I think we can all agree that our British homes do not cope well in the heat! It is a summer nightmare: I remember getting so unbearably hot during those weeks that it created a lot of tension between my partner and I! Even being slightly close to him in bed made me feel even hotter and overcrowded! Every night I craved air con and not the noisy fan we had.
So how does sleep get affected during the heat and why do Homebody pj’s help? Well, if you're someone who already has trouble sleeping, trying to do it when it's sweltering hot makes it all the more frustrating, and there's a scientific explanation why.
"Temperature is quite important for your ability to sleep, and that's an underestimated factor," says Matthew Ebben, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Neurology and Neuroscience at NYP/Weill Cornell Center for Sleep Medicine. "Part of your biological rhythms include a cooling of your body as you're sleeping during the night," Dr. Ebben says.
Hot temperatures inhibit your body's ability to cool off during sleep like it wants to. "Exposure to high heat loads at night — particularly if there's high humidity — can significantly reduce the rate at which heat is released from the body," says Scott Hollingshaus, MD, clinical instructor of sleep medicine at the University of Utah's Sleep Wake Center. So, it might take you longer to fall asleep if it's too hot. High temperatures can also induce a stress response in your body that can disrupt your sleep, he says. A cool room, on the other hand, facilitates this temperature drop nicely, he says.
The ideal bedroom temperature is around 18.5 degrees, so what should you do if you don't have AC? "You buy an AC, that's what you do," Dr. Ebben says. While that's not economically feasible for everyone, there are some very good reasons why you should have an AC, especially if you have a home in London. Last summer, a study conducted by WNYC found that while the air outdoors will cool down at night, the temperature inside of apartments tends to stay as hot as it was during the day, so if you don't have AC, it can feel like you're sleeping during the heat of the day.
In addition another way, we believe, to get good sleep during sweltering temperatures , is strangely enough, to think about what you are wearing to bed.
Our Homebody thermo regulating sleepwear helps the body maintain an even temperature throughout the night and even if you only wear a pair of our shorts to bed, chances are you will sleep better and if you don’t believe me, try them for yourself!
That said, if you insist on sweating it out for the remainder of the summer, here are some expert (and fun) tips for keeping your body cool throughout the night.
Top Tips for Sleeping in the heat
Take a shower before bed.
Chances are, you're probably drenched in sweat and already considering a rinse-off before you climb under your sheets, but showering before bed can actually help you sleep, Dr. Ebben says. And you don't have to shock yourself with a freezing cold shower, unless you really feel like it. "Warm showers and baths have been shown to increase slow wave sleep," he says.
Slow wave sleep is considered the deepest stage of non-REM sleep, so it's pretty important. "If you heat up your body before you go to sleep, and then go to sleep in a normal temperature room, the data shows that you can increase your slow wave sleep," he says.
Do some light exercise.
If you can stand it, a little exercise before bed may actually help you sleep, Dr. Ebben says. The old logic used to be that exercising before bed will wake up your body, making it harder to sleep, but that's not actually true. "Exercise before bed and particularly stretching, heats up your body, which can again help low wave sleep," he says. Just make sure you do a workout that's not too vigorous and won't make your body so hot that it's more uncomfortable to sleep.
Get a fan.
Obviously, if you don't have AC, you may want to buy a fan to keep you cool and provide some white noise, Dr. Ebben says. White noise can be helpful because it masks out the other sounds that might wake you up in the middle of the night. If you have a ceiling fan, Dr. Hollingshaus suggests reversing the direction so it spins counter clockwise to push hot air out of the way. Opening a window will also help unless you are living on a noisy road, as that can be disruptive!
Use ice packs.
Place cold compresses or ice packs wrapped in a towel on your pulse points, such as your wrist, ankles, behind the knees, and neck, and it will cool down your whole body, Dr. Hollingshaus says. Or you could slip ice packs inside your pillows to provide more of a chill, just make sure they don't leak, says Daniel Barone, MD, assistant professor of neurology at the NYP/ Weill Cornell Centre for Sleep Medicine.
Try different bedding.
Less is more when it comes to bedding, so you should reduce your covers as much as possible, Dr. Hollingshaus says. Cotton sheets breathe better than other fabrics, so it can be helpful to use those during the summer, he says. Personally I like the sound of Undercoverliving who make bedding from Tencel fibres same as we use and therefore incredibly soft to touch
Sleep in the coolest room.
Heat rises, so if there's any way to sleep in a lower-altitude room in your house, do it, because you'll probably be cooler, Dr. Hollingshaus says. If that's not an option, keep your curtains drawn in the room during the day to reduce how hot it gets, limiting sunlight warming up the room he says. "And at night, try to keep the room as dark as possible; light creeping in the window can disrupt sleep," Dr. Barone says.
"Drink plenty of water prior to bed to counter the sweating you will do,"
Dr. Hollingshaus says (although I might add to that not too much otherwise you will spend most of the night on the loo!). You may also want to avoid alcohol for four hours before bed, because it can dehydrate you in the middle of the night, he says.
Kick out your partner.
More bodies in bed equals more heat, so avoid sharing a bed on really warm nights if you can, Dr. Hollingshaus says. If you must share a bed because you live with your partner, just make sure that you have the right bedding to keep two sweaty bodies cool or getting a really big bed is another option!
Cool down your pillow
Try putting your pillow in a zip bag and stick it in the freezer on those incredibly humid nights, it may help!
Finally, According to Sammy Margo – author of ‘The good sleep guide”
“for your body to produce the sleep hormone melatonin, you need to be cool.”
Homebody sleepwear will give the body the ultimate cool down right through the night and we believe is the perfect solution to summer night sleeps!
Shop the collection here