Are you struggling to sleep peacefully at night because you tend to sleep hot? Do you sweat a lot at night?
You’ve come to the right place.
There are many tips, tricks, and techniques that can help you sleep cool during the hot summer months.
What’s In this Guide?
Table of Contents
In this guide, we’ll walk through an exhaustive list of proven ways to sleep a cooler in your bed – short of buying a new air conditioner.
Most are completely free, while others require you to use simple & cheap household items.
The good news is: there are a LOT of things you can do to keep comfortable this summer without having to buy a new AC.
So let’s get to it!
Why Does My Body Get So Hot When I Sleep?
Our core body temperature has its own day-night cycle, meaning it rises and falls over a 24-hour period.
At night, our core temperate drops to signal that it’s sleep time. In other words, a cooler body equals a resting body.
When the weather outside turns hot or the indoor temperature is too high, it is essential to cool our bodies to sleep soundly.
We can achieve this through three basic mechanisms: radiation, conduction, or perspiration.
How quickly you’re able to shed that extra warmth depends greatly on your surroundings –as humidity and temperature increase, cooling becomes more difficult.
What Happens to Your Body When You Sleep?
As part of a normal sleep cycle, your body temperature will begin to decrease in the early evening.
This is tied to a circadian rhythm that regulates your sleep, appetite, mood, and other bodily functions.
The suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) controls this rhythm. The suprachiasmatic nucleus is a collection of cells in the hypothalamus area of your brain and serves as an internal clock.
When we sleep, our body temperature hovers 2 degrees lower than its daytime level before gradually rising back to a normal level shortly after waking.
Why do Women Get So Hot at Night?
Women are far more affected by hot flashes than men.
The reason for this is the difference in the internal body temperature regulation system between men and women.
Men more often regulate their inner core temperature by sweating, whereas women can’t do this as easily due to hormonal differences.
This means that when it gets too hot inside your house during summer when women sweat they tend to really let loose, something we often call night sweats.
In contrast, men tend to sweat all the time in a constant all-night way.
Why Do Men Get So Hot at Night?
Men are not immune to night sweats, however. They just experience them less often than women.
This disparity may be due in part to fluctuating hormone levels; studies have shown that when males go through puberty, their bodies produce more hormones like estrogen and progesterone, as well as lower amounts of testosterone.
How to Cool Your Body Temperature
The National Sleep Foundation and most sleep experts agree that 65 degrees Fahrenheit is the optimal sleeping temperature, as it helps maintain our normal daily bodily.
When trying to cool yourself off, you should worry less about room temperatures and more about body core temperature because core temperature is what affects your sleep cycles.
If you can keep core temperature regulated, there is a much better chance that you will fall asleep at night without being restless with worry or anxiety.
The body needs to be at normal or slightly lower than normal temperature in order for the circadian rhythms to modulate sleep.
How to Cool Down a Room Fast
Your temperature when you sleep will depend on the room’s climate. If your bedroom is typically hotter than other rooms in your home, try these tips to cool down before bedtime
Sleep Like An Egyptian
This old technique is called back to legends of how ancient Egyptians used to stay cool on hot nights.
Simply soak a sheet or blanket large enough to cover you in cold water, then wring it dry so it’s damp and cool but not dripping wet.
Then just place it as a sheet on your body.
As the water evaporates, it will cool your body dramatically without getting you wet.
Invest in a Whole House Fan
There are tons of benefits to installing a whole house fan. One benefit is the money you’ll save on your energy bills, especially if an air conditioner isn’t required all over the year or there are not much hotter months for it to be worth purchasing one.
Plus, fans can cool just as well as AC units but without costing so much more in power and upkeep costs.
Whole house fans have their cons, though. They are efficient and affordable to operate, but they don’t dehumidify your home or cool it any lower than what’s outside.
The one downside is the air movement because dust particles get stirred up in your home – so if you suffer from allergies, a fan could make things worse unless it comes with a large air filtration system.
Flip Your Pillows and Sheets
Flip or rotate your pillow and side so that side that has been on top becomes under and vice versa. This will help redistribute the heat evenly, which helps you cool down.
Freeze Your Pillowcases and Sheets
Give your sheets an icy treatment by placing them in a plastic bag and freezing them for at least two hours.
Right before bed, take the frozen sheets out of their bag and slip into your duvet to stay cool as you drift off to sleep with this easy trick.
Or use similar strategies such as iced towels on their head and ice packs for the wrists. Some people go a step further by putting cool/damp socks on their feet.
