5 Ways to Sleep Better in Summer

With summer now in full swing, no doubt you’re thinking about days lounging on the beach, lazy Sunday picnics and tasty iced treats – did anyone say ‘I scream for ice-cream?’.   

We love the extra day light and warmer weather but our hot Australian summer has a downside too, we’re talking about when intense heat and humidity combine and make it impossible to sit comfortably – let alone sleep through the night! 

It’s not unusual for the mercury will soar past 40 degrees across most parts of Australia during summer. 

The weather affects the sleep quality and traditional sleeping patterns of the great majority of Australians, with many losing sleep owing to overheating and waking up in the night due to the heat. As a result, for those without air conditioning, getting a good night’s sleep while it’s hot outside may be a stressful endeavour that ends in little to no sleep. 

Adelaide Institute of Sleep Health researcher Michael Gradisar explains “You must maintain a regular body temperature in order to get a good night’s sleep. A healthy person’s body temperature generally ranges from 36.5 to 37.5 degrees Celsius” (as cited by Williamson, 2021), while sleep physician Dr David Hillman explains

“The ideal bedroom temperature is between 18-21C. When you get to 24C, you reach the thermoneutral zone, which is when the body takes active measures to regulate temperatures.”

Dr David Hillman

A fractional temperature difference between our body and our brain is required for us to obtain a decent night’s sleep — a warm body and a chilly head. It’s tough to get a decent night’s sleep when the outside temperature increases and creeps inside, but there are lots of things you can do to battle the heat. 

Dr David Hillman encourages people to their sleep more seriously — and think about ways to bring the body down to its optimal temperature. 

We’ve created a list of our top 5 summer sleeping tips to help you sleep better this summer! 

Top 5 Summer Sleeping Tips

Keep a cool sleeping environment: 

Try to keep your bedroom temperature at 18 degrees and wear loose-fitting clothing if you can. If it doesn’t work, you might want to look into SleepMaker Mattresses with Kulkote. Choosing the right mattress to suit your body temperature as well as that of your significant other can be tough. We’ve found a technology out of the US that could help and it’s called KülKōte. It’s the same innovation that’s used in spacesuits to regulate an astronaut’s body temperature.   The technology has been integrated into some of our mattresses and bedding, which means the surface of your bed or pillow pulls heat away from your body. You can read more about Kulkote here. 

Pj’s on or off?

If this makes you too hot when sleeping, consider wearing clothing that is particularly meant for sleeping, helps drain perspiration and moisture away from the skin, and doesn’t hug the body — loose fitting clothing is ideal. 

It’s crucial to think about not only the amount of clothing you wear to bed, but also the fabric your Pj’s are made from. Cotton, for example, breathes far better than polyester or lycra, meaning there’s greater airflow, keeping you cooler. PJ’s that don’t breathe well trap in heat, making you feel hotter. 

Circulate airflow

If the air in your bedroom stops flowing, you can overheat while you are sleeping. If your bedroom isn’t equipped with an air conditioner, be that portable or fixed, try adding either a floor or a ceiling fan to circulate the air through your room. 

This can help to prevent you from overheating while you sleep and for an extra benefit, you could aim the fan close to your bed so you feel the cool air as it circulates around your room. 

Adjust your covers according to the season

If you use the same duvet or comforter year-round, now is the time to re-evaluate. You should have a lightweight blanket for the warmer months and something a little heavier for the colder months. Every inch of your bedding is critical in keeping you comfortable while you sleep. From your mattress topper to your pillow, and every sheet and quilt cover in between, they all play their part in keeping you cool for a good night’s rest. It is possible, however, that a top sheet may be enough in the summertime – providing they’re highly breathable. 

The material your sheets are made out of can also influence your comfort while you sleep. Cotton, as with your PJs, breathes much better than flannel, nylon or satin sheets. Consider a breathable mattress protector to circulate airflow and feel cooler. 

SleepMaker has a specially designed bedding range crafted from TENCEL® which is naturally moisture-wicking and breathable. Discover the 24/7 Collection today. 

Use your curtains as a shield

Despite the beautiful picturesque sky outside, you want to keep your curtains and blinds closed in summer as much as possible. This is called ‘passive cooling’ and helps to stop heat from entering your bedroom altogether. And if you have blackout blinds/curtains, and there’s a nice cool breeze outside, try opening your windows and leaving your blinds/curtains shut so they can serve as a shield from hot sun, whilst allowing the breeze to cool your room. 

Outside the box tips worth mentioning

If you’ve tried all of the above sleeping tips and you still can’t get to sleep during summer, these outside the box tips from SleepFoundation could be the cooling solution you’ve been looking for! 

Don’t exercise close to bed

Working full time, eating dinner and spending time with loved ones can really hamper our exercise/gym timeframe, and just before bed seems like the only viable option. However, did you know that exercising close to bedtime can cause your body temperature to spike? This can make it more difficult to fall asleep at your desired time. 

Try exercising at lunchtime or in the morning as it can be very beneficial to sleep. Exercise helps to expend energy and helps you feel more tired in the evening. However, exercising close to bedtime can cause your body temperature to spike. This can make it easier to fall asleep naturally at your preferred bedtime. 

Take a hot bath

While lying in a tub of hot water might not sound like fun on a hot night, this can actually help you cool down before bed 7pm. Hot baths are the most beneficial if taken prior to but not immediately before bedtime. Your body temperature will decrease after you leave the bath as your body adapts to the cooler environment. As an added bonus, baths promote feelings of relaxation that can help you fall asleep more quickly – throw is some Epsom salts or essential oils such as lavender to truly decompress. 

Switch off all appliances and devices

Everything from your smartphone charger to your TV generates ambient heat. Now we know it can be tricky to downright impossible to waking up in the morning without your phone alarm, but our best advice (and a good habit to get into) is to either turn your phone off before bed, or to charge your device in another room. 

And as for a TV, well… you shouldn’t really have one in the bedroom to start with but if you do, turn off the power at the wall and ensure it’s off (or not on at all) after 7pm as it will take a while to cool down internally, and in turn, continue to heat up your bedroom in the process. 

Get a Better Night’s Sleep with SleepMaker

Along with Finder’s study into new year’s resolutions, Finder also recently awarded SleepMaker as Australia’s No.1 mattress brand. In fact, according to the Finder Retail Awards, SleepMaker was the highest rated mattress brand for comfort and received great scores for durability and value for money!  

As we now know, sleep is important to the success of your new year’s resolutions. SleepMaker has developed a wide range of advanced technologies to create excellent mattresses in Australia to ensure the most comfortable and supportive sleep possible. 

Why not take our Sleep Selector Quiz to find the best mattress for you, or check out our list of retailers to find a store close to you. 

And make sure you: 

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Williamson, B., 2021. Tips to sleep through hot summer nights. [online] ABC Radio Adelaide. Available at: <https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-01-05/tips-to-sleep-through-hot-summer-nights/8163288> [Accessed 14 December 2021]. 

Brown, V., 2017. Cooling mattress topper with 6000 five stars. [online] NEWS. Available at: <https://www.news.com.au/best-of/home/best-cooling-mattress-topper/news-story/1ad9b027f7130b219b85ea0f8138089f> [Accessed 14 December 2021]. 

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