During warm summer nights, getting a good night’s sleep can be tough. If you don’t have air-conditioning, you might have a lot of restless nights.
I think a lot of people struggle with sleeping in the heat. Why can we not sleep so well in the heat? Why don’t our bodies work well in that?
One of the main factors affecting our ability to sleep is as we get into sleep, our core body temperature will decrease and become more cool, and if it’s too warm at night, it prevents that process to take place.
As a results, we have interrupted sleep, we don’t sleep as well, we wake up more often, we don’t get into deep sleep, we don’t feel as rested in the morning.
I feel it’s difficult for myself to fall asleep, but then even staying asleep, I tend to wake up more. I’m turning and tossing, trying to stay cool.
Is there a specific temperature that would make us not sleep so well? Does it have to get to a certain point where it really
starts affecting us?
Yes, about 75 degrees and warmer, make it difficult to sleep. 85 degrees and warmer, and it really has very severe effects on your sleep.
How to Sleep in the Hot Weather
So people who don’t have air-conditioning, what they can do to stay cooler at night?
Whatever you can do to improve your environment.
Try to make where you live cooler, have the shades drawn, the windows closed during the day to keep the heat out. As the evening comes, open the windows to get some ventilation.
Or simply just getting to a lower level, just sleeping on the floor or in the basement. Heat rises, so you would be more cool the further down you get.
Another great method to cool your house is with a strategically placed fan and a few small daytime measures.
At night, the most important thing is to take advantage of cooler outside temperatures. You need to swap out the warm air inside your home for cool outside air.
How to do this?
By pointing a fan out the window.
Pick the room in your home that you want to cool. In this case, it’s your bedroom. Open a window there. Cool air will rush in.
Now move to another room located across the house from the one you just picked. Open one window in this room and place a fan by it, pointing outward.
The fan will blow warm air out and create a low-pressure in the house, which should suck cool air into your home through the window you left open in your bedroom.
If your house has a basement, in most cases it will be a few degrees cooler than the upper floors of your house.
All you need to do is to spread that cool air through the house with a basement fan that points upstairs.
During the day it’s crucial to shut your windows as soon as the outside temperature rises above the indoor temperature. The goal is to keep as much of that cool night air in as possible.
You also must block out direct sunlight. Draw your curtains and blinds.
The sun’s rays will heat the air in your house, but they’ll also warm up your counters and floors. These items have a high heat capacity, which means that they’ll store that heat and radiate it throughout the night. Then let your house insulation do most of the work to keep your house cooler than the outdoors.
Another hack is to cool down your bed and you can do that with cold gel or ice packs. They are great for chilling your bed.
You need to use a towel to wrap it to absorb the water condensation and to prevent you from damaging or freezing your skin.
So get a gel or an ice pack and put it in the freezer to freeze. Make sure to lay it flat.
Use a thicker towel and wrap the pack over a few times to ensure it doesn’t get too cold on the outside.
Place the wrapped gel packs under the center of your back. It should be comfortable and not cause any pain.
The cooling effect will start coming through very quickly.
Or you can use this method to chill your bed. Put this on your bed 45 minutes before bedtime then remove and sleep.
Here are some more tips to keep cool at night.
Use a fan and put a tray of ice and a little water in front of it to cool the air even more.
Keep some socks and a pillow chilled in the fridge for bedtime.
Take a cool shower before bed to cool your body down.
Make your own natural coolant in your room by using frozen water bottles or getting a bucket full of ice. As the ice melts, the cool air evaporates and your room is cooler. This is especially good if you have smaller bedroom.
Do not forget about your bedding and what you are are wearing. You want to make it summer friendly. For pajamas, choose natural fabrics, things like cotton, bamboo, breathable things that will wick away that perspiration. Even performance material, like the material we would wear to workout in.
Set your bed up for sleep in summer. Choose natural fabrics, like cotton. You should change your bedding for a season. You do not want to keep using what you use all year long.
Put flannel on your forehead to cool you head down and put flannels on your feet because if you’re having cold feet also helps you go to sleep more easily. Or you can put cold bottle on your wrists and your knees to help you cool down.
Take gadgets out of your bedroom. Your laptop, phone, tablet, TV, video game console, they’re also pumping out heat. So turn them off and if possible take them out of your bedroom.
Alex P. Davis has a BA in Interior Design from The New York School of Interior Design and 10 years of experience expertly designing sophisticated interiors.