The 4 ways to drift off despite the heatwave – from a nifty fan trick to unplugging | The Sun

GETTING any amount of sleep can feel impossible when it’s this hot.

Much of the UK is in the midst of a late summer heatwave, with scorching temperatures set to exceed 30C in some areas.

The sunshine might be welcome, but come bedtime, the heat can become a total nightmare.

Dr Sue Peacock, consultant health psychologist and founder of Sleep Well with Dr Sue, said: “Extreme heat can disrupt our sleep cycle by altering the duration and quality of different sleep stages. 

“Hot nights mean an increase in how long it takes to get to sleep, how long it takes to get into a deep sleep, and the number of times you’ll wake during the night.

"And those sharing a bed may suffer even more.”

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Dr Sue, who is working with Opera Beds, adds: “When we get tired, our body starts to prepare for sleep by dropping its temperature, but when it’s hot, this is harder. 

“The heat also interrupts the natural process of our sleep hormone, melatonin.”

So if you’ve already been sweating through your sheets and tossing and turning all night, the good news is, you can find some relief – honestly!

These easy tweaks can help you stay cool and drift off, without you having to install air conditioning… 

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Too warm, even with a summer quilt on? 

“Strip the bedding down to just a sheet,” says TEMPUR sleep expert and chartered psychologist, Suzy Reading.

Cotton – rather than synthetic/polyester – sheets and nightwear are much more breathable and comfortable to sleep in.

Suzy says: “Cotton is lightweight, absorbs moisture, which helps us to stop waking up sweaty and sticky, and helps ensure a more comfortable slumber.”

You can even store bedding and pyjamas in resealable bags in the freezer, for truly ice cold sheets, to whip out just before you hit the mattress.


Got a fan? Suzy says: “Try turning a fan on for 30 minutes before going to bed to cool your bedroom before sleep.”

You can also pop a bowl of ice in front of it, to help circulate colder air.

And make sure to properly ventilate your home. 

Suzy suggests “keeping curtains and blinds drawn during the day, but keep windows open to allow cool air in.”

Avoid dark blind and curtains, as they can make the house feel hotter.

Suzy adds: “Open windows at night to allow air to circulate and create a through-draught together by opening windows and doors in different rooms and wedge doors open.”


Hydration is key to feeling cool during the day and night, so drink up.

Suzy says: “Ensure there is water by the bed should you wake up thirsty in the night and add ice to water bottles.

"Avoid excess alcohol as this is dehydrating.”

Steer clear of caffeine too, it can also disrupt sleep – not what you need when already struggling with the temperature.


Feeling particularly sticky before bed? 

Suzy says: “Take a cool shower, keep the temperature low, and leave hair damp to keep you cooler for longer.

"Magnesium lotion with a cooling agent helps to improve rest and recovery – perfect for children before bed to help them nod off.”

A spray bottle of water to mist you if you wake up sweaty can help bring your temperature down too.


Your room could be buzzing with heat emitters, without you realising.

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Suzy says: “Plugged in devices and lightbulbs emit heat and contribute to the overall temperature of a room. 

“Turning everything off is better for the environment and prevents stimulating blue light, which can make you feel more awake.”

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