Falling asleep in the heat can be very uncomfortable and cause lots of restlessness. It’s impossible to sleep well when you’re wet with sweat and feeling thirstier (more dehydrated) by the minute. So, how are you supposed to stay cool enough to fall asleep?
The most obvious answer to staying cool is to run the air conditioner. But what if that option isn’t available to you? Not all homes are equipped with air conditioning, particularly older dwellings and apartments.
While the option always exists to purchase a window unit, that isn’t always a very budget-friendly choice. Many models are known for generating outrageous utility bills and are particularly bad for the environment. So, if you aren’t made of money or you aim to reduce your environmental footprint, a window unit isn’t a great option.
The good news is that there are plenty of ways to beat the heat without turning on the air conditioner. Below are eleven ways that are sure to keep you cool when the temperature begins to rise.
1: Choose Cotton Sheets
While satin, polyester, and silk sheets may feel luxurious, they trap body heat beneath them. They may be a great choice for winter, but not a desirable choice for the hot summer months. Instead, choose cotton sheets, which breathe to release body heat instead of trapping it inside.
2: Freeze the Sheets and Pillow Covers
It may sound crazy but folding your sheets and placing them in the freezer for an hour before you hit the sack can drastically reduce your core body temperature. Eventually the sheets will warm up again, but it should keep you cool long enough to fall asleep. Do the same for pillow covers
3: Use Ice & Fans
There are two steps to this simple cooling method. The first is to place a large bowl of ice in front of the fan. The second is to place a frozen water bottle or two behind the fan. Both will work to push a slightly cool breeze around the room, thus lowering the inside temperature.
4: Choose Loose Clothing – Or None at All
Loose clothing is more appropriate for summertime sleeping. A baggy shirt, tank, or nightgown will be much cooler than form-fitting sleepwear. Or, you could simply choose to wear nothing at all.
5: Get A Couple of Window Fans
Window fans will use considerably less power than air conditioning units. Place one or two in the windows of your bedroom to bring in the cool night air. If you have a ceiling fan, turn that on as well to keep the cooler air circulating.
6: Nix the Cuddles
If you sleep with a partner, use your own top sheet and keep your distance to help keep you cooler. While you may love the closeness, sleeping too close to another person raises both people’s core body temperature.
7: Choose a Hammock Over a Bed
Hammocks allow for airflow all the way around you while you’re sleeping. Hang one near a window in your bedroom and use a cotton sheet for optimal comfort and coolness.
8: Take a Cold Shower Before Bed
A cold, or even room temperature, shower just before bed will bring your core temperature down for about an hour, which should provide ample time to fall asleep. As a bonus, it’s been found that people who take a shower just before bed sleep better than those who do not.
9: Floor Mats Instead of Beds
Heat rises, so the higher your bed is, the hotter you’ll feel. A floor mat will keep you as low to the ground, and the cooler air, as possible. Choose one that is either made from a breathable material or features ultra-thin padding, as thick mattresses can also trap in the heat.
10: Keep It Dark & Unplugged
Your lights, as well as every other appliance in your room, give off a little heat. While it may not seem like much, you could be increasing your room’s overall temperature by as much as ten degrees if you leave the lights on and keep a moderate number of electronics turned on or even plugged in. There’s a bonus to removing unnecessary appliances from your bedroom – you’ll find that you’re not so distracted by them and will fall asleep faster.
11: Camp Out
If it’s possible, try camping outside. A floor mat on a secure balcony or rooftop can be incredibly cool. The night air is typically ten degrees cooler than the air inside your home. You can also try sleeping in the backyard in a tent or on a hammock to get a bit of that cool night air.