15 Tips for Sleeping Cool & Sweat-Free in the Summer Heat
We’re at the peak of summer, and some mornings, it feels like your body half-melted during the night.
Few things in the world feel worse than waking up all sticky after 8 hours of night sweats, and tossing and turning all night because you can’t get comfortable isn’t much better. But, not all hope is lost.
There are several tips and tricks for helping you stay cool while you sleep — even during the hottest nights of the year.
Why Do We Get Hot When We Sleep, Anyway?
Our body temperature drops as a way to signal to our brains that it’s time to go to sleep. That means we lose heat, which is then reabsorbed by our mattresses, sheets and blankets (remember the heat transfer unit from high school science, anyone?). This is one of the reasons why mattresses sleep hot.
As you probably guessed, there are other causes of a sweaty night’s sleep. But let’s not get caught up on what can make sleeping a gross bummer because there are tons of ways to beat the nighttime heat!
1. Crank That AC
We know — duh. But if you have access to air conditioning, take advantage of it!
If you keep your room temperature down, you’re guaranteed to have a better night’s sleep during the summer months. Plus, you can always limit your AC use to nighttime if you’re worried about energy costs.
2. Use Cotton Sheets
Cotton is a miracle fabric.
A breathable cotton sheet will not only help increase air circulation, but it will also wick moisture away from your body to help you cool down. Egyptian cotton is especially light and breathable — but any cotton sheet will do.
Thread count is also an important factor here. We’ve found 400 thread count sheets are the ideal option.
3. Shut Your Blinds
If your bedroom gets a lot of sunlight, you might want to keep your blinds shut during the day. It’ll help keep the room from heating up, meaning it won’t feel like a frying pan by bedtime.
4. Get Yourself a Dehumidifier
We all know there’s a clear difference between dry heat and humid heat, and any bit of humidity is a sure-fire way to cause a bad case of the night sweats.
Excess humidity messes with your body’s ability to regulate body temperature, so we recommend buying a dehumidifier to help keep humidity levels low in your sleep environment. Ideally, the relative humidity in your bedroom should be between 30%-50%, and you can even get a bedside thermometer with a humidity gauge to monitor the levels.
5. Invest in a Hybrid Mattress
If you can swing it, one of the best things you can do to reduce sleep heat is to buy a mattress that stays cool.
Hybrid mattresses tend to sleep cooler than other mattresses for a couple of reasons: 1) They often feature a pocket-coil base that circulates air throughout the interior of the mattress, and 2) they use cooling comfort layers made of gels or foams that help regulate body temperature and sleep environment temperature.
6. Set Up a Network of Fans
Another key way to keep air circulating on a hot summer’s night is to strategically place fans throughout your room to create a current of cooling cross-breezes. If the air outside is more pleasant than the stagnant air in your bedroom, you can even set a fan across from an open window to get that fresh air flowing.
7. Sleep — Don’t Walk — Like an Egyptian
If there was one group of people who knew how to sleep comfortably without air conditioning, it was the ancient Egyptians.
The “Egyptian method” of sleeping is pretty straightforward: You dampen a sheet or towel in cool water and sleep with it. The biggest downside to this, of course, is the risk of soaking your mattress, but you could always put a waterproof barrier of some sort between you and the mattress.
8. Unplug Your Gadgets
Lamps, small appliances and electronics give off heat when plugged in — even if they’re turned off. During the hottest days (and nights) of summer, you can’t afford to ignore even the smallest causes of heat. So unplug all those electronics, save some energy and help bring down the room temperature!
9. Make a DIY Air Conditioner
Give the nod to the age of the icebox, and make a DIY air conditioner by placing a bowl or sheet pan of ice in front of a fan!
The fan breeze will waft up cold water from the melting ice and create a refreshing, misty breeze as you sleep.
10. Toss Those Sheets in the Freezer
You might say this is the “Xtreme” version of the Egyptian method.
Instead of merely getting your sheets cool and damp, toss them in the freezer for a few minutes before you go to bed.
11. Use a Cooling Pillow and Mattress Protector
Surprise! You can also buy innovative pillows and mattress protectors that help keep your body cool during the night.
There are a lot of options if you’re looking for a cooling pillow, including The Bear Pillow, which is layered with a “Double Ice” fabric to keep your noggin cool at night. Plus, it has mesh paneling at the sides to facilitate airflow. Similarly, many mattress protectors use breathable fabric to keep your bed cool and dry while you sleep.
No matter which cooling option you go for, it should improve air circulation, wicks away moisture and transfers heat away from your body.
12. Wear Breezy PJs (or None)
In the summertime, it’s important to sleep in whatever makes you feel most comfortable. If you like pajamas, make sure you’re wearing lightweight, breathable ones. If you think sleeping in your birthday suit is the coolest option… well, then do that.
13. Sleep With an Ice Pack
Sleeping with an ice pack is an easy, effective way to keep your body cool at night. We recommend getting a combination hot-and-cold pack. That way, you can freeze it in the summer to stay cool and heat it during winter to warm your toes!
14. Take a Quick Shower
For some people, hopping in a cold shower right before bed helps bring down their body temperature, making them feel refreshed and relaxed. Also, don’t dry your hair before you climb in bed to help your head stay cooler for longer.
15. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!
Last but certainly not least, drink plenty of water!
Keeping hydrated is one of the best ways to ensure a calm, cool night’s sleep. With summer night sweats, it’s even more likely you’ll find yourself waking up feeling dehydrated. So, keep a glass of water on your nightstand and make sure to drink enough water throughout the day.
Sleeping Cool Isn’t Just About Comfort
When the summertime heat has your body temperature going through the roof, your quality of sleep is impacted. It will likely take longer for you to fall asleep, and sleep is frequently disrupted due to heat-induced discomfort.
No matter how hot it gets, you still need enough sleep to keep your body’s functions running smoothly.
So, find out which tips and tricks for sleeping cool during the summer work best for you! It’ll help you stay healthy and well-rested so you can make the most of the season.