Struggling to sleep? Unusually hot weather can wreak havoc with our ability to get a good night’s rest, which can have an impact on our ability to function the following day. Ideally a bedroom should be between 18C and 24C to enable restful sleep, so it’s not surprising that many people struggle during periods of extremely warmer weather, especially in countries like the UK where we’re not used to it.

A lack of sleep can affect both our mental and physical health. Just some of these unwanted side effects include:

  • Higher irritability
  • Slowed reaction times
  • Impaired judgement
  • Drowsiness
  • High blood pressure

You can read more about this on our blog, Why Sleep is Important for Good Health and Wellbeing.

Now for the science part: Core body temperature follows a 24-hour cycle linked with the sleep-wake rhythm. Body temperature decreases when asleep and rises during waking hours, meaning sleep is most likely to occur when core temperature decreases. Environmental heat can disturb this balance and make it difficult to sleep. Every night, when we go to sleep, our bodies shed heat into the surrounding environment by dilating our blood vessels and increasing blood flow to our hands and feet. In order for this process to occur efficiently, the surrounding environment needs to be cooler than our bodies, otherwise our sleep becomes interrupted.

So, what can we do to give us a better chance of getting a restful sleep when on hot summer nights? Read on for some handy tips that’ll help you avoid another sleepless night:

  • Open a window if you live in a quiet place and allow the natural night-time, cooler air to flow in. Or use a fan to help with airflow if opening a window is not an option
  • Swap heavy bead clothes in favour of lighter fabrics. Natural materials such as linens and cottons are breathable and feel cooler against skin
  • Keep curtains and blinds shut during the day – this will naturally keep the room cooler as sunlight is unable to get through and warm it up
  • Take a warm bath or shower then go into your cool bedroom environment, which will accelerate the cooling of your internal body temperature and help with sleep
  • Avoiding exercise close to bedtime means your body doesn’t have to work as hard to cool down, so ensure you finish at least 90 minutes before bedtime

Of course, none of these tips are going to benefit you if you’re then wrapping up into a warm and toasty winter duvet when you go to bed! Lighter and more breathable summer bedding can play an important role in your quality of sleep as the mercury rises. One of the best ways to keep cool in bed is to use a lightweight 4.5 tog duvet. We spoke to John Haslam, the Technical Director at John Cotton (where our products are manufactured, about the sometimes-misunderstood subject of togs…

What is a tog exactly?

John: Togs are a measurement of warmth, and specifically, the effectiveness of the material’s ability to trap warm air within its fibres. High togs trap more air, making them warmer to burrow into when it's cold. In the summer, you should look out for a low tog duvet which encourages airflow and keeps you cool.

What tog rating should I look for in a summer duvet?

John: An ideal tog rating would be a 4.5 tog duvet, which will be lightweight and breathable enough that you feel covered but not too hot.

Does a higher tog mean the duvet is thicker?

Not necessarily, as thickness tends to be down to what materials are used. You can have a lofty, cloud-like duvet with a low tog rating, making it cosy but still allowing air to flow – which is what you need when you’re finding yourself unable to sleep in the heat.

Below, we give you the lowdown on some of our top summer bedding picks to help you decide what’s going to be best for you to keep your cool during warm spells:

Slumberdown Allergy Comfort

Not just for hay fever and asthma sufferers, the Slumberdown Allergy Comfort range is filled with a special anti allergy hollowfibre filling that helps to reduce the build-up of fungus, dust mites and bacteria. The specially treated filling has Allergy UK’s seal of approval too, and the entire range is washing machine friendly so you can keep it fresh and clean. Choose the 4.5 tog duvet option for a lightweight duvet that’s cool and comfortable during summer months, or there’s also a 10.5 tog and 13.5 tog version if you prefer something a little heavier.

Slumberdown Climate Balance

The duvets and pillows in the Climate Balance range from Slumberdown contain an innovative Dacron® hollowfibre filling that’s been formulated and scientifically proven to carry excess heat and moisture away from your body, ensuring that you have a cool and comfortable night’s sleep. Dacron is not an absorbent material, which makes it resistant to sweat so the moisture you produce as you sleep is not retained by the Dacron filling in the bedding, and instead, evaporates into the surrounding air.

Snuggledown Hungarian Goose Down Duvet

Down or feather might not seem like an obvious choice for keeping cool, as this soft and fluffy filling tends to be thought of as warm and cosy. However, the Snuggledown Hungarian Goose Down range contains a light and airy mix of 80% down and 20% feather, which, as a 4.5 tog duvet, means there is lots of room for air to circulate around the filling. What’s more, the covers on this range are made from a premium 300 thread count cotton that’s naturally breathable and cool. So, if you’re looking for a luxurious way to stay cool this summer, look no further.

Snuggledown Ultimate Luxury Duvet

As with the Hungarian Goose Down range, the Snuggledown Ultimate Luxury duvets and pillows also feature a 100% luxury cotton cover, utilising the naturally breathable property of cotton to deliver a cooling sleep experience. Again, the duvet comes in a variety of togs, so choose the 4.5 tog if you’re looking for a cooler duvet that’s suitable for hotter months.

Slumberdown Airstream Mattress Topper

Wonderfully comfortable and cooler than memory foam, the Slumberdown Airstream Breathable Mattress Topper uses advanced Airstream technology to keep you cool, dry and fresh through the night. The breathable fibres and a ventilated middle section allow air to flow freely around the topper to remove any heat build-up whilst you sleep. Mattress toppers are perfect for adding comfort to your existing mattress, which can be handy if you find yourself waking up with aches and pains.

Slumberdown Luxury Cool Touch Quilted Pillow

The HYDROCOOL® moisture management technology featured in this pillow works by absorbing moisture created by body heat, quickly transporting it to the fabric face. The fabric face constantly evaporates the moisture to create a cooling effect, helping you to get a comfortable night’s sleep in warmer weather. For luxury you can see as well as feel, this Slumberdown Luxury Cool Touch Quilted Pillow features a beautifully finished quilted cover and premium piped edging.

Slumberdown Memory Cool Pillow

If you’re looking for a pillow that’s a little firmer but still with cooling properties, check out the Memory Cool Pillow from Slumberdown. It has a memory foam wrap which surrounds a firm and supportive hollowfibre filling to provide support to the head, neck and spine. The cooling aspect comes from the pillow’s soft knit Coolmax® cover – another clever material that works to gently draw moisture away from your head to leave you feeling cool and fresh.

Hopefully, this has helped you to pick out some cooler bedding that’s going to help you get the rest you need over these hot summer nights. If you need any further help, or have any questions, our friendly customer service team are on hand to talk all things sleep with you, so drop them a message!