How to Sleep Well When It’s Hot

Written by sleep expert Kathryn Pinkham

Year after year, I get asked the same question whenever the summer months arrive. How can I sleep well when it’s hot?

The truth is, there are two ways to answer this question. Firstly, by giving some very average tips that are unlikely to truly help and secondly, by being honest.

The honest truth? When it’s too hot, we simply don’t sleep well! 

Unfortunately, however many cold showers we take, or however long we put our pillowcases in the freezer, when it’s too hot it makes it very hard to sleep, because our core temperature can become too high.

However, the good news is, there are steps you can take to help you feel better about your sleep when the hot weather strikes, and to make your sleeping conditions a little more comfortable. 

This will help minimise the frustration that comes with a lack of sleep in the heat, which is likely to be what’s really affecting how you’re feeling, rather than the lack of sleep itself! 

So, here are my top tips for helping improve your sleep in the heat.

  • Remember this is normal – When it’s hot, none of us sleep particularly well. So, try and remind yourself of this if you have a bad night’s sleep due to hot weather. This will help set your expectations correctly and minimise any worry or frustration around a poor night’s sleep.
  • Don’t go to bed too early – If you’re shattered, it can feel incredibly tempting to go to bed early. However, there are two reasons why you shouldn’t. Firstly, if you go to bed later, it will be cooler. Secondly, the later you go to bed, the higher your sleep drive will be. Your sleep drive is essentially your appetite for sleep, which will become stronger if you go to bed a little later and get up at a good time.
  • Can’t sleep? Get up – If you’re struggling to sleep, tossing and turning in the heat, don’t stay in bed and fight to get to sleep. Instead, go downstairs, cool down and only return to bed once you’re feeling truly sleepy, as though you could fall asleep. This will help to avoid you building associations between your bed and feeling restless or frustrated.
  • Wear something cool – I’m not talking ‘trendy’, although this doesn’t hurt, but think about what you’re wearing to bed. Fable & Eve’s luxury nightwear blends cotton with modal fabrics, meaning it feels cool and comfortable next to the skin, perfect for those warmer nights.
  • Manage your anxiety around sleep – If you’re not sleeping well, it can be very easy to get caught in a spiral of worrying about how bad you will feel, or how you won’t cope at work the next day. However, the reality is that although you might be tired, you will manage. So, work on your coping beliefs and focus on what you can do to make yourself feel better and gain some energy. Drink plenty of water and use relaxation techniques, as these can help boost your energy, and your sleep too. 
  • Enjoy the great weather – It’s not often we get beautiful weather. So, where you can, make plans, enjoy the sunshine, get outside, and try and limit the focus on sleep in favour of enjoying being awake.

If you’re struggling with your sleep, why not check out my Seep Well, Live Better Online Course? 

Providing simple information and a step-by-step process to fix your sleep, the course will clearly guide you through the simple steps to improve your sleep, including everything you would receive in face-to-face sessions. Plus, I am there to provide ongoing support throughout the entire programme.