There are lots of fun activities you can do during the summer.
The nights though are a different story altogether, in that they are no fun at all. In most places, summer nights retain most of the day’s heat, making it difficult to fall asleep.
Unless you take certain measures, most of your nights will be spent tossing and turning in bed drenched in sweat.
If you want a good night’s sleep, you should ensure your bed is as cool as possible. Here are some tips.
1. Lower the Thermostat and Use Sleep Mode
The National Sleep Foundation recommends keeping your bedroom at a temperature between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the optimal range for sleep.
If your AC has a sleep mode function, I recommend activating that too.
It holds the temperature constant as you sleep and then gradually increases the temperature (usually by half a degree or 1 degree) every few hours to keep you comfortable and save energy.
2. Sleep in Comfortable Clothing
Consider practicality over fashion.
This means doing away with your silk, satin and polyester nightwear and getting into some comfortable cotton pajamas.
Cotton does a better job of absorbing sweat and doesn’t trap heat. This ensures you don’t wake up hot and drenched in sweat.
You should also consider sleeping without anything on. Sleeping naked keeps you cooler at night and has a few other benefits as well.
3. Get Cooler Sheets
Clean, cool sheets are definitely one of the best ways of scoring a good night’s sleep.
The best cooling bed sheets are made of natural highly breathable fibers that are moisture absorbent.
Here are some good options:
Bamboo sheets: They are soft, cool, and eco-friendly.
Percale sheets: They are lighter, more breathable, and cooler than Sateen sheets.
Organic cotton sheets: They are soft, breathable and easily absorb sweat.
Premium linen sheets: Linen sheets are usually more expensive than sateen and percale sheets, but they are the best for hot summers. Not only do they feel incredibly soft and smooth on your skin, but they are also sleep very cool and easily absorb sweat.
4. Take a Warm Shower Before Bed
If you have trouble falling sleep in the evening heat, take a warm shower an hour or two before bed.
You’ll feel your body getting cooler, which will help you sleep faster. The cooling process also signals to the brain and body that it is time to sleep, making you dizzy and sleepy.
The shower will also help you relax and fall asleep more easily.
If you don’t have an hour to get sleepy, shower with room temperature water. This will cool your body down quicker.
Whatever you do, don’t take an ice bath. Your body will think you are freezing and constrict blood vessels. This traps body heat inside.
5. Buy a Cooling Mattress Pad
As comfortable as foam mattresses are, they get warm.
While this is good during cold winter nights, it causes discomfort during summer.
A mattress cooling pad goes on top of the mattress (but under the sheets) and keeps you cool.
These pads are made from materials like gel memory foam, latex foam, or ventilated foam. Some have cooling covers made from cotton or bamboo.
Take a look at our reviews of best cooling toppers and mattress pads to find a good one for your mattress.
6. Get a Bed Climate Control System
If summers in your area get hot or you are a hot sleeper, a bed climate control system will be more helpful compared to a mattress pad.
These systems use forced air or water to cool down the bed. You can adjust the system to your most comfortable temperature.
7. Go Lower
Have you noticed how the floor is generally colder than other surfaces in the house?
The air around your mattress might be a few degrees warmer than the floor. So if it gets too hot at night, just sleep on the floor.
Alternatively, if you live in a multi-level house, sleep on the first floor or basement bedroom. It’s likely to be cooler than the higher levels.
8. Use a Portable AC
If the central AC is using too much energy, a portable AC can work just as well but with way less power usage.
There are plenty of choices online ranging from powerful portable ACs for large bedrooms (500+ square feet) to compact models for small spaces (less than 300 square feet).
You’ll have to vent it outside your window, but it’s easy and requires no tools.
Most portable ACs come with thermostat control, a dehumidifier, and a sleep timer.
9. Turn off the lights
Even the most energy efficient light bulbs still emit heat. To keep your room as cool as possible, turn off all lights before hitting the sack.
The same principle applies to electric appliances in the house, such as ovens, dishwashers, and televisions. Turning them off reduces the amount of heat in your house and saves energy.
10. Fan it out
By improving air circulation in your room, fans reduce the kind of stuffiness that would make your sleep uncomfortable.
Point the fan towards the window to push out warm air.
Another idea is to place a bowl with ice water in front of the fan. Your room will feel cooler as the ice water cools the air blowing over it.
11. Keep your body hydrated
Having a glass of cold water before sleep keeps your body cool when it’s hot.
Be careful with the amount you take though. Drinking too much water right before going to bed will interrupt your sleep with frequent bathroom runs.
Bonus Tip for Couples
This will not work for everyone, and you may not even want to consider it.
For couples sleeping together, consider sleeping separately when the nights get too hot. Two people in the same bed generate more heat.
Sleeping alone will help you sleep cooler and perhaps even more peacefully without any snoring or blanket-hogging to disrupt your sleep.
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