This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
OK
Dublin: 12 °C Wednesday 20 February, 2019
Advertisement

Tricks to help you sleep well in the heat

Cool down, won’t you?

WHEN SUMMER COMES to mind, we almost always focus on picnics, days lounging on the beach, and tasty iced drinks. But hot weather has a gnarly side, too.

We’re talking about the real dog days of summer, when intense heat and humidity make it impossible to sit comfortably, let alone sleep through the night.

These are some tried and true DIY strategies for staying cool on hot nights.

Cool as a cucumber – how to beat the heat

sheets image via Shutterstock

1. Choose cotton. Save the ooh-la-la satin, silk, or polyester sheets for cooler nights. Light-colored bed linens made of lightweight cotton (Egyptian or otherwise) are breathable and excellent for promoting ventilation and airflow in the bedroom.

2. Feel the freezer burn. Stick sheets in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes before bed. We recommend placing them in a plastic bag first (unless eu de frozen pizza is your fave aromatherapy scent). Granted, this won’t keep you cool all night, but it will provide a brief respite from heat and humidity.

3. Get cold comfort. Here’s a four-seasons tip for keeping utilities charges down: Buy a hot water bottle. In winter, fill it with boiling water for toasty toes without cranking the thermostat. During summer, stick it in the freezer to create a bed-friendly ice pack.

4. Be creative. If you thought fans are just for blowing hot air around, think again! Point box fans out the windows so they push hot air out, and adjust ceiling fan settings (if you have one) so the blades run counter-clockwise, pulling hot air up and out instead of just twirling it around the room.

5. Sleep like an Egyptian. If there seem to be a lot of Egyptian references in this list, it’s because those Nile-dwellers knew how to do it right. The so-called “Egyptian method” involves dampening a sheet or towel in cool water and using it as a blanket. We recommend laying the damp sheets on top of a dry towel to avoid soaking the mattress. It might need to get a good deal hotter here for us to try this.

6. Get loose. Less is definitely more when it comes to summertime jammies. Pick a loose, soft cotton shirt and shorts or underwear. Going full nudie during a heat wave is (unsurprisingly) controversial. Some people believe it helps keep them cool, while others claim going au natural means sweat stays on the body instead of being wicked away by fabric. We’re going to chalk this one up to personal preference.

7. Create a cross-breeze. In this case, hanging out in the cross-hairs is a good idea. Position a fan across from a window, so the wind from outside and the fan combine in a cooling cross-breeze.

8. Go old-school. Remember when refrigerators were iceboxes that contained actual blocks of ice? Us neither. This stay-cool trick is straight out of the icebox era, though. Make a DIY air conditioner by positioning a shallow pan or bowl (a roasting pan works nicely) full of ice in front of a fan. The breeze will pick up cold water from the ice’s surface as it melts, creating a cooling mist.

9. Pamper your pulses. Need to cool down, stat? To chill out super-fast, apply ice packs or cold compresses to pulse points at the wrists, neck, elbows, groin, ankles, and behind the knees.

10. Get tech-y. We can’t vouch for its effectiveness, but the chillow — a high-tech pad that stays cool through water circulation — seems like a genius idea.

11. Be a lone wolf. Sorry lovebugs, but sleeping alone is way better than spooning for staying cool. Cuddling with a partner increases body heat, making the bed a sticky, sweaty pit of despair instead of a cool, calm oasis.

12. Release your inner Tarzan. Feeling ambitious (or just really, really hot)? Rig up a hammock or set up a simple cot. Both types of beds are suspended on all sides, which increases airflow.

13. Cool off. A cold shower takes on a whole new meaning come summertime. Rinsing off under a stream of tepid H20 brings down the core body temperature and rinses off sweat (ick) so you can hit the hay feeling cool and clean.

14. Stay away from the stove. Summer is not the time to whip up a piping hot casserole or roast chicken. Instead, chow down on cool, room-temperature dishes to avoid generating any more heat in the house. If hot food is in order, fire up the grill instead of turning on the oven. And swap big meals for smaller, lighter dinners that are easier to metabolise. The body produces more heat after you chow down on a huge steak than a platter of fruits, veggies, and legumes.

salad image via Shutterstock

15. Fill up the tank. Get a leg up on hydration by drinking a glass of water before bed. Tossing and turning and sweating at night can result in dehydration, so get some H20 in the tank beforehand. (Pro tip: Not too much, unless you’re really into those 3am bathroom runs.)

16. Get low. Hot air rises, so set up your bed, hammock, or cot as close to the ground as possible to beat the heat. In a one-story home, that means hauling the mattress down from a sleeping loft or high bed and putting it on the floor. If you live in a multi-floor house or apartment, sleep on the ground floor instead of an upper story.

17. Turn off the lights. This tip is pretty self-explanatory. Light bulbs (even environmentally-friendly CFLs) give off heat. Fortunately, summer means it stays light until eight or nine at night. Take advantage of natural light as much as possible, and keep rooms cool after dark by using lights minimally or not at all (romantic candle-lit dinner, anyone?).

18. Hang out. Cool down a whole room by hanging a wet sheet in front of an open window. The breeze blowing in will quickly bring down the room’s temperature.

19. Encourage cold feet. Those ten little piggies are pretty sensitive to temperature because there are lots of pulse points in the feet and ankles. Cool down the whole body by dunking (clean!) feet in cold water before hitting the hay. Better yet, keep a bucket of water near the bed and dip feet whenever you’re feeling hot throughout the night.

20. Unplug at night. As in, literally disconnect electronics. Gadgets and other small appliances give off heat, even when turned off. Reduce total heat in the house (and save energy!) by keeping plugs out of sockets when the appliances are not in use.

21. Camp at home. Got access to a safe outdoor space like a roof, courtyard, or backyard? Practice those camping skills (and stay cooler) by pitching a tent and sleeping al fresco.

camping image via Shutterstock

22. Hog the bed. Sleeping alone (see #11 above) has its perks, including plenty of space to stretch out. Snoozing in spread eagle position (i.e. with arms and legs not touching each other) is best for reducing body heat and letting air circulate around the body. Hit the hay in this sleep position to keep limbs from getting crazy sweaty.

23. Go rustic. When temperatures soar, trade in that extra-comfy mattress for a minimalist straw or bamboo mat. These all-natural sleeping surfaces are less comfortable, but they don’t retain heat like a puffy, cloth-covered mattress.

24. Get creative with grains. Rice and buckwheat aren’t just for eating! These cupboard staples can also keep you cool on hot nights. Stock up on buckwheat pillows, which don’t absorb heat like cotton and down. And for a cold compress onreally hot nights, fill a sock with rice, tie it off, and stick it in the freezer for an hour or so. The compress will stay chilly for up to 30 minutes, definitely enough time to nod off.

- Sophia Breene

When it comes to food, “What” is more important than “When”>

Swiss ball vs office chair – The debate>

Woof! Dogs are getting techy with a new activity tracker>

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article
  •  

Published with permission from:

Greatist
Check out health and fitness news, tips, healthy recipes, expert opinion, and fun times at Greatist.

Read next:

COMMENTS (33)

    Trending Tags