Whatever you do, think about how to get your fridge or freezer engaged.
Use Windows Strategically
If you’re living in a place where it’s hotter outside than inside, keep your windows closed at night to help cool down the house. If you live somewhere that is colder out than in, have the windows open for some fresh air and warmth. This is where a digital indoor-outdoor thermometer can help.
To make your bedroom cooler and more comfortable, open the window at dawn when there is natural shade outside. Close it before noon to keep out the hot sun that will only worsen temperatures inside.
Inside the home, open all of the doors to keep air circulating. This is important for keeping your house cool.
Use Your Ceiling Fans Like a Pro
Do you think a fan is just for blowing hot air around?
Point box fans out of your window, so they push the hot room air out.
Adjust ceiling fan settings to make them run counter-clockwise, pulling hot air up and out of your home with ease.
Have your kitchen and bathroom fans automatically turn on when needed to pull hot air out of your space.
How to Cool Yourself Down Before Bed
Did you know that what you do before bed can affect how well your sleep?
That’s why it is so important to create a relaxing routine, including some of the below tips for creating an environment where your body and mind will be relaxed.
Smaller or No Meals Near Bedtime
Before you go to sleep, make sure your stomach is not full of food because the energy it takes to digest protein means that a big steak will be hard on you while sleeping if eaten too late at night.
A better option is lighter foods like fruits, vegetables, and legumes which take less effort to break down as well but still give all those nutrients we need.
You can also keep your cool by not eating food that needs to be cooked. Or, cook all of your meals in the microwave or on a grill outside.
Take a Warm Bath or Shower.
A warm bath or shower taken before bed could help you sleep better.
A 2019 systematic review published in Sleep Medicine Reviews found that taking a hot bath or shower 60-90 minutes before bed can lead to better sleep quality and reduced latency (how long it takes you to fall asleep).
Take a Cool Bath or Shower.
Taking a cold shower is probably more common, but there’s something great about drawing a cool bath. Start by getting your hair wet, so you don’t necessarily have to full-on wash it.
You can linger for a while. It’ll be worth it.
Freeze a Washcloth
Frozen washcloths can be used as ice packs.
The cool relief of a cold compress on the face and head is soothing.
The deep, cooling sensation from a refreshing ice pack or towel can give much-needed relief to your overworked muscles after an intense workout or long day at work.
Freeze a Gel-Filled Eye Mask and Put it on at Bedtime.
Stow your bed sheets in a plastic bag, then freeze them.
Put them on right before you go to sleep.
Cool Your Pulse Points
To fight the heat, you should be sure to stock up on herbal cooling wet wipes and cold compresses.
These will help soothe hot spots all over your body – including behind the knees and groin area.
You can also apply them at points near pulse areas like wrists or ankles for quick relief from sunburns too!
Keep your blinds shut during the day.
Invest in room darkening shades in your bedroom to deflect heat.
No Alcohol Before Bed
Drinking alcohol before bed can cause insomnia, hot flashes, and night sweats.
Avoid alcoholic beverages as they can have a warming effect on the body’s core temperature, which will trigger more intense sweating at night or early morning hours and disturb sleep patterns.
Also keep in mind these other tips for staying hydrated: drink plenty of water throughout the day and stay away from caffeinated drinks, which can dehydrate you even more than they keep you awake.
Don’t Exercise at Night.
Exercising too close to bedtime can make you sweat.
Avoid Too Much Sun
It’s important to avoid getting too much sun during the day. You’ll regret it when you’re trying to sleep at night, as your skin will feel burned and radiate heat into your body.
Apply cool aloe lotion before bed for a refreshing feeling even if you don’t have a sunburn.
How to Stay Cool At Night Without AC
To stay cool while you sleep, try these tips:
Avoid Tight Clothing.
Wearing tight clothing to bed decreases the amount of airflow your body receives throughout the night, which can make you hot.
Tight clothes also trap heat, making it hard to cool down at night and leading to feelings of discomfort during sleep.
Freeze Your Socks
Place your socks in the freezer before bedtime, and it will help keep your toes cool.
Use a Frozen Sleep Pack.
Get cozy with your hot water bottle or buckwheat pillows: freeze water in the hot water bottle or tuck the buckwheat pillow in the freezer.
Keep Cold Water Handy.
Drink a tall glass of ice water right before bed. This is an easy way to lower your body’s core temperature.
Keep a pitcher of ice water nearby, just in case.
