The science of sleep: how to keep cool at night


Hot days can be great for sunbathing, alfresco dining and barbecues, but they can make sleeping a real struggle. Luckily there’s a few simple ways you can make your bedroom cool and comfortable – all it takes is a bit of planning!

Keeping your room cool

Before you even get into bed you should do all you can to make your room as cool as possible. If your bedroom catches a lot of the sun in the late afternoon and early evening, consider keeping the blinds or curtains drawn to make sure the temperature does not climb too high.

One of the reasons a room feels oppressively hot is a lack of airflow. Opening a window and keeping a door slightly ajar is a good way to create a through draft, making sure cool air is always blowing through your room. Investing in a fan is also worth considering. Even though noise can be a problem, they are a good way to keep cool at night. Even when it feels like they are just blowing hot air, simply angle the fan out of an open window to pump the warm air into the cooler night.

Which mattress should you choose?

By and large, we recommend that you pick a mattress because of comfort and support rather than temperature, but if you are looking to make your sleeping area as cool then choosing your mattress carefully can really help.

Keeping cool is mostly a matter of airflow, so you should look to buy a mattress that is made of breathable material with a firmness that allows you stay above the height of the mattress. Pocket Sprung and Latex mattresses are particularly good in this regard.


What about bed linen?

Keep your bed linen cotton or, even better, linen! Woollen, silk and synthetic sheets, blankets and throws are great for keeping the heat, but when it comes to a hot sticky summer night, you may as well be covering yourself in tin foil. Cotton is a highly breathable material and is good for keeping a controlled temperature, with organic blends being particularly good for heat regulation.

On very hot nights, you should also think about ditching the heavy duvet and sleeping under cotton sheets. As a great insulator, duvets work by keeping the heat in, which is basically the last thing you need on a sticky night.

A few extra tips

For those unbearably hot nights, utilising the ‘Egyptian method’ could prove helpful. Simply take a large towel and wet with cool or cold water. Wring it out or run it through the spin cycle on a washing machine until the sheet is damp. When it comes to bedtime, put a dry towel or sheet on your bed underneath your body and use the wet sheet as your blanket. The damp blanket will keep you cool, while the dry towel will ensure that your sheets and mattress don’t get too drenched!