How to stay cool to get a better night’s sleep

Woman and man sleeping
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At this time of year, it’s all too easy to overheat at night — heat waves keep coming one after the other, and considering the rising energy costs, most of us want to keep ac use to a minimum.

So it seems no matter how much we toss and turn or throw the covers aside, getting off to sleep is a real challenge at the moment — even if you have one of the best mattresses complete with one of the best duvets.  

Luckily, there are a couple of tips you can use to help you get those precious zzz’s. From changing your habits, to investing in some new bedding, these hacks can make all the difference. Here are three tips to help you stay cool in bed and get a good night's sleep. 

1. Invest in cooling bedding 

Woman sleeping on her side

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This sounds unrealistic and fanciful, but bedding with cooling claims can actually work. Such material is typically designed to feel cool to the skin on contact, and it usually features a breathable construction to keep your temperature down.

Cooling pillows are widely available for hot heads, as are cooling comforters and even cooling mattresses. You can also purchase bedding which has temperature control claims to help you out, such as cooling duvets.

2. Keep the bedroom ventilated 

A bedroom at night with the window open

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It might sound like common sense, but many of us forget that the temperature outside takes a dip during the night, and that’s your best chance to cool your bedroom. If you don’t have air conditioning, open your windows overnight to let the room ventilate. Keep the doors between your rooms open as well, and open up other windows if you can to create a through-draft. Set up electric fans around the room if you want to accentuate the breeze as well. 

Remember to close the windows once the temperature outside starts to pick up again though. If it’s hotter outside than in, you will just be heating up your house if you leave the windows open during the day. If your bedroom gets a lot of direct sunlight, close your curtains and blinds during the peak hours as well — this too will heat up the room. 

Check out more tips here on how to cool down a room in a heatwave and turn down the heat in your bedroom — the perfect temperature to fall asleep.

3. Take a warm shower before bed 

A woman wearing a pink dressing gown with her hair wrapped in a pink towel yawning

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That’s right, taking a warm shower before you hit the sack can actually help you sleep. This is because your body will rapidly cool once you finish showering, which encourages rest. While this isn't technically cooling you throughout the night, it will help you sleep.

James Wilson, a sleep expert aka The Sleep Geek, recommends "showering (or alternatively having a bath) before bed, probably about 30 minutes to an hour before."

"The reason is, for our body to fall asleep and stay asleep more easily we need to create a drop in heart rate, be relaxed, and achieve a drop in core temperature," says Wilson. "Showering helps the latter, as when you step into the shower (a warm shower is best, not too hot, or too cold) your core temperature rises, and when we get out it drops, telling our body that it is time to start preparing for sleep."

On top of this, Claire Davies, a sleep editor at Tom's Guide publisher Future, flags that "warm showers have been proven to reduce cortisol, which helps get your body into a relaxed state for sleep."

So there you have it, a better night’s sleep could just be an evening shower away. If you’ve ever asked yourself: should you shower in the morning or at night? We’ve done the research for you. 

Katie Mortram
Homes Editor

Katie looks after everything homes-related, from kitchen appliances to gardening tools. She also covers smart home products too, so is the best point of contact for any household advice! She has tested and reviewed appliances for over 6 years, so she knows what to look for when finding the best. Her favorite thing to test has to be air purifiers, as the information provided and the difference between performances is extensive.