How to sleep in the heat: Expert’s top tips to avoid ‘waking up in a sweat’

Weather: Expert warns of 'longest heatwave in 50 years

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However, there are some tricks that can help us stay cooler at night. Cotton and linen expert, Jessica Hanley, explained the best ways to prevent sweating throughout the night with The founder of sleep brand, Piglet in Bed, shared her five top tips below.

Use a flat sheet instead of your usual duvet

One reason you might be waking up sweaty is simply that you’re sleeping with too many layers.

In the UK, we’re used to having a duvet to keep us warm at night for most of the year. During the summer months (and especially a heatwave), it’s a good idea to store your usual duvet away and swap this with a light and breathable flat sheet for comfort.

This seems like an obvious tip but is one we often forget about, and it’s particularly important if you share your bed with a partner.

Be careful what you consume before bedtime

Some foods and drinks, when consumed before bed, can be the cause of night sweats so it’s especially important to avoid these during a heatwave.

Enjoying an alcoholic beverage in the evening summer sun is tempting for many of us, but due to the way that alcohol affects our blood pressure, heart rate and body temperature, it can make night sweats considerably worse. Other food and drink that can cause or worsen the symptoms of night sweats include caffeine, citrus and spicy foods.

Try to opt for light and healthy meals at dinner time in the summer months, and while it might not be possible to cut all of them out, aim to consume each of them in moderation or at least four hours before you go to bed.

Choose the right bedding materials

If you’re sleeping in sweat-inducing bedding materials or pyjamas, you will notice your sleeping and overheating are considerably worse.

Cotton and linen are the most breathable and cooling materials on the market for summer. Both materials allow air to circulate through the fibres and soak up sweat, making them an ideal choice for the summer months.

If you don’t have any cotton or linen sheets, now is the time to invest.

Try to get into a relaxed state of mind before you sleep

Feelings of stress or anxiety can lead to bad sleep and even cause night sweats altogether.

If you feel that stress could be causing your night sweats, or just want a better night’s sleep in general, I recommend doing some breathing exercises or guided meditation before bed.

Additionally, try to reserve some time for relaxation before you go to sleep – light a candle, put your screens away and read a book to help you disconnect from the world.

Rule out any additional factors

If you think health conditions might be causing you to sweat a lot at night time, there may be more options for managing symptoms that your doctor can support you with.

Conditions like menopause or low blood sugar, and some forms of medication can also be linked to inducing night sweats, so talk to your doctor about all the possible causes and solutions if you think that you could be affected.

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