From hay fever to changeable weather, here's how spring can ruin your sleep – and what you can do about it

A woman stretches out on a mattress
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Spring is officially here, but for all the pleasures of the season, it can play havoc with your sleep. One minute you're in a cold snap, the next day you wake up sweating. Blossoming flowers bring cheerful buds, weeping eyes, and sniffly noses. Lighter evenings are lovely but bright mornings rouse you at 6am (and April showers mean some days you hardly see the sun at all at all). How can we stop this changeable season from changing our sleep?

While the best mattress supports your sleep whatever time of year it is, you might need a little help snoozing comfortably throughout the night in spring. I asked sleep expert and CEO of Ethical Bedding James Higgins about the challenges of this transitional season – and what you can do about it.

How to sleep better in changeable weather

Brighter mornings, warm but changeable weather, and allergens can all damage your sleep in spring. Here are some tips for maintaining good sleep hygiene throughout the transitional season.

1. Choose breathable bedding

For many of us, spring means hotter days and warmer evenings. That makes it the perfect time to reassess your bedding situation, suggests James. “Consider switching to lighter bedding materials suitable for spring's milder temperatures to avoid overheating.” 

Man lies in bed with one hand behind his head

(Image credit: Getty UK)

As well as weight, think about materials. As James explains, “moisture-wicking fabrics can help maintain a comfortable sleep environment by drawing away sweat, ensuring you stay dry and comfortable throughout the night." 

2. Keep your bedroom a steady temperature

Transitional seasons like spring tend to have changeable weather patterns, but in your bedroom, you want to keep the temperature even. Our core temperature naturally drops in the evening, indicating to the body that it's time to wind down. James recommends keeping your bedroom "cool and conducive to sleep" – that's around 16-19 degrees Celsius, or 60 to 66 degrees Fahrenheit.

3. Defeat allergies by keeping things clean

Many of us have to admire the spring blooms through the weeping eyes and running noses of allergies. A nuisance during the day but a major sleep disruptor at night. The best way to prevent allergies from ruining your sleep is to keep everything clean: that means you, your bedding, and the air.

A man lies in bed with a cold, blowing his nose

(Image credit: Getty Images)

A shower or bath before bed is not only a calming part of the bedtime routine, but a way to ensure any pollen clinging to you doesn’t get stuck to your bedding. For the same reason, make sure to regularly change your sheets – and spring is a great time to deep clean your mattress. If you’re really struggling, invest in one of the best air purifiers, to filter out pollen and other allergens that might be floating around your bedroom.

4. Upgrade your pillow

You can never quite predict what the weather is going to do in spring, so you don't want to completely overhaul your sleep setup. A few warm nights might convince you to swap out your winter duvet, but when the temperatures inevitably drop at some point, you'll wish you'd stuck with the higher tog. But there are some parts of your bedding that can benefit from a spring shake-up

“Replace or adjust your pillows to ensure they provide the right support and cooling comfort for your head and neck," says James. Switching your pillow can prepare you for warmer weather, but it's not so big a change you'll regret it during a cold snap. Our best pillow guide has some excellent options (and I've picked out my favorites below).

5. Block out the early morning light

Mornings are getting lighter and brighter – great when you're alarm goes off, but it can be unwelcome at 6am. “As the transition from winter to spring can bring variable temperatures and increased daylight, ensure your bedroom supports sleep by using blackout curtains to block out early morning light,” suggests James.

A woman waking up in bed after a bad night's sleep

(Image credit: Getty Images)

During the day, however, you want to spend as much time in the sunshine as possible. "Make it a priority to spend time outdoors during daylight hours to help reset your internal clock," explains James. "This can be especially beneficial as the days start to get longer in the spring."

Our top bedding picks for transitional seasons

For sleepers in the US...

Layla Kapok Pillow

<a href="https://shareasale.com/r.cfm?b=1410674&u=1338591&m=63899&afftrack=hawk-custom-tracking&urllink=https%3A%2F%2Flaylasleep.com%2Fproduct%2Fkapok-pillow%2F" data-link-merchant="laylasleep.com"" target="_blank" rel="sponsored">Layla Kapok Pillow
We were impressed all-round during our <a href="https://www.techradar.com/reviews/layla-kapok-pillow" data-link-merchant="techradar.com"" data-link-merchant="laylasleep.com"">Layla Kapok Pillow review, but the temperature regulation really stood out. Crafted with a combination of breathable fibers and open-cell memory foam (with a fill level you can adjust to your liking), the Layla Kapok keeps you a comfortable temperature throughout the night.

