10 Tips to Sleep Cool This Summer Even Without AC

10 Tips to Sleep Cool This Summer Even Without AC

Record-breaking heat waves are here for millions of people across the globe, and the temperatures are only expected to soar more. The ideal temperature for sleeping is around 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18 degrees Celsius), give or take a few notches depending on the person. If you don’t have air conditioning, summertime heat can make your home’s indoor air temperature rise far above that, even at night. So how can you sleep comfortably in a heat wave without AC during the summer?

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You don’t have to suffer through the heat. Consider the ten tips below to help you sleep cooler without relying on air conditioning. While you’re at it, check out these additional tips for sleeping during a heat wave, how to sleep next to a human furnace and why restful sleep is so important in the first place. 

1. Freeze your sheets and pillowcases

An hour or two before you go to bed, throw your sheets and pillowcases in the freezer. Don’t worry, they won’t come out stiff as a board, but they will stay icy long enough that you can easily fall asleep without feeling like you’re overheating. 

Read more: Best Cooling Sheets

2. Throw your socks in the freezer too

Along the same lines as freezing your linens, you can also freeze your socks for cooling relief. Like your fingers, feet and toes are sensitive to temperature changes and play a role in regulating temperature. By keeping your feet cool, you help cool down the rest of your body. 

3. Use house fans to make your own AC

Fans are much more energy-efficient and wallet-friendly than an air conditioner. They use about 1% of the electricity that AC does. So, take advantage of fans and strategically place them around your room. Place one fan next to your bedside and put a bowl of ice water in front of it. The ice will create cold air that the fan will blow toward you. Next, face a window fan outwards to blow the hot air from your bedroom outside. 

4. Use a wet towel layer

Lay a damp towel on your bed over your sheets to give your body some cooling relief while you fall asleep. I recommend you lay a dry towel underneath the wet one to avoid soaking your mattress with water, which can damage the foam in your mattress. The towel won’t stay cold for the entire night, but it should stay cool enough that you can drift off to sleep.

5. Don’t sleep in the nude

You may see advice on the internet suggesting that you should sleep in the nude to stay cool. That might work if you sleep cool, but it won’t do much for you if you get sweaty. If you’re hot, it’s beneficial to wear lightweight pajamas (such as cotton) that can wick the moisture away. Otherwise, your body is free to sweat all over your sheets. 

A pair of clean white sheets, a comfy white comforter and fluffy pillows. A pair of clean white sheets, a comfy white comforter and fluffy pillows.

Paul Strowger/Getty Images

6. Consider cooling sheets, pillows and comforters

If a mattress is out of your realm of budget, you can opt for cooling sheets or pillows for relief. Search for sheets made with breathable fabric like organic cotton, linen or bamboo. Bamboo is great at absorbing sweat and helping you stay cool, and organic cotton does a good job of wicking away moisture. 

7. Consider a cooling mattress

There are a lot of mattresses that retain heat, especially beds made with standard memory foam. A cooling mattress can actually make a big difference in how comfortable you sleep. It can either provide extra airflow and breathability, or it can actively provide your body with a cool-to-the-touch sensation and draw heat away from you like Brooklyn Bedding Aurora. 

8. Block out the sun and heat during the day

Prevent your bedroom from getting too hot during the daytime, especially in the summer, with blackout curtains. Not only do they keep your bedroom dark, but they can also reflect heat and stop it from entering your bedroom through the windows. 

9. Sleep on the first level of your home 

Unfortunately for people in two-story homes, hot air rises. That means the top story of your house is going to be warmer than the bottom story. So, beat the heat a little by sleeping on the bottom story of your home when you need relief from the heat.

10. Drink ice water before bed

Drink a significant amount of water before bed to try and counteract the night sweats. Also, avoid alcohol before bedtime as it can promote dehydration, making it more difficult for your body to regulate temperature and keep you cooler. 

For more, check out our guide to natural sleep aids, the best way to take a power nap and how to train yourself to be a back sleeper (and why you should). If all else fails, these are our picks for best portable AC units.




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