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Too Hot to Sleep? 8 Ways to Make It through Summer Nights

by Louise W. Rice
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The sleep cycle is regulated by the circadian rhythm, which is based on the daily cycle of sunrise and sunset. The body clock isn’t impacted only by the light but also by other environmental factors, such as room temperature. The drop in temperature that usually happens in the evening coincides with the release of the sleep hormone (melatonin). The ideal room temperature for quality sleep is between 60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit (15.6 to 19.4 degrees Celsius).

With the summer approaching, the temperatures are getting higher, which can cause restlessness and discomfort. High bedroom temperatures can cause fatigue by interfering with your body’s thermoregulation. While you will be tired, you may still be unable to fall asleep. A warm bedroom is also associated with decreased sleep efficiency.

There are ways to cope with hot, humid summer nights without them disrupting your sleep. We’ll share them with you.

1. Find a Cool Mattress

Mattresses can retain a lot of heat and prevent your body from regulating its temperature. The heat will radiate off of the mattress and make your nights a living hell. When we say “find a cool mattress,” we mean a temperature-regulating mattress. This should be a mattress that features responsive and extra-cool memory foam.

  • Organic plant-based memory foam can provide cooling comfort so that you don’t feel the heat underneath you.
  • Natural latex is also a good choice because it has an open-cell structure that prevents the air from getting trapped.
  • The seemingly outdated option of innerspring offers a lot of airflows, which makes it great for summer.
  • A newcomer on the market – the hybrid mattress – provides latex, cooling gel, and phase-changing materials. Working together, these components actively cool you down during the night.

2. Invest in Pillows and Bedding

Some pillows are heat traps. Check yours for materials, such as microfiber, which can be too firm and dense, which makes it too hot to sleep on during summer. Opt for the types that provide above-average temperature control, like wool, ventilated foam, and latex.

As for the pillowcases and sheets, avoid the ones made from polyester and other synthetic fabrics. For adequate cooling, choose natural fibers like linen and cotton. Plant-based materials, such as rayon from bamboo, can provide fair cooling as well.

3. Set the Thermostat to the Right Temperature

As we have mentioned, the ideal room temperature ranges between 60 and 67 degrees. The number that is most frequently mentioned is 65, so you can try that until you find your perfect match within this range.

It would be best to get a smart thermostat so that you can adjust the temperature even when you are not home. That way, you’ll avoid having to go through different temperature changes while trying to sleep.

Other ways to keep your cool bedroom include:

  • adding greenery
  • upgrading the window treatments to blinds and heavy drapery
  • installing a ceiling fan
  • choosing CFLs or LEDs instead of incandescent light bulbs

4. Choose Your Outfit

Some people prefer sleeping nude or semi-nude. If that’s the case, good for you. However, if you like to sleep in your pajamas, you should be very careful when choosing the material.

Synthetic fabrics are a thing to avoid because they make you feel clammy and hot. Breathable PJs made from materials such as organic cotton, linen, bamboo, flannel, silk, and fleece are the best options. Avoid tight clothing, which is barely tolerable during the day and insufferable during the night. Also, for comfort, stay clear from tight elastic, buttons, snaps, tight underwear, and bras.

5. Use the Power of Water

Keep a glass or a bottle of cool water on your bedside table. If you wake up during the night feeling excessive heat or even can’t fall asleep, a sip of water can help. An ice pack can work, too. Another way water can help is if you spray your bedsheets lightly with cool water. Don’t overdo it, unless you want to end up sleeping in soaked sheets. You can also spritz your neck in the middle of the night to keep cool.

6. Generate Natural Cross-ventilation

If you open all the windows in your home and the door to your bedroom, you’ll get the air flowing nicely. This will prevent the accumulation of heat in the room. It would be most effective to open the windows that are direct across from one another, if that’s available to you.

Furthermore, you can boost the airflow with a bedside fan. It is useful even if you have an air conditioner because it will help the air circulate more. The same goes for a ceiling fan.

7. Take a Hot Bath before Bedtime

While it may seem illogical, a hot bath can help you cool down before bedtime. It’s best not to take it immediately before going to sleep, but about half an hour prior. This way, your body temperature will slowly decrease after you leave the bath, allowing you to adapt to the cooler environment. Additionally, a warm bath promotes relaxation, making you calmer before bedtime and helping you fall asleep more quickly.

8. Extreme Measures

If none of the above helps, or if you are already in your bed trying to fall asleep, there are some extreme measures you can try. Sleeping in a “starfish” position can help prevent sweat and heat from building up the way they do when you are sleeping all curled up. Snuggling with your partner or pet is the best feeling ever, but sometimes you need to sacrifice that bliss to preserve the quality of your sleep.

Other drastic yet effective solutions could be:

  • freezing a washcloth and placing it on your forehead or neck
  • freezing your bed sheets before bedtime
  • soaking your sheets in cold water before bedtime
  • keeping a bowl of ice cubes in front of a fan

In Closing

Hopefully, these tips will help you maintain good sleep quality during hot summer nights. Remember that these techniques are not applicable exclusively for the summer. If you prefer cooler sleeping surroundings or live in an area where high temperatures are frequent, they can be valuable throughout the entire year.

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