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Trying to sleep in a hot room

Proven Ways to Keep Your Bedroom Cool in a Heatwave

Recent summers in the UK have been getting hotter. In fact, this year in 2022, a record was broken: for the first time on record, temperatures in the UK have exceeded 40°C.   Trying to sleep when the temperature is high is difficult. During this last hot spell, temperatures of 25 degrees were recorded during the night and with heat like that, trying to stay cool enough to sleep is challenging. Our bodies are used to cooling down in the evenings in order to prepare us for sleep. When this can’t happen, our sleep patterns are disrupted.

Here are some tips to help you get some sleep during a heatwave.

  • Invest in a good-quality fan that moves air around the room. One suggestion is to put two frozen bottles of water in front of the fan and this seems to increase the flow of cold air. Worth a try. Having air that is being moved helps evaporate sweat from our bodies and cools us down.
  • Keep your curtains and windows closed during the day when the sun is beating down. This stops hot air from entering your bedroom and also stops the sun from heating up the room. During the evening if the air is cooler, you could open the window wide to let some cooler air into your room (watch out for security issues though!).
  • Consider hiring a portable air conditioner. Or if you think that this is the way British summers are going to be from now on, think about buying one. Air conditioners provide instant relief from the agony of coping with hot air in bedrooms. Set the temperature to what you need and relax as the hot air is eliminated leaving cool refreshing air. Portable ducted air conditioners are perfect for bedrooms as they are quiet to operate and efficient. Excess warm air is exhausted through flexible ducts outdoors or a suitable ventilation point.
  • Keep the computer off or out of the bedroom. During Lockdown in 2020, many of us had to work from home and a great many people are still doing so today. A lot of people use their bedroom as an office during the day (Zoom/Team calls vouch for this). Computers and screens generate a lot of heat and this can be trapped inside the bedroom during the day. On hot days, think about moving your computer infrastructure out of the bedroom temporarily.
  • Keep lights off in the bedroom. This follows the same logic as the computer/screens. Electrical items give off heat. Keep the room dark with the door closed.

The best way to keep your bedroom cool is to invest in an air conditioner if you can budget for this. A couple of nights of broken sleep is bearable, but several days into weeks makes us grumpy and less efficient and can lead to all sorts of health issues.

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