As the heat of summer approaches, many of us find that it can get harder to fall asleep unless we’re able to stay cool. Numerous studies have shown that sleeping in a slightly cool room and maintaining a lower core temperature can improve the overall quality of our sleep. But when the summer heats up, those optimal temperatures can be challenging to maintain. Cranking up the A/C may be a quick fix, but for those who don’t have that option or wish to keep cool without driving up the electric bill, here are a few simple tips to stay cool at night.
Limit heat build-up in your bedroom.
Use blinds or curtains to keep out sunlight and shut windows if the temperature is much hotter outside during the day. If temperatures cool off at night, open those windows.
Use natural fiber sheets.
Choose bedding that is made of lightweight, breathable natural materials such as Egyptian cotton, and avoid synthetic materials, which can trap heat.
Wear loose, cotton PJs.
Choose nightclothes that are lightweight, loose and made of natural materials, and that cover as little of your body as possible. Or skip them all together.
Take a warm shower.
It may seem counter-intuitive, but a hot shower or bath before bed relaxes your body and lowers your core temperature and keep you cool.
Cool off hotspots with cold washcloths.
Soak a small towel or washcloth in cool water and drape it over your forehead or other body parts to cool yourself down.
Turn on the fans.
Set ceiling fans to turn counter-clockwise or forward in the summer to create the wind chill effect with downward airflow.
Eat lighter meals before bed.
To help lower the metabolic heat generated by your body when you digest, try eating lighter meals, including salads, vegetables and fruits. You’ll also keep the temperature lower in your house if you don’t need to turn on the oven for dinnertime.