Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Sleeping in a sauna - tips to keep our family cool on hot nights

Sleeping in red sheets

Ahhh.. the British and our heatwaves.  We do love to complain about a lack of summer and then melt and moan when the temperature rises above 30 degrees.  Mostly I hear moaning about the nights. Windows have been opened and fans have been on in an effort to shift some of the slightly cooler air through the homes in our part of London.  But not in our house - it's just not safe.

We used to have an escape artist dog - any one who has ever had a beagle in their family will know what I mean.  This means we've always been careful with doors and windows.  Our younger autistic son, David, used to be a 'runner' with the uncanny ability to spot an open door and the speed to disappear from sight in a few seconds.  This potential for wandering or running off from either dog or child meant our house was like Fort Knox. There was far less fear of someone breaking in... far more fear of someone getting hurt if they left the house.

Our beautiful beagle passed away last year, but this hasn't really changed the door and window policy much.  We still have a key operated front door (you need a key to leave the house), and the downstairs windows are fitted with restrictor safety catches. For extra security the upstairs windows have restrictor cables -  like a locked cable to stop the windows opening beyond roughly cm.

We fitted them to all the windows that you would consider 'escape' windows.  And in my paranoia, I have keys hung around the house so we can unlock these in case of a fire while we sleep. Upstairs that leaves three 'unlocked' windows - those tiny little openings in the toilet and bathroom.

But it was during one of the hot evenings trying to sleep that we found David stood on the window ledge trying to get his head and arms through one of these tiny top windows.  We've found him before with one of his feet sticking out the small gap left by the cable restrictors in the big windows.  We felt we could no longer have David near these windows on his own incase something failed.  And that meant closing them from the moment we left him to try and settle to sleep until he came downstairs again in the morning.  It's got really hot.

David stands behind a fan

So I got a fan.  Nice idea.

But David can't really be left alone with the fan for very long either.  He loves that it spins but can get over excited by this and... well I just don't know what he could do.  He plays with the buttons and stands close enjoying the air on his face.  This is fine but he could do something daft like try and hang or climb on in and get hurt.  I wasn't even sure he couldn't hurt himself on one of the Dyson ones that don't have a spinning fan -  so no fan in the bedrooms either.

Our bedroom has been like sauna.  So we've had to think of other ways to keep us cooler and if you are in the same boat here's a few ideas:
  • Chillow - is a 'chilled' pillow - like a cool sleeve that goes in your pillow case when you sleep.  I came across these when I was talking to mum about how hot her sleeping son was getting under a weighted blanket.
  • Cold water bottle - just take your hot water bottle and fill it with cold water instead, it'll keep your bed cooler.
  • A cold drink by the bed in a thermos bottle means the water stays colder for longer.  We love our Sigg bottle, it has an easy flip and twist spout.
I think there's little chance David is going to change his window antics anytime soon, so if you have any other tips to sleeping when it's hot, I'd love to hear them.

This is not a sponsored post - anything mentioned are simply things we've used and loved or would recommend. 


  1. It's awful when you're melting and can't open the windows! I heard that a damp cloth over a fan or window increases the cooling effect. Could you tie a wet muslin type cloth over the fan cage? You have all my sympathy. #DreamTeam

    1. Good ideas. If only it was safe to have the fan at all. If you can have a fan I've heard putting a bowl of ice in front of it is a good idea too.

  2. The chillow sounds great. I mught have to try and find one of these.

  3. tough situation. In my last house I had really weird windows that didn't allow for air conditioners. I had about 20 fans spread out throughout in the summer. I would think there should be some kind of closed fan system that wouldn't be tempting for fingers #dreamteam

  4. I do like the sound of a chillow. It does get so stuffy upstairs when it's hot, it's tricky to then cool down, but we got for the drink, no pjs and no bedcovers here, and fortunately that's been good enough for our two so far. Thanks for sharing with #WotW

  5. I love the sound of the Chillow. I think I might have to get one for myself.
    I hate trying to sleep when it's too hot. My teen's room is the worst room though. It is like a sauna. She leaves her curtains open to let a breeze in but in the morning she gets woken by the sun.

  6. I never even thought about putting cold water in the hot water bottle. What a brilliant idea. Thanks so much for linking up to #TriumphantTales - hope to see you again on Tuesday!

  7. The chillow and cold water bottle are great ideas. I've heard of putting your sheets in the fridge too, but never tried it. We are in France and the nights are unbearable - we can't open the windows due to beasties and an escaping dog! So I'll try your tips for cold water bottle using a plastic bottle and see if that helps. #TheListLinky

  8. It's funny isn't it. Lots of people complain it's too cold here, but when the suns out... it becomes too hot. I actually like it in between myself, but the hot sunny days have been beautiful, don't you think. I can't begin to imagine how hot it must have got for you all not being able to open the windows though. Ekk! I would have been climbing the walls. This chillow sounds amazing... I'm going to have a look. Another tip is to dunk your wrists in cold water, it's a quick fun fix. :-) #Dreamteam xx

  9. I purchased one of those chilled pillows just after the recent heatwave. I am eagerly awaiting another so that we can try it out! #KCACOLS

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  11. In the States we have these new air conditioners that sit inside your room on the floor, and you just need a vent in the window - I wonder if you could use that and still somehow lock your window with an expanding arm like what you would use to lock a steering wheel - it's worth a look: http://amzn.to/2tkTXxK I hate sleeping hot! #KCACOLS

  12. I've heard of people putting actual pillows in the freezer but the 'frozen' sleeve sounds better! #wotw

  13. Eek it must feel really 'close', as they say in Scotland, without being able to open any windows in the heat!
    There are quite a few permanent (building) solutions I can think of, but no bright ideas for a quick fix other than mounting a fan out of reach to get the air moving?
    Thank you for joining #AccessLinky

  14. A chillow sounds amazing! I'd love a pillow that's always cool! I hate being hot in be, there's nothing worse, is there?

    Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next time

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