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Too Hot to Sleep? Try These Tips

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Written By Alex Petrović

Certified Sleep Consultant

Featured image for Too hot to sleep

29 March 2024 7 min read

When the temperature rises and the summer heat turns your bedroom into a sauna, getting a good night's sleep can feel like an impossible mission. But fear not, fellow sleep-deprived friends, because we've got some sizzling solutions to help you beat the heat and enjoy your snooze time without breaking a sweat!

Ah, the summertime – sunshine, beach days, and ice cream cones. But as the scorching heat rolls in, it brings a not-so-welcome companion called ‘sleepless nights'.

When the temperature climbs and your bedroom feels more like a sauna, finding the cool serenity needed for a restful slumber can be a real challenge. But, don't fret! We're here to rescue you from tossing and turning in a pool of sweat.

This article will share some casual and refreshing tips to help you conquer those hot, sticky nights and get the restful sleep you deserve. So, keep on reading.

Tips for staying cool during those hot nights

Okay – we won't make things long and too complicated. You are not here for that, no. You are here to find out how to cool yourself during this scorching night. So, here are some things to do before bed and while in bed in order to kiss those sweaty nights goodbye and finally have that truly blissful night's sleep you deserve.

What to do before bed

A woman setting up her bed

Here are some things you can do before you hit the sack.

Don't exercise before bed

Exercising before bed might not be the coolest idea if you want to stay cool during the night.

When you exercise, your body temperature rises, and going to bed with an elevated temperature can make it harder to cool down and feel comfortable. To ensure a cool and restful night's sleep, it's best to give yourself a few hours between exercise and bedtime, allowing your body to return to its normal temperature.

So, if you want to keep your cool and avoid feeling hot and bothered in bed, save your workouts for earlier in the day and let your nighttime be all about finding the sweet spot of cool comfort.

Don't eat before bed

When you eat, your body works on digesting the food, and this process can increase your core body temperature. Eating carbs before bed, in particular, can cause a spike in blood sugar levels, making it harder to fall asleep and potentially leaving you feeling warmer throughout the night.

To keep things cool and improve your chances of a restful slumber, try to finish your last meal or snack at least a couple of hours before bedtime.

Draw the curtains

Drawing the curtains during the day and before bed is crucial if you want to stay cool during the night, especially during the sweltering summer months. By blocking out the excessive heat from sunlight, you can prevent your room from turning into a heat trap and feeling hot and uncomfortable. Closing the curtains during the day keeps the direct sunlight out, while doing so before bed helps retain the coolness from the evening and promotes a more comfortable sleeping environment, allowing you to beat the heat and get a restful night's sleep.

And, for the best results – consider investing in some great blackout curtains – these are the best for keeping the heat out and cool in.

Cool the room

AN illustration showing ideal temperatures by the age

Don't forget that you need to keep your room cool too if you want to stay cool during the night, especially on those hot, restless nights.

Besides utilizing curtains to block out excessive heat, using a fan or an air conditioning unit helps maintain a comfortable temperature. A cooler room promotes better sleep quality by preventing overheating, allowing you to drift off into dreamland without tossing and turning in discomfort.

So, before you hit the sheets, make sure to create a cool oasis in your room with the help of curtains, fans, or air conditioning for a truly refreshing and restful sleep experience.

Invest in good-quality bedding

And, one of the most important things – bedding!

A supportive and breathable mattress, along with a cooling pillow like gel-infused memory foam, can help regulate body temperature and enhance sleep quality. Opting for sheets made of organic cotton or other breathable materials further promotes airflow and wicks away moisture, keeping you comfortable and cool throughout the night.

By prioritising high-quality bedding, you can create a sleep environment that contributes to a refreshing and restorative sleep experience.

Take a hot bath

Contrary to what you might expect, taking a hot bath can actually help you stay cool during a hot night and promote a night of deep sleep.

When you expose your body to warm water, it causes your blood vessels to dilate and increases blood circulation, leading to a subsequent drop in body temperature. This decrease in core body temperature after a hot bath can help you feel cooler and more comfortable when you hit the sheets.

So, if you find yourself tossing and turning on a hot night, consider taking a relaxing hot bath instead of a cold shower to facilitate a cool-down effect and pave the way for a restful slumber.

What to do while in the bed

A woman in a bathrobe laying down in bed

And, now, here are some things you can do while you are in your bed to lower that body heat and have a better night's sleep.

