Personal Development

You can have a good night’s sleep even in this heat


Sleeping in this hot weather is proving tough for us Brits, luckily our sleep expert Dr Chris Idzikowski has some top tips in his book Sound Asleep.

If you don’t fall asleep easily because generally you’re too hot when you go to bed, try the following:

    • Wear cotton or silk nightclothes, even in preference to sleeping naked. Natural fibres wick away moisture from your skin, which in turn allows the body’s cooling mechanisms to work properly. Make sure your nightclothes are loose-fitting and comfortable. If you do prefer to sleep naked, adhere to the following point …
    • Use sheets (top and bottom), and a duvet cover if you have a duvet, made from natural fibres.
    • If you can, consider sleeping with your legs spread apart rather than curling yourself up into a ball. Spreading your sleeping surface area will help to keep you cool.
    • Try to circulate air through your room. If you don’t have a ceiling fan or air conditioning, leave your bedroom door open. If you live in a house and sleep upstairs, leave the loft hatch open. If it’s safe (and quiet) to do so, leave the windows open, too. You can also invest in a stand-alone fan – larger versions operate more quietly, if you think the noise might be an issue.
    • Consider what your mattress is made from. Some people find that futon mattresses are generally cooler, because they’re filled with natural fibres that wick away sweat from the body. If you don’t want to invest in a new mattress, try using a mattress protector made from cotton wadding.
    • For some, it can work to keep your pillow in the refrigerator during the day, taking it out just before you go to bed.
    • If things are particularly bad and you’re simply tossing and turning, get out of bed and, for an instant cooler, run your wrists and hands under the cold tap for a few minutes. Dry your hands and go straight back to bed.
    • If your room is too hot at night during the winter because you’ve had the central heating on all day, I advise keeping the radiator in your bedroom turned off, day and night. If that would make spending time there during the day too cold, turn it off at least four hours before you go to bed, and leave it off all night. Follow the guidelines below for keeping warm during the night when your body temperature drops.


Vicky Hartley is the Marketing Director and Head of Digital for Watkins Publishing Limited (including Duncan Baird Publishers)