Ahhhhh, heatwaves – what's not to like about BBQs, terrace drinks and the chance to wear our favourite sundresses and strappy sandals for days on end? Well, it's all fun and games until we try to settle down for a good night's sleep. Suddenly we're a hot sweaty mess, tossing and turning under the sheets as we desperately try to cool down and catch some rest. But don't worry, there are a few tricks you can employ in order to lower the temperature and sleep soundly. Here are eight tips for sleeping in a heat wave.
Too-hot nights can suck the fun out of heat waves
1. Wear the right fabrics
When the mercury's rising it's tempting to just strip off entirely. But it's actually better to wear thin cotton pyjamas that let the skin breathe and soak up excess sweat. Similarly, make sure your bedsheets are made out of cotton, rather than manmade fabrics such as nylon.
2. Use water spray
Giving your bedsheets a light spray – not a soak – will help keep you cool throughout the night. You can also spray your curtains to create a light breeze that will float around your room. Another trick is to keep an empty perfume or mini spray bottle filled with chilled water by your bed, to dot on your neck and wrists when you overheat.
3. Chill your sheets
Yes, you can freeze your sheets! Pop them in a plastic bag then in the freezer for a few minutes to get them icy cool.
4. Close the curtains during the day
It may be tempting to throw open your curtains all day long to let air in, but this may actually cause your home to heat up more. Try using thin white cotton blinds and curtains, and keep them closed throughout the day.
5. Make a 'cold water bottle'
Yes, it works the other way round – fill up your hot water bottles with ice and chilled water and place it on your pulse points, such as the neck, wrists, knees and ankles, or pop it in the freezer and bring it to bed with you.
6. Turn off all plug sockets
Plug sockets and electronic devices leak energy into the air, so turning them off will help lower your room's temperature as well as saving you a bit of cash.
7. Sleep downstairs
Hot air rises, so if your bedroom is on the top floor then it's worth sleeping downstairs, if you have the space. You could also try sleeping as close to the floor as possible by taking your mattress off the bed or sleeping on a futon.
8. Sleep alone
If you share a bed with a partner, then consider (temporarily) saying goodbye – two bodies means twice the heat. To prevent arguments over who gets the bed and who's confined to the sofa, try taking it in turns.