Sunshine during the school holidays can be a real blessing. It provides the backdrop for fun family days out and time spent playing outdoors.
However, when a heatwave hits, lack of sleep can leave children feeling irritable and, in some cases, unwell. This often leads to arguments among siblings and strung out kids come nighttime. Nobody wants that.
So, if this sounds like a familiar story in your household, read on for a few hints and tips on how you can keep your kids cool at night time in order to promote peaceful sleep for everyone.
Table of Contents
- Block out the sun
- Unplug electricals
- Make bedtime stories cool
- Choose cool, cotton nightwear
- Remove excess bedding
- Bring down their temperature
- Freeze sheets and bedding
- Keep wet flannels on standby
- If all else fails, get out the fan
- Try something else
1. Block out the sun in their bedroom
A bit of a breeze can really help cool kids down, but it’s not always practical to leave bedroom windows open.
Whether safety issues come into play or there’s a hayfever sufferer to consider, you can try and keep a room cool in advance by blocking the sun from the room.
Using blackout blinds or drawing curtains partway should stop the room from heating up too much throughout the day.
Think about how nice it is to find a shaded spot in the garden; the same rule applies here. You don’t want to let your children’s bedroom bake during the day, as by the time they enter it on a night, it will feel more like an oven.
2. Unplug electricals throughout the day
Unplugging equipment that’s not in use can also help bring the temperature down. Electronics like TVs and stereos left on standby can give off heat and, in turn, warm up the room.
This is a simple tip to keep in mind, but it will make a world of difference come nighttime.
3. Make bedtime stories cool
As strange as it may sound, our minds can also play a part in moderating our temperature. Just imagining yourself in a cool place can help trick you into thinking you’re not quite so warm, so get your children’s minds off of the heat by reading them cool bedtime stories.
Think about classics like The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe that is set in a wintery paradise, or create your own Frozen-inspired story that will put your children in the middle of a cool winter wonderland.
4. Choose cool, cotton nightwear
Cool, cotton nightwear will help keep your children comfortable in warmer weather. Simple, cotton nightwear is a breathable material that allows air to circulate around the skin.
Cotten nightwear is also less likely to cling to the skin like other materials do and will stop clothing from bunching and overheating your children in the night.
5. Remove excess bedding and sheets
Simply lowering the tog level of your child’s duvet might be enough for some, while others may just want to slip under cool cotton bedsheets. Make up their beds with cotton sheets and remove blankets and other fleece fabrics that might make them overheat in the night.
To keep things extra cool, remove or add extra sheets on top of waterproof mattress protectors as these can insulate the bed and heat things up.
6. Bring down their temperature
As temperatures soar, try running your children’s wrists under cold water before bed. This will bring down their temperature and give them an instant cooling feeling. The same can be said for brushing their teeth before bed or having a cool shower.
If your kids wake up again during the night complaining about the heat, then this is something that can be easily repeated in the night to ease their discomfort!
7. Freeze sheets and bedding
You can also try cooling sheets and pillows by popping them in a bag and then in the freezer for even just an hour before bedtime. This will freeze the materials and be like laying down to rest on a soft ice cube for your overheated children.
Cooling gel cushion pads can also be purchased fairly inexpensively, just pop them in the fridge a few hours before bedtime and then slip them under the pillow cover so kids can sink into slumber.
8. Keep wet flannels on standby
If you notice your children starting to toss, turn and sweat uncomfortably in their sleep, then take steps to cool them down before they wake up. You can do this by simply pressing a cool, wet flannel to their forehead, back or arms in the night.
If your children are older, let them know they can do this themselves if they struggle to sleep and keep a flannel by their bedside in a shallow bowl of water.
9. If all else fails, get out the fan
If you’re confident of its safety and they don’t mind the noise, then consider leaving a fan in your children’s bedrooms on particularly warm nights. A fan will help moderate the temperature of their bedroom once they’ve climbed into their cabin bed or single bed. With younger children, ensure it’s out of reach of small fingers and can’t be knocked over.
A small bottle of frozen water with a no-spill cap can be a useful addition to bedside tables as it can give off cooling vapour and provide a cool drink should they wake.
10. Try something else
Sometimes it's just simply too hot to sleep, so if you have found yourself fighting a losing battle at bedtime, it might be time to admit defeat. By allowing your children to get up out of bed and sit downstairs to read a book or watch some television, you can give them a reprieve and distraction from the heat for long enough that they are too tired to fight sleep, even with the heat.
This allows your kids to take a break from the heat of their beds, and give their sheets a chance to cool down before they try again.
More ways to get a better night’s sleep
Alternatively, it might be time to refresh your bedroom to turn it into a nighttime sanctuary. Shop children’s beds and full-sized beds and mattresses available at Noa & Nani to help you create a bedtime oasis.