this advice for sleeping in the heat.
According to most experts, the optimum room temperature for sleeping is between 16C and 18C. Having a thermometer in a bedroom is a good idea to track whether rooms are too hot.
Some simple changes to how consumers manage their bedrooms in the day can make a big difference. Advice is to try to not let rooms overheat in the first place. Closing blinds or curtains during the day can help to prevent sunlight or warmth through windows entering a bedroom. It’s then a good idea to open windows as soon as the evening temperatures drop.
Adding an air conditioning unit or using an ‘ice fan’ to circulate cool air is a great idea, but not everyone has room to store these items to only bring them out for a few weeks of the year. Similarly the noise generated by electrical coolers means it’s not an option for use throughout the night.
It’s essential to introduce a low Tog duvet in warm weather and use fabrics or products that have been designed specifically to allow bodies to naturally breathe. We recommend a 4.5 Tog for warm weather, or a 7 Tog. These can be bought as individual duvets or, another cost-efficient option is to invest in a four-season duvet that combines a 4 and 9 Tog duvet that links together or can each be used individually.
Don’t Sweat It
Many consumers also find their sleep is disturbed by excess sweat during the hot weather.
Specially designed products, such as The Fine Bedding Company Breathe range that is made up of advanced Smartfil® fibres blended with modal to help to wick away (remove) moisture from the body, can provide the comfort of a duvet but will help to prevent bodies generating excess moisture during the night. Dr Penny Lewis who runs the sleep lab at Manchester University advises “a good duvet can help us to maintain a comfortable body temperature while we sleep even if the room is a bit too warm or too cold. If it is highly breathable e.g. with natural or technically innovative synthetic fill, it can also prevent moisture from accumulating.”
While many people assume that sleeping under a sheet is the only way to keep cool enough in really hot rooms, this can actually be more disruptive to sleep because it doesn’t offer the feeling or comfort of a duvet. Duvets using advanced fibres have been designed to be ultra lightweight and to allow air to flow through the fibres; these fillings have added benefits for delivering climate control than the humble sheet.
As well as the type of duvet, there are other fabrics that are naturally cooling.
Natural fibres such as silk and cotton deliver a fresh feel and temperature-regulating qualities.
Don’t be hot headed
Pillows are often overlooked as a means to enjoy a cooler night’s sleep, but the head allows a lot of heat to leave the body. Choosing a breathable pillow – such as a naturally breathable goose down filled pillow or a fibre filled pillow specifically designed to increase airflow through it (such as the Breathe pillow) – can help to allow heat to leave the body.
Some pillows also have added technical materials built in to offer a cooling effect; our product is the Cool Touch pillow. This contains ProCool® intelligent cooling fibres and works by using thermodynamics to regulate temperature; excess heat is absorbed into a ‘core’ and is only allowed to be slowly released again as the night cools and once body temperature is at an optimum level.
Having water by the bed is advice offered by a number of sleep experts – who recommend drinking cold water is a way to not only immediately cool the body down but that being hydrated will help to lower a body’s temperature.
PJs or not?
Sleeping in tight clothing is not only uncomfortable it will lead to heat retention. Try sleeping in lightweight, loose cotton pyjamas that are breathable. Even if it’s hot – if you’re used to sleeping in night wear, rather than not, then stick to what you’re used to and comfortable with – just choosing the right fabrics and loose clothing.
Helen added: “Our experts who create the new technologically advanced products have worked hard to combine different fibres and new processes to create our most breathable and temperature regulating duvets and pillows yet. They’re specifically designed for those who struggle to sleep in the heat, but also those who suffer from hot flushes and similar symptoms.”
Visit www.finebedding.co.uk to buy online, for stockists and to view The Fine Bedding Company’s full range. There is also more advice on the company’s blog.