Sleep in the Nude
Sleeping naked is one of the simplest ways to stay cool improve your sleep quality.
People who sleep by themselves often have cooler temperatures than those that share their bed with another person or pets, because they do not release the warmth generated during deep REM cycles.
Sleep on the Lowest Level of Your Home
Lower floors tend to be colder because cold air is heavier than warm air.
This is why people in multi-story homes often prefer sleeping on the first floor or dragging their mattresses down when the temperature rises.
Pick a Different Place to Sleep.
Basements, ground floors, and indoor hammocks are all better options for temporarily weathering a heatwave.
Keep Your Skin Cool and Moist.
Make sure your skin cools by wiping it down with a light, wet cloth when needed.
Change Your Sleeping Position.
If you spend too much time sleeping on your back, try rolling onto one side or the other.
The side position will decrease the pressure that is placed on your spine and chest while improving blood circulation.
Don’t Run Electronics in Your Bedroom.
When electronics are running they emit heat.
If you struggle to stay cool at night while sleeping, then avoid using them in your bedroom – and dim or turn off the lights.
Keep Your Lights Off.
Keeping lights off can help make sure that you’re comfortable, so turn out the lights and enjoy a nice cool breeze.
Hack Your Bedside Fan
Fans create a cross breeze that helps you feel cool by increasing the air movement over your skin and evaporating sweat.
Set up fans in windows or hallways to make sure there is an even distribution of this cooler airflow around your house or room.
If you have a ceiling fan, make sure to set it up for optimal cooling – and if you’re really enterprising, build your own temperature controller that will toggle the fan on or off depending on the ambient home temperature.
Products to keep you cool at night
1. Electric Cooling Blankets
Electric cooling blankets can be helpful if you want your house or bedroom cooler during the summer months when it is hot outside.
You will spend less time adjusting your A/C unit and save a bit on utility bills.
2. Bed Cooling Systems
Bed cooling systems are an excellent option – especially if your bedroom doesn’t have adequate AC or you sleep too hot even with the AC on high.
3. Cooling Blankets
A great simple way to beat the heat is with a cooling blanket. It will have you feeling like winter, even if it’s summer outside.
4. Cooling Sheets
Choose natural materials in your bed and bedding. Man-made polycotton, acrylic, or viscose are essentially made of plastic so they won’t absorb moisture or conduct away heat from your body.
Cotton sheets are a far better hot-weather choice than polyester, satin, or silk because they’re more breathable.
5. Cooling Pillows
Save the satin, silk, and polyester sheets for cooler nights.
Light-colored bed linens made of lightweight cotton (Egyptian or otherwise) are breathable and excellent for promoting ventilation/airflow.
Stock up on natural buckwheat pillows, too, which don’t absorb heat like foam or down fills.
Finally, you might want to splurge on a high-tech cooling pillow that is engineered to keep your head cool all night long.
6. Bed Fans
To get more cooling power from your bed fan, try placing an ice tray or bowl of ice between the fan and yourself.
The cooler air will be emitted from the fan’s blades will keep you nice and comfortable all night long.
7. Portable Air Conditioners
Less expensive than central AC units, portable air conditioners are great for easing the heat during the summer months. They don’t take up much space, and you can move them to any room in your house.
8. Cooling Mattress Pads
Cooling Mattress Pads are perfect for those hot summer nights or when you just want something cooler under your sheets.
9. Cooler Pajamas And Nightgowns
If you don’t feel comfortable sleeping without clothes, be smart about your pajamas.
Just like natural bedding can help keep a person cool in the summertime, so can natural clothing: loose-fitting cotton or silk offers more breathability than synthetic ones.
How to Keep a Room Cool That Faces the Sun
Keep a cool bedroom temperature during the day by using blackout or thermal curtains.
Keep darkening or thermal curtains drawn in the daytime when natural light shines into your home. This will help maintain an optimal sleeping environment for nighttime.
One of the best ways to keep your home cool in the summer is to prevent sunlight from coming into it.
You can also set your fans for optimal cooling, but don’t forget about heat-blocking curtains that will prevent hot air outside from seeping inside.
Then, open the curtains when the day’s cooling off to let the hot air out and some cool air in.
Doing this will help bring in cold air while also releasing warm air that has built up during hotter days.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Do Cooling Pillows Really Work?
Yes. Cooling pillows can keep your head nice and cool.
2. What are the Coolest Nightgowns?
Nightgowns made with natural, breathable materials such as cotton or parachute silk are the best cool-sleeping options.
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