Casper Down Pillow

<a href="https://casper.pxf.io/c/221109/396851/7235?subId1=hawk-custom-tracking&sharedId=hawk&u=https%3A%2F%2Fcasper.com%2Fpillows%2Fdown-pillow.html" data-link-merchant="casper.com"" target="_blank" rel="sponsored">Casper Down Pillow
The Casper Down Pillow features five chambers, each stuffed with a different combination of down and feathers. The result is a super adaptable pillow that cradles the head while offering impressive support. And it's breathable and cool to the touch – learn more with our <a href="https://www.techradar.com/reviews/casper-down-pillow" data-link-merchant="techradar.com"" data-link-merchant="casper.com"">Casper Down Pillow review.

For sleepers in the UK...

Ethical Bedding Eucalyptus &amp; Bamboo Pillow

<a href="https://go.redirectingat.com/?id=92X363&xcust=hawk-custom-tracking&xs=1&url=https%3A%2F%2Fethicalbedding.com%2Fproducts%2Feucalyptus-silk-bamboo-pillow%3Fvariant%3D43679744491747&sref" data-link-merchant="SkimLinks - ethicalbedding.com"" target="_blank" rel="sponsored">Ethical Bedding Eucalyptus & Bamboo Pillow
With a cover crafted from breathable eucalyptus and a fill of fluffy bamboo fibers, this pillow from Ethical Bedding helps keep away the night sweats when the evenings start to heat up. Designed to be temperature regulating, the Ethical Bedding Eucalyptus & Bamboo pillow should see you through every weather change this season can throw at you.

REM-Fit 500 Cool Gel Pillow

<a href="https://track.webgains.com/click.html?wgcampaignid=162949&wgprogramid=267505&clickref=hawk-custom-tracking&wgtarget=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.rem-fit.co.uk%2Fproducts%2Frem-fit-500-cool-gel-pillow" data-link-merchant="rem-fit.co.uk"" target="_blank" rel="sponsored">REM-Fit 500 Cool Gel Pillow
Breathable, comfortable, and affordable, the REM-Fit 500 Cool Gel pillow is our top pick for sleepers struggling with the changeable weather. In our <a href="https://www.techradar.com/reviews/rem-fit-500-cool-gel-pillow" data-link-merchant="techradar.com"" data-link-merchant="rem-fit.co.uk"">REM-Fit 500 Cool Gel pillow review, our tester found it gently cradles the head, especially in the side sleeping position.

Simba Hybrid 3-in-1 duvet

<a href="https://www.awin1.com/awclick.php?awinmid=6878&awinaffid=103504&clickref=hawk-custom-tracking&p=https%3A%2F%2Fsimbasleep.com%2Fproducts%2F3-in-1-hybrid-duvet" data-link-merchant="simbasleep.com"" target="_blank" rel="sponsored">Simba Hybrid 3-in-1 duvet
This Simba duvet is technically two separate duvets – a 3.5 tog and a 7 tog – that can be used alone or together depending on the temperature, for three different feels overall. Our tester found the duvets easy to attach and detach during our <a href="https://www.techradar.com/reviews/simba-hybrid-3-in-1-duvet" data-link-merchant="techradar.com"" data-link-merchant="simbasleep.com"">Simba Hybrid 3-in-1 duvet review, so if Monday feels like winter and Wednesday feels like midsummer, your sleep doesn't have to be disrupted.

For a deluxe upgrade...

Eight Sleep Pod Cover

<a href="https://eight-sleep.ioym.net/c/221109/607198/9942?subId1=hawk-custom-tracking&sharedId=hawk&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.eightsleep.com%2Fpod-cover%2F" data-link-merchant="eightsleep.com"" target="_blank" rel="sponsored">Eight Sleep Pod Cover
Designed to ensure you sleep at the perfect temperature every single night, no matter what the weather might be up to, the Eight Sleep Pod Cover features adaptable heating and cooling that you can control to suit your needs. it's expensive, but our Eight Sleep Pod Cover review determined it was worth the cost – there's really nothing else like it. And it's available in both the US and the <a href="https://eight-sleep.ioym.net/c/221109/607198/9942?subId1=hawk-custom-tracking&sharedId=hawk&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.eightsleep.com%2Fuk%2Fproduct%2Fpod-cover%2F" data-link-merchant="eightsleep.com"" data-link-merchant="eightsleep.com"" target="_blank" rel="sponsored">UK via Eight Sleep. 

A headshot of Ethical Bedding CEO James Higgins
James Higgins

James Higgins is a sleep expert and the CEO of Ethical Bedding, the UK's only B Corp accredited sustainable bedding company. James founded Ethical Bedding using his innate love of nature as a driving force, creating the most sustainable luxury bedding range with environmental prosperity at its heart.

Ruth Jones
Staff Writer

Ruth is TechRadar’s Sleep Writer. She’s here to help you find the perfect sleep setup for your budget and personal preferences. As well as keeping a keen eye on everything that’s going on in the world of mattresses, she regularly speaks to experts to help you learn how to improve your sleep habits, whether that’s by debunking sleep myths or explaining the science behind it all. Prior to joining the TechRadar team, she wrote features and product guides for new parents hoping to get a decent night's sleep, as well as writing for a variety of online spaces.