5 Tips to Sleep in Hot Weather
Staying cool during summer seems like a lost cause. As we enter August and reach the peak of summer, a layer of sweat seems unavoidable. Even for those of us with air conditioning, the cool air is sometimes not enough to avoid the uncomfortable heat — especially when trying to sleep at night!
There’s nothing worse than being cocooned in your bed, glued to the sheets with sweat and unable to sleep in hot weather. Luckily, there are ways to keep the bedroom cooland sleep blissfully in the summer. Making a few simple changes can turn your bedroom sauna into a cool oasis, which is the difference between a sleepless night and a restful slumber.
How does hot weather affect sleep?
Science shows that the dog days of summer are some of the most difficult to achieve good sleep. Changes in temperature, atmospheric pressure, humidity and precipitation influence our sleeping habits — often for the worse. In fact, 80 percent of individuals say that they sleep better in cool weather than warmer temps. Once you finally fall sleep, there’s no guarantee it will be good quality rest. The heat can fragment your slumber and prevent your body from achieving a deep sleep.
Your body’s internal temperature naturally drops before you fall asleep as part of your sleep cycle. When the environment around you is warmer, your body finds it more difficult to cool down, therefore messing with your entire sleep cycle. That tossing and turning is your body struggling with self-regulation.
What is the ideal bedroom temperature to fall asleep?
We just talked about temperature as an important component of your circadian rhythm (aka your sleep cycle). Thermoregulation is the process for how your body distributes heat. Cooler air supports the body’s natural deep sleep process by helping to lower your core temperature, thereby making your body’s thermoregulation process more efficient. You can promote sleep by keeping your bedroom cool year-round. The ideal bedroom temperature is between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on personal preference, clothing and your mattress.
How to keep the bedroom coolduring summer:
1. Unplug, Shut Down and Eat Easy
Keeping unnecessary lights switched on and electronics plugged in can give off heat, and possibly hinder your sleep. Incandescent bulbs waste 90 percent of the energy they utilize by emitting heat, so turning off the lights can help cool your bedroom and simultaneously lower your electric bill. Likewise, electronics that give off heat should be shut down during the day to avoid heat build-up. However, one thing you want to switch on is the exhaust fan in your bathroom and kitchen, which will pull hot and humid air out of your house.
Another way to avoid creating unnecessary heat in your house is by eating room-temperature meals to avoid firing up the stove or oven. If cooking something hot is unavoidable, try grilling outside to keep your house cool. Don’t overindulge at the summer barbeque though. The larger the meal, the more metabolic heat you generate as your body tries to break down food (especially meals high in protein). Smaller nighttime snacks are better than big meals close to bedtime.
2. Use Water to Cool Down and Sleep In Hot Weather
Hit the shower before bed! Enjoying a lukewarm shower before bed can lower your body temperature and get rid of any sticky sweat on your skin. Make sure the water isn’t too cold though because this could actually have the reverse effect, causing your core temperature to rise as your body tries to compensate for the heat loss.
Although it might be tempting to sleep commando, using loose and lightweight pajamas can help with air circulation and whisk sweat away. If you still need help cooling off before bed, fill a hot water bottle with water and freeze it. Press this against your pulse points on your wrists, ankles, neck, elbows, behind the knees, feet and groin area for about 10 minutes.
Make sure to drink plenty of cold water during the day in order to stay hydrated. Avoid alcoholic beverages before bed as this dehydrates you and can make sleep more difficult to achieve.
3. Blackout Your Windows and Adjust Your Fans
Think about investing in a pair of blackout curtains for your bedroom. Summer days are longer, often providing sunlight into evening hours when some need to get to bed. Up to 30 percent of unwanted heat comes from the windows. This can be prevented through the use of blackout curtains, which can save up to seven percent on your monthly utility bill and lower your indoor temperature by 20 degrees Fahrenheit.
A little-known fact is that your ceiling fan has seasonal settings. Setting it to spin counterclockwise during the summer will foster better airflow and create a wind-chill effect. If you have a portable or standing fan, place a bowl filled with ice in front of it so the air becomes cooler as the ice melts.
4. Go Green —With Plants!
Decorating your bedroom with some indoor plants can block sunlight and the green color could have a soothing effect, making it easier for you to fall asleep. This technique can keep your room cooler and allow you to open windows in the evenings to create a cross-breeze.
5. Make Sure Your Mattress and Bedding Don’t Trap Heat
Not all mattresses are equal. Some are cooler than others — literally! It’s 2018 so your mattress, sheets and pillows can all have cooling technology that keeps you comfortable during the warmer months.
Change your bedding seasonally and choose accessories that breathe easier during the summer. BedGEAR has set out to measure mattresses and other sleep equipment based on metrics that evaluate air flow, heat dissipation or insulation, moisture transfer, flexibility and fit. Evaluate your mattress and bedding to make sure they’re not trapping your body heat or causing you to sweat.
Escape the heat with a mattress that keeps you cool in the summer, but comfortable year-round!
When the weather outside is unbearably hot, one question is on everyone’s mind: How do you keep the bedroom cool? Mattress Warehouse can help you sleep more comfortably during the summer and achieve uninterrupted sleep by adding a high-quality cooling pillow to your sleep environment, as well as many other pieces of sleep equipment with cooling technology. Visit your local Mattress Warehouse today or visit us online to shop cooling pillows, mattresses, mattress protectors and bed sheets from top brands like TEMPUR-Pedic ®, Bedgear ®, Serta ® and more.
- Mattress Warehouse