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27th Jun 2018

The 10 stages of trying to sleep in this heat

Carl Kinsella

Haha, we sure do love the sun!

The sun is out in the UK! And that’s definitely a good thing. Sunburn, sweating through your clothes in work, struggling to walk more than a kilometre? All part of the fun.

Couldn’t get a good spot for sitting at the canal because there are 5000 people there? That’s just good vibes! Ignoring the fact that this is obviously climate change in effect? Absolutely lovely. Love a good 99. I think I’m dying. I think the world is dying.

And then there’s the best thing of all. Trying to sleep in the sweltering heat when you’ve got work in a few hours and everything has turned to lava… these are the 10 stages of trying to sleep in this heat.

Open the windows

You know it’s going to be a hot night, but you’re prepared. You’re going to open up the windows, let in the cool night breeze and enjoy a healthy supply of fresh air keeping the heat at bay throughout the night. Sorted. Time to get into bed. If anything, this will be a better night’s sleep than usual.

This is fine

Okay, so there is no breeze, and no fresh air is entering the room. But that’s okay. That’s not a problem. You’re in bed now and it’s only kind of uncomfortable. This is a night just like any other night, only many degrees hotter, and therefore slightly more uncomfortable. Just slightly.

No, it’s not fine, time to distract yourself

All that insulation in the walls that has seemed like a good idea for the past 25 years or is no longer your friend. The heat is trapped. It has nowhere to go. These walls don’t need to be so insulated. So it is laying down on top of you, clinging to you for dear life, suffocating you in your very bed. This is hell.

Okay, you don’t have to just lie here waiting for the heat to crush you. You open your laptop and start to watch Netflix.


This is worse. This is so much worse. This is a lot worse. Now the laptop is overheating too. Now you’re both overheating together. Even if the battery doesn’t explode, it’s definitely going to singe your skin. What the fuck, why would the company who made this device make it so that this is a possible outcome?

This must be why other people read books in bed? But books are flammable?


You’ve already made things much worse by adding your laptop to the mix, and now there’s no hope of you cooling down. Time for Plan B: nudity.

But not just nudity. The grossest, sweatiest, least sexy nudity that has ever existed. Peeling yourself off the sheets, running out of breath by just lying there, hating yourself for having a body thereby being able to sensorially experience the heat. You struggle out of your pyjamas or boxers or whatever you’re wearing and then you just lie there, exhausted.

The leg thing

But nakedness just doesn’t cut it. No. It’s not enough simply for you to be naked. Now it’s the bedclothes that are causing the problem. You wrap one leg around the bedsheets and you briefly cool down. You read somewhere that this style of sleeping is meant to help the body achieve equilibrium. You don’t really know what that means. Whatever it is, it doesn’t help.

The full-body leg thing

One cool leg simply is not enough. Not when the second leg, and also the rest of your entire body, remains sweltering beneath a big massive duvet that was built for British winters (and also the British rest-of-the-year).

GET OFF ME YOU STUPID DUVET. You try to throw it to the ground, but it’s heavy, so most of it slumps to the ground and part of it catches at the end of your bed. You kick the rest of it off and like there, naked, drenched in sweat. It is a pyrrhic victory.

The bad place

You’ve flipped your pillow so many times that there is no cool side anymore. You’re considering flipping your mattress. You’re angry at your mattress for being so heavy and so hot. Would it be crazy to… beat the shit out of your mattress? You have work in six hours and you have not slept a wink. The insulation has betrayed you. You would cry into your bedsheets but the tears would only sizzle and evaporate on your face. It’s 4am.

You have gone to the bad place.

Frenzied acceptance

You’re never going to sleep. Tomorrow night you’ll be better prepared, if you can live that long. You’re going to put a hot water bottle in the freezer. That’s right, give ’em the ol’ reverse hot water bottle. That’ll do it. You’ll fill a big two litre bottle up with ice water and you’ll cradle it in your sleep. That’ll show ’em. Or maybe you’ll sleep in the garden. Sleep in the garden like a dog. Then they’ll all be sorry. God it’s so hot.


You’re asleep. You don’t know how it happened. You don’t know when it happened. But you’re asleep. You can’t feel the heat anymore. You are at peace. Tomorrow you will wake up, and once more pretend to enjoy the heat, and these supposedly glorious circumstances that your useless body simply was not built for.