5 Hacks for a Good Night’s Sleep During the Heat

Find out how to sleep soundly through the hot summer temperatures.

Sleeping soundly in the heat

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The summer months are the ideal time for fun in the sun, with plenty of opportunities to catch up on mood-boosting Vitamin D. But rising temperatures have been linked to insomnia, and many people find it difficult to fall asleep during the hottest months of the year. The good news is that there are a few simple steps you can follow to make summertime sleeping easier. 

Here’s how to beat the heat and get a good night's sleep, even when it’s scorching outside.

Take a cold shower

If your skin is hot, you might feel like it’s impossible to fall asleep. Western Australia’s Department of Health recommends rinsing off before bed with a cold shower. If the idea of a full-body cold wash sounds intimidating, you can fill a spray bottle with cool or lukewarm water, then mist yourself. 

Splashing cold water on your body can lower your skin temperature, providing cooling relief before climbing into bed. Wetting your hair can also help you stay cool and drift off to sleep more easily. You can even press cold washcloths to hot spots on your body, or soak your feet in cold water for an instant pre-sleep cooldown.

A man enjoying a refreshing cool shower

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Choose the right fabrics

Make sure that both your pajamas and bed sheets are made of the right materials for the heat. Consider moisture-absorbing fabrics that are meant to soak up sweat.

“Sheets that contain breathable materials such as linen, cotton, bamboo and percale cotton are the best bed sheets for cooler sleep as they can keep most people cool, comfortable and dry,” sleep expert Dr. Niket Sonpal told Market Watch

He recommends that people opt for “sheets with cooling technologies, and stay away from polyester and silk sheets as these fabrics tend to trap heat.”

Natural bedding sheet drying under the warm sun

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Cut down on your caffeine intake

It’s common knowledge that drinking a caffeinated beverage before bed can lead to trouble falling asleep. Dr. Marta Maczaj, co-director of the St. Charles Sleep Disorders Center, said that insomnia sufferers should consider cutting out drinks with caffeine entirely.

“Although it is usually ok to have a caffeinated drink up until noon, if you are having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, then you should consider either restricting or eliminating caffeine intake,” said Maczaj.

She added that even if you’re not a coffee drinker, you may be consuming caffeine in tea, soda, and other common beverages. If you’re having trouble falling asleep, especially during the summer, try removing caffeine from your diet.

Large amounts of caffeine are also linked to dehydration, adding another good reason to cut back on your intake during the summertime.

Cutting down on caffeine

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Embrace ventilation

If you’re having trouble falling asleep in a stuffy, hot bedroom, excellent ventilation could be the key to cooling down your space. This may mean opening windows or using circular fans to create a strong breeze. The natural movement of air in and out of the room can provide relief from the heat.

You can also experiment with cross ventilation. The Sleep Foundation recommends opening and closing various windows throughout your home, which may be bringing hotter or cooler air inside, and seeing how the adjustments affect interior air temperatures.

Try positioning fans at various angles around your bedroom to see what works best.

Sleep in the heat, embrace ventilation Woman enjoying air flow from a fan in the summer heat

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Chill your bedding

During the summer months, you may view your freezer as primarily a source of frozen treats,  but it can actually help you get a better night’s sleep. 

Consider placing your bedding or pillow inside a bag, and slipping it into your freezer for a few hours. When you’re ready to sleep, just pull out your items for a super cool bed. Make sure to give your sheets or pillow a few minutes to dry out from any condensation before laying on them. 

Woman putting bed clothes in the fridge freezer to stay cool in hot weather

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