When you've been kept awake for several nights in a row by summer temperatures, it is tempting to turn to extreme measures in search of some shut-eye. The internet is not short of suggestions, and alongside your tried-and-tested techniques for how to sleep in a heatwave are some more left-field options. Some, so left-field we suspect the posters might be messing with us.
Bed brand eve, the makers of some of today's very best mattresses, asked sleep consultant Dave Gibson for his professional opinion on some of the techniques going viral on TikTok this summer. Here's his verdict on some of the weirder heatwave sleep tricks...
1. Put tin foil on your bedroom windows
Hack: Spray a sheet of tin foil with soapy water, and then stick it to your windows (shiny side out), to block the sun from coming in.
"Somewhere between 20%-30% of heat in a bedroom comes in through the windows so keeping the light from coming in is a great step, " says Dave. "Also, by sticking tin foil to a window, reflecting the heat, you're redirecting the sun and all its heat away from your bedroom."
It's essentially a budget-friendly alternative to backout blinds – and one that comes with the same extra benefit of blocking the early morning sunshine. If you don't have those, this technique is cheap and won't permanently mark or damage your windows. "The only downside, if any, is that your house may look a bit odd," Dave concludes.
2. Freeze your bed sheets
Hack: Put your sheets into a bag and freeze them for 10 minutes before bedtime. Then when you're ready to go to bed, just remake your bed with your chilled sheets. Some people even dampen the sheets before chilling them.
Verdict: Legit… with caveats
This one has pros and cons. "The advantage to using this technique is that it helps your body temperature cool down which is one of the triggers to help us get to sleep," says Dave. "However, the downside is that as your body starts to warm up the sheets, they can then make things worse as the moisture evaporates to make the room muggy." To counter that issue, he suggests putting a fan in the room to circulate the air. Dave also suggests trying this hack with just your pillowcases if going the remaking the entire bed feels a bit much.
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3. Open the loft hatch
Hack: If you live in a house with an attic, leave the loft hatch open at night. This will help lower the temperature in the rest of the home.
"As long as your loft is insulated between the rafters, then opening the hatch at night will allow the hot air accumulated throughout the day to rise and escape, efficiently lowering the temperature in the house," says Dave. He also has an alternative for those who don't have a loft space: "Try waiting till the temperature cools in the evening, then opening up all of the windows to create a draft – this works especially well if you have two windows on opposite ends of the flat."
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4. Freeze your hot water bottle
Hack: Rather than filling your hot water bottle from the kettle, fill it two-thirds full with cold water and then stick it in the freezer. Once chilled or frozen, wrap it in a tea towel and snuggle up for the night.
Verdict: Legit (but follow the safety rules)
This technique has been around a while, and it's a good 'un. "I recommend you try it at least once during a heatwave," says Dave. He has one important safety rule, though: don't use the same hot water bottle in summer as you do in winter, because the freezing process can cause damage to the material of the bottle and perhaps also the seal.
"The water in the bottle expands as it freezes, [then] if you fill it up with boiling water over the winter months, it can leak or even burst, potentially causing burns if you're holding it close. Make sure to keep your summer water bottle labelled," suggests Dave.
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