Tips for sleeping in a heatwave, or through menopausal night sweats
Sleeping in the heat is never a problem when we go on holiday. We know it’s going to be hot at night, so we book somewhere with air conditioning. Job done. In the UK though, where we only have a few days of really hot weather a year, the cost of aircon just doesn’t seem worth it. But when temperatures soar, how do we stay cool at night? And for those of us who have perimenopausal night sweats (*waves hand*) how do we get through the sleepless nights that last even longer than a British summer! Here are my tips for getting good sleep in the heat, or if you suffer from night sweats in menopause.
Sleeping in hot weather hacks
Keep all the windows closed
I know it sounds crazy but it really does work. Think of it this way – once the temperature outside gets hotter than the air inside, having windows open just works like central heating. Keep windows and curtains closed until the sun goes down, then if you have time before bed, open them all to let the cooler evening air sweep through the house.
Use specialised bedding
Advertorial content: this post contains affiliate links to Amazon, on behalf of Elegear, who gifted me a double duvet and 2 pillowcases. Words and opinion are my own.
We’ve been using the Elegear Summer Cool Duvet which actually absorbs body heat to do the opposite to what your normal duvet does all winter! It’s hypoallergenic and super silky to touch, which gives a really luxurious feel to your bedding. You know how when you’re hot and you move your leg to a cold part of the bed? It’s like that, only all night long. This duvet is bliss in a hot room without air conditioning.
Elegear use Japanese Arc-Chill cool technology fabric, which can reduce skin temperature by 2-5 degrees, much more than ordinary cooling fibres. I used it on a fairly standard summer evening and actually felt a little bit chilly, so I know it’s going to work wonders when we get our next bout of hot weather.
I wish I’d known about it when I was going through the hormonal night sweats of perimenopause too! Seriously, if you’re struggling with how to stay cool at night in bed because of menopausal fluctuations, I’d say this duvet is worth a try to wake up feeling fresh in the morning, instead of drenched at 3am.
Next to try the duvet was my 14 year old, who constantly complains that his feet are too hot. He told me the next morning that it totally worked, was now his favourite duvet, and he’d like to keep it, even though it doesn’t fit his bed (the Elegear summer duvet comes in double and single sizes). I think we will be buying everyone in the family one!
The duvet looks classy, in either a light grey or pale duck-egg colour, is washable, and doesn’t need ironing, or additional bed linen, which makes it even more desirable from my point of view. We were also gifted the matching cooling pillowcases, which again feel soft and silky, cause less friction on fragile hair, and prevent that sweaty neck feeling that often wakes me up in the night even outside of the summer months! Did I mention hormones?
The Elegear summer cool duvet currently retails at £35.99 for a single and £46.99 for a double, and two pillowcases cost £12.99 on Amazon. However, I’ve been given the following discount codes to share with my readers. If you’d like to try them use the codes below at Amazon checkout:
|Cooling comforter (single gray): 50% OFF code:||QA53SVIE||Valid before 25/09/2021|
|Cooling pillowcases (blue): 15% OFF code:||NU8IAMXF||Valid before 31/05/2022|
Put a big bowl of ice next to your bed
I know it sounds like it could never work, but it really does! Think of it as the opposite of a radiator – a source of cold air to cool down the air around it, which then circulates as you sleep. Better still if you can tolerate a fan blowing said cold air towards you. I can’t, but the ice bowl still helps.
Wear cold socks
Keep a pair of fluffy socks in the freezer and pop them on just before you go to bed. If nothing else it will cool your feet down before you doze off, but it does seem to help me feel a little bit and sleep better in a hot, stuffy room.
Don’t take a cold shower
When you’re sweating cobs and desperate to feel cool it can be tempting to go for an icy blast in the shower. It’s what we do on holiday in the sun, right? Heat up, then dip in the pool to cool off. But a cold shower raises the circulation, which ultimately leads to the body making more heat as it tries to combat the chill. Instead, try a lukewarm shower and let the water dry for a few minutes on your skin to take heat away from your body.
Run your wrists under a cold tap
This may sound like an old wives tale, but it really works. My mum swore by it when I was little, and now I’ve taught my kids to do the same. If you wake up in the night feeling overheated and sweaty turn the cold tap on and run your wrists under if for a minute. The theory is you’re hitting a pulse point that will carry cooler blood quickly through your body. Myth or not, I’m always able to get back to sleep in a hot room after I’ve chilled my wrists.
Don’t nap during the day
It’s easy to feel sluggish during a heatwave, and it can be tempting to crash for a few minutes, but what you want when it’s too hot to sleep at night is to feel really tired when bedtime rolls around. Steer clear of naps and your body clock will expect to be sleeping at bedtime, so there’s more chance you will be able to drop off.
Try not to stress
We’ve all been there; awake at 3am panicking about something that seems so trivial during the day, and convinced we’ll never get back to sleep. But the worst thing we can stress about on a hot night is being too hot to sleep! Try to keep things in perspective. As a recovered severe insomniac I can tell you that it is possible to get through a normal day on only a few hours of sleep if it’s just for a few nights. And let’s face it, in the UK a heatwave is only ever just for a few nights!
What about you? Do you have any other tips for sleeping in the heat?
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