Tips and Tricks for Summer Sleeping
Tuesday, 23 May 2017 | Eugene
It's a hot summer night. You toss and turn, only to find a warm, stifling and even damp pillow to meet your neck and face at every movement. Fans, open windows and a multitude of positions are no match for the humid air in your bedroom, forcing you into an uncomfortable and frustratingly broken night's sleep. We all know this feeling, but most of us feel that our only recourse is a few flips of the pillow and a cold shower in the morning. The good news is: it doesn't have to be this way. We at Health and Care know this, and have compiled a handy list of tips and tricks to keep you as cool as the other side of the pillow, without the need to flip it all night long.
The Classics: Top 5
Before we get into some of our more high-tech ideas to keep you cool in bed, we thought we'd provide a list of five of the more well-worn solutions, in no particular order. These methods have been around for a while, and, even though they may not solve your problems alone, they've stood the test of time because they work. So if you don't have time to go out and buy a summer sleeping solution before bed, giving these methods a try certainly won't hurt.
1) Have a Shower
It's hardly revolutionary, but the simple act of having a shower before bed can go a long way to regulating your body temperature. Counter-intuitively, it's best to avoid ice showers in favour of a more lukewarm shower, ideally as close to your normal body temperature as possible. A cold shower may cause your body to raise its temperature in response, while a lukewarm shower will bring down your temperature without the shock.
2) Soak a Face Cloth
Another well-known folk sleeping remedy is to soak a face cloth or small towel before bed for application to your body. Wring the towel out to avoid wetting your bed sheets, and then apply to your exposed skin where you feel it would be most effective. For stomach sleepers, this is usually the back or the nape of the neck. For those who sleep on their back, a cloth on the forehead is probably the way to go.
3) Stay Hydrated
It's almost too simple to mention, but having a cold glass of water close by can be the difference between a broken and comfortable night's sleep. If you wake up feeling hot or dehydrated, simply turn over and have a sip. It should go without saying that this method is best taken sparingly, or you could be finding yourself taking a few more trips to the bathroom than you'd like.
4) Choose Cotton Sheets
While the luxury provided by satin or silk sheets may be satisfying during the cooler months, in the summer, it's best to give them a miss. These fancy fabrics may feel nice on the skin, but they also lack breathability and may cause you to sweat in bed. For the hottest nights, light-coloured cotton is the best choice, as it boasts top-notch ventilation compared to other fabrics, letting the air flow onto your skin and helping you beat the heat.
5) Try Wheat and Cherry Stones
While most people think of wheat, bead or cherry stone pillows as being more suited towards providing heat on a cold day, their temperature-retaining properties actually make them just as good for keeping cool! Since they hold their temperature for much longer than standard pillows or Wheat Bags can be a godsend on hot nights, quickly becoming cold in the freezer and keeping their temperature for a long time. These pillows will stay cool for up to 30 minutes, more than enough time to help you fall asleep comfortably.
Our Picks: 21st Century Solutions
Now that we've gone through many of the well-known summer sleeping tips and tricks, it's time to add in a few ideas of our own. While the methods above have worked for countless people in the past, they all leave something to be desired, whether it's their longevity, comfort or convenience. This, then, is where we bring out the big guns, with some pillows specially designed to keep you cool during the night in a variety of different ways. While these aren't as simple as some of the tips mentioned above, we guarantee they'll go a long way to improving your sleep on hot nights and keeping you rested in any season.
First up is one of our very favourite summer sleeping solutions, the Cooling Pillow Topper. This topper is as simple as it is effective, with no batteries, wires or fans to make noise or use up electricity. The secret behind this pillow topper is the cooling gel, inside a medical grade cotton pad for comfort and breathability. The sealed gel packs within the topper react to your body heat, creating a 'dry' cooling sensation on your skin. The cooling power is activated every time you move, giving you that cool side of the pillow feeling all night long. As an added bonus, besides being great for general hot-weather sleeping, this pillow topper will provide relief from sunburn, hot flushes and headaches.
While most people give plenty of thought to the pillow they use at night, few will spend much time thinking about the actual part of the pillow in contact with your body all night: the pillow case. The Derma Therapy Pillow Case is made using advanced technology bedding materials, offloading moisture and encouraging evaporation for a sweat-free, comfortable slumber. Originally developed for those with skin conditions, this pillow case has been found to be an excellent solution for those who suffer from night sweats, hot flushes and general overheating during the night. By dissipating heat and moisture away from the skin, the Derma Therapy Pillow provides a drier, cleaner and cooler surface, providing you with an excellent and undisturbed night's sleep.
A pillow of rapidly increasing popularity here at Health and Care is the Mediflow Water Base Orthopaedic Pillow, containing multiple layers that work together to provide you with consistent, restful sleep. Besides being excellent for neck pain, this pillow is perfect for summer sleeping, with a middle layer developed by NASA to prevent heat transfer from the pillow to your body. Breathable polyester fibre is placed on top of the insulating layer, which in turn floats over the water pouch, working to regulate temperature and provide your head and neck with high levels of support. Ranked best overall against other pillow types in all aspects of sleep quality, this pillow may be the last you'll need to buy to provide yourself with top-quality sleep, 365 days a year.
Try One for Yourself!
After reviewing all the tips, tricks and products we have to help you sleep better, there's only one thing left to do: try them for yourself. Whether it's a classic sleep-better method or one of our more advanced sleep aids, the only way to know what works best for you is to try them out and form your own opinions. Different methods tend to work best for different people, so chances are you'll already have an idea of what type of approach will work for you. So get involved and try some out, and even browse our full selection of pillows if you're feeling adventurous. All our pillows are available with free UK delivery, so you have nothing to lose but your sleepless nights!