A woman in a bathrobe laying down in bed

This temperature is often considered the ideal range for promoting sleep due to its ability to create optimal temperature and moisture levels in the bedroom. Lowering the thermostat helps prevent overheating as hot air rises, keeping the room cooler and more comfortable. By achieving a conducive sleep environment, you increase the likelihood of experiencing uninterrupted, deep sleep, allowing you to wake up refreshed and revitalized in the morning.

Choose your pyjamas wisely

Choosing the right type of pyjamas is important for staying cool during the night. Opting for lightweight and breathable materials, such as cotton or bamboo, allows air to circulate around your body, preventing you from feeling hot and sweaty.

The right pyjamas can help regulate your body temperature by allowing heat to escape and keeping you comfortable in relation to the ambient temperature. Plus, wearing pyjamas also helps to absorb any perspiration, providing a barrier between your skin and the bedding.

So, while going commando might seem tempting, selecting the appropriate pyjamas can contribute to a more comfortable and cool sleep experience.

Have some water on your nightstand

Having a bottle of cold water on your nightstand is a must for staying cool during hot weather and promoting a comfortable sleep onset.

Hydrating yourself regularly, especially before bed, helps regulate your body temperature and keeps you feeling refreshed. Sipping cold water throughout the night can provide instant relief if you feel hot, and the act of drinking water can also help relax and soothe your body, facilitating a smoother transition into sleep.

Thus, always keep that trusty bottle of cold water by your side and say goodbye to tossing and turning in the heat, allowing yourself to drift off into dreamland with ease.

Freeze your pillowcase

Freezing your pillowcase is a smart trick to stay cool during the night and avoid disturbed sleep.

As heat rises, placing a frozen pillowcase on your pillow creates a refreshing and cool surface to rest your head on. This simple addition to your bedtime routine helps counteract the warmth in the room and promotes a more comfortable and restful sleep, allowing you to wake up feeling refreshed and ready to conquer the day.

What about hot sleepers and women going through menopause

A woman holding a wet napkin on her forehead due to menopause pains

Unfortunately, there are some people who need to lower body temperature not only during the summer months but during the entire year. These are people who always sleep hot and women who are experiencing so-called night sweats. Luckily, there is a simple solution for these people too. Anyone who has trouble sleeping because of the dreaded warm air can benefit from the tips mentioned above.

How does temperature affect sleep

A woman laying down in bed while being hot

Ah, temperature and sleep, they're like the odd couple sharing a bedroom. Let's break it down in a casual way.

You see, when it comes to snoozing, temperature plays a sneaky role. During sleep, our bodies go through different sleep stages like REM sleep, slow-wave sleep, etc. Now, here's the kicker: our bodies prefer a cooler environment for these stages to work their magic.

When it's scorching hot, like during a heatwave, our sleep can suffer. High temperatures make it harder for our bodies to cool down, and that can disrupt our precious deep sleep. Plus, heat can aggravate conditions like obstructive sleep apnea, causing more disruptions during the night.

 

But fear not, there's hope! Establishing a bedtime routine that includes keeping our sleep environment cool can help. See, our bodies follow something called a circadian rhythm, which regulates our sleep-wake cycle. As we approach bedtime, our body's temperature naturally starts to drop. By creating a cooler sleep environment with the right temperature, we can sync up with our body's natural rhythm and enjoy better sleep.

So, the next time you hit the hay, make sure to set the stage for optimal sleep by keeping it cool. Let your body find that sweet spot of temperature, and watch as your REM sleep and deep sleep happily dance the night away, leaving you refreshed and ready to tackle the day ahead.

Conclusion

So, there you have it, folks!

When the summer heat turns your bedroom into a hot mess, getting a good night's sleep may seem like a distant dream. But fear not, armed with these cool tips and tricks, you can conquer those hot, sticky nights and reclaim your restful slumber.

An illustration showing how to stay cool and how to stay warm

From drawing the curtains to setting the thermostat, choosing the right bedding to freezing your pillowcase, these simple adjustments can make all the difference. So, embrace the coolness, banish the heat, and enjoy your well-deserved nights of peaceful slumber.

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About the author

Alex Petrović
Sleep Consultant
A CPD certified Sleep Consultant with more than 2000 hours of research into all the different ways we can get a great night's sleep. As a former insomniac, I know how difficult life can be without a nightly recovery and I love that I get to share everything I've learned with you all. So hopefully we can all sleep soundly!
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