In light of the scorching heatwave that hit the UK this week, people flocked to TikTok to share their favourite tips on how to stay cool and sleep better in the heat.
From opening the loft hatch to putting tin foil on your windows, expert Dave Gibson, at sleep wellness brand, eve Sleep, has debunked these tips to let you know how you can really have a proper night’s kip this week.
Tin foil your bedroom windows
The tin foil window hack first made the rounds on TikTok in summer 2021, but is back and causing a social media frenzy. The technique is simple: spray your bedroom windows with soapy water to create a tactile surface, then stick tin foil to the windows, shiny side facing towards the outside. You’ll be back to sleeping sound in no time.
Dave said: ‘This is a simple but clever hack. Somewhere between 20%–30% of heat in a bedroom comes in through the windows so keeping the light from coming in is a great step. Also, by sticking tin foil to a window, reflecting the heat, you’re redirecting the sun and all its heat away from your bedroom. Due to its substance, the tin foil also won’t damage your windowsill or melt, even in this heatwave. The hack is also a great budget-friendly alternative to blackout curtains or blinds, and can encourage longer sleep for those who are easily disturbed by the morning light. It’s also a tenth of the price. The only downside, if any, is that your house may look a bit odd.’
Opening the loft hatch
Another hack for a cool night’s sleep suggested on the video sharing platform is to leave the loft hatch open at night. Although this hack may frighten horror-movie fanatics, it’s a handy solution to reducing the temperature in your home and bedroom.
Dave explained: ‘It doesn’t get more straightforward than this. As long as your loft is insulated between the rafters, then opening the hatch at night will allow the hot air accumulated throughout the day to rise and escape, efficiently lowering the temperature in the house. If you don’t have a loft, or live in a flat, then you can also try waiting till the temperature cools in the evening, then opening up all of the windows to create a draft; this works especially well if you have two windows on opposite ends of the flat.’
Beware frozen ‘hot’ water bottles
Many TikTok users swear by the ‘hot’ water bottle hack. Instead of filling up your bottle with the kettle, fill it up two-thirds of the way with cold water at the sink before placing it inside the freezer. Once the water has chilled, or even frozen, wrap up the bottle in a tea towel and place it inside your bed covers just like you would a hot water bottle.
Dave said: ‘This is a technique that has stood the test of time. It’s not new but definitely one I recommend you’d try at least once during a heatwave. However, I can’t stress enough that if you opt for this hack that you do not go on to utilise the same bottle in the winter.’
Dave further explained: ‘By freezing water in a rubber bottle like this, in time, it can cause damage to the material and even the vacuum seal. This is because the water in the bottle expands as it freezes. What can then go on to happen if you fill it up with boiling water over the winter months, is that it can leak, or even burst, potentially causing burns if you’re holding it close. Make sure to keep your summer water bottle labeled, and even separate if you can.’
Freezing your bed sheets
A recurring sleep trick making the rounds on TikTok is to freeze your bed sheets – literally. Place your bottom sheet inside of a zip-lock bag and pop it into your home freezer for 10-minutes before bedtime. Then remake your bed, and fingers crossed, you’ll be cooled down in no time. You can also try dampening the sheets before putting them in the freezer for ultimate effect.
Dave said: ‘The advantage to using this technique is that it helps your body temperature cool down which is one of the triggers to help us get to sleep. However, the downside is that as your body starts to warm up the sheets, they can then make things worse as the moisture evaporates to make the room muggy. So, I would only use this technique if you were also using a fan in the room to circulate the air too. Also putting your pillowcases in the fridge/freezer is a better choice if you don’t want to try the full bed-sheet idea.’
Find more expert approved sleep tips, from ASMR to meditation practices, over on The Well Slept Club.