Smack dab in the middle of summer. That’s where we are right now and while we haven’t quite had the unrelenting heat of last year (I seem to remember our back yard brown and yellow, burnt to a crisp by now), the temperatures are set to rise again next week. Of course, for those of you reading outside of our fair island, you may scoff at complaints that this week, the temperatures are predicted to hit around 30 degrees C (that’s around 86F in old money), but well, that’s far too warm for us here.
Ya see, the British (and while I am not British, I’ve been here nearly 20 years so I’ve completely acclimated to the culture and the temperatures) are not used to the heat. We are used to rain and a bit of mist and hey! there’s the sun oh my god get your shorts on and then oh crap, better get the brolly back out. The temperatures are pretty moderate, rarely going below freezing in winter, rarely going above 25C in summer. You do get used to it. But when the sun decides to shine and the mercury rises, we are not prepared.
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We do not have airconditioning here in residential homes, not as the norm anyway. And so when you are trying to sleep in the middle of summer, well, things can be rather difficult. And if there’s one thing that I know I need in order for me to be more productive and happier on a day-by-day basis, it’s getting a decent night’s sleep.
I’m not the best sleeper. I’ve talked on my blog in the past about the many issues I have including a sleep disorder called Night Terrors that I have had since my teen years, bouts of insomnia and the quiet rage I feel for Wayne who seems to be able to fall asleep every night in under a minute. And then snores. It’s a wonder I haven’t smothered him with a pillow at this point but somehow I’ve resisted, normally resorting to sneaking off to the guest bedroom if it gets too loud/annoying.
So, even at the best of times, sleeping can be a bit of a minefield but when it’s hot, it’s even worse. And so I make a few changes to the bedroom in the summer months to ensure I can still manage a decent night’s sleep even when it’s uncomfortably warm.
My first port of call is always changing the duvet to a summer weight one (around 3.5-4 tog). I have one from Soak & Sleep although I don’t believe they sell the particular one I have anymore, there are plenty out there on the market. I’d encourage you to look out for ones made of natural materials if you can as these will breathe better and naturally regulate your temperature as you sleep.
I also have become a total convert to good linen bedding (this is the set I have from MADE that you see in the first image above). It’s light and airy in summer and that naturally crumpled look is so inviting. Again, because it’s a natural material, the fibres allow the material to breathe, meaning you’ll feel less hot and stuffy. If you can’t bear to have a duvet over you, then a flat linen sheet will do the trick nicely on the hottest nights.
We purchased this standing fan recently. It’s not the sexiest looking thing around (my edit below shows a rather stylish table fan below too if you’re after something pretty) but it’s simple contemporary design isn’t at all offensive and the remote control makes it really easy to turn it up or down without having to get out of bed. It’s also really quiet on the lowest settings although I do quite like the whir of a fan as white noise to help me sleep.
Our curtains block out just enough of the early sunrise – I do need just a little sunshine coming into the room to wake me up (I feel much worse feeling jolted out of a slumber by my phone’s alarm when it’s pitch black) but if your curtains aren’t doing the trick, you can actually retro-fit black out curtain linings so the sunshine isn’t blaring into the room at 4:30am or you can simply don a lovely posh cashmere eye mask too ala Holly Golightly.
I recently discovered Desmond & Dempsey and have basically fallen in love with their beautiful pyjamas. Of course, if you forgo pyjamas completely in the summer heat (I wouldn’t blame you), these are still cute enough to wear around the house before climbing into bed for the night.
I’ve pulled together a little buying guide to survive the hottest of summer nights below with some of my favourites…
1 – Desmond & Dempsey Coral Pyjama Set / 2 – Piglet Oatmeal Linen Bedding Bundle / 3 – John Lewis Oak & White Desk Fan / 4 – Gingerlily Silk Filled Summer Duvet / 5 – Johnstons of Elgin Cashmere Eye Mask / 6 – Desmond & Dempsey Medina Print Cami / 7 – Desmond & Dempsey Medina Wide Leg Pyjama Trousers / 8 – John Lewis Black Out Curtain Liners / 9 – Ansio Pedestal Fan with Remote / 10 – White Company Sleep Soothing Pillow Mist / 11 – Caroline Gardner Scribble Spot Eye Mask in Pouch
Your turn now… how do you manage to sleep on the hottest summer nights? Any favourites of the items I chose? Are you a convert to linen bedding as well or perhaps you just want to murder your other half for being a better sleeper than you? Let me know in the comments!