Getting a good nightʼs sleep during the summer is often a real challenge. Daylight hours are extended, disrupting well established circadian rhythms. Windows are open and the sounds of summer activity (renovations, revelry) can linger late into the night. Heat can also disturb sleepers without universal climate control – if you live in a house, the heat may rise dramatically as you ascend to the upper levels, where bedrooms are often located.
How to Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Nonetheless, it’s not likely that anyone is wishing for a quick return to the long, dark days of winter and cosy bedrooms equipped with duvets and blankets. All in good time. Yet a decent sleep is essential for well being and productivity, even on those hot summer nights. There are many things you can do to ensure a good nightʼs sleep – whatever the weather.
Fix the Bed
Probably one of the best ways to retrofit a bedroom for a sensitive sleeper is to purchase the best mattress possible for your budget and dress it with bedding that feels and looks great. Furniture Village carries a huge selection of premium and economically priced mattress sets in brands such as Hypnos, Tempur, Vispring and Slumberland. They guarantee the lowest prices in these brands, offering 25-30% off them in the sale.
Start with a sturdy bedstead like this Tempur® Holcot Ottoman Bed Frame. It has a striking upholstered and buttoned headboard, but no footboard to interrupt air flow in the hotter months. Built to order, alternate colours and storage features are optional £979 (30% off).
A well made mattress can actually help you maintain a comfortable body temperature for sleeping. The following brands, all available at Furniture Village, are known for their craftsmanship and quality. Hypnos is a high end brand that can be found in many luxury hotels. We love their Ortho Wool Pocket Spring Divan Set which is currently on sale for 25% off at £699 for the double size. You can really sleep like kings (and queens) in this one as Hypnos hold the Royal Warrant!
Slumberland also make beautiful mattresses with body cooling properties. Their Wave Divan Set features a mattress made from patented Affinity™ foam, and divan options for low or deep profile, storage or legs. £1599 at 30% off
The Vispring Elite Pocket Sprung Divan Set (30% off at £1769) is a real cut above. It’s a luxuriously comfortable handcrafted divan filled with British fleece wool and cotton, a solid timber frame and 600 hand-nested springs.
Furniture Village has an online mattress finder that may be useful as you search for the perfect mattress for your requirements. Remember that natural fabrics can aid your body’s natural temperature adjustments for sleep. And a great mattress should accommodate fluctuations in room temperature all year round.
Finally, don’t neglect pillows. Where you rest your head is especially important when it’s hot out. The Dunlopillo Super Comfort Pillow is breathable, made from latex with a 100% cotton washable cover. £74
Cool and Light
If you or someone in your family is sleep sensitive, consider redesigning the sleep environment, not only to get a great-looking bed and associated accessories, but to take advantage of the latest technology informing sleep hygiene. Here are a few products we recently discovered that might just help:
Waking up suddenly to the sound of an abrasive alarm clock is not the best way to start the day. The Beuer SAD dawn simulator with alarm uses steadily increasing light to safely rouse you and help reset your sleep cycle. It also has music alarm and light changing features so you can find a personalized solution to sleep/wake issues. £90
A good fan can keep air circulating at night for relief from heat and stuffiness in the bedroom. We love Dyson products because they actually work. Exhaustive research has informed several types of standalone Dyson circulating fans for the market. Our fave is this vertical profile tower fan. It’s powerful, but has an elegant design that takes up less space. £349.99
Blacking out natural light is another good way to trick the body into longer periods of sleep. What are known as “blackout blinds” are made from coated materials that block external light completely. They generally come in white or black but we like this version for its stars in the night sky motif. Available at John Lewis, they can be cut to fit most windows. £114
It’s also important to get enough natural light and sunlight during the day (especially if you work indoors under artificial lights). Controlling the amount of light we are exposed to is key for a healthy and regular sleep/wake cycle.
Change Your Day
Here are a few more tips for establishing a good sleep hygiene that will leave you refreshed and rested come morning:
- Keep daytime naps brief. They can help to improve mood, alertness and performance, but discontinue the practice if you find naps disrupt your nighttime sleep quality.
- Exercise during the day. Even if you can only manage a few minutes of walking or cycling, do it because it can promote better quality sleep. However, most people should avoid strenuous workouts close to bedtime – they can rev you up rather than calm you down.
- Steer clear of heavy or rich foods, fatty or fried meals, spicy dishes, and stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine, and carbonated drinks near bedtime – these that can trigger sleep disrupting indigestion or heartburn for some people. While alcohol can knock you out quickly, but drinking too much can disrupt sleep later in the night as the body processes the alcohol.
- Establish a regular relaxing bedtime routine. This can include a cool bath, dimming lights, turning off electronic and digital devices. These are all signals to the body that it’s time for bed.
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