When the recommended temperature for your best sleep is 65 degrees fahrenheit or 18 degrees celsius, a hot summer night can make slumber virtually impossible. So how do you beat the heat and get a decent sleep without running out of sheep to count? After all, our grandparents and their grandparents (and so on) survived without the sweet relief of air conditioning, so we can too. Follow these six tips and tricks to stay cool in the scorching summer heat so that you can get your beauty sleep.
When it comes to hot summer nights, old-school plain cotton sheets are your best friend. They’re the most effective at wicking away sweat so that you can sleep cool as a cucumber. Silk might feel nice on your skin at first, but it can only absorb so much sweat before it starts pooling on your skin, and linen, while incredibly trendy right now, still isn’t as breathable as good old, reliable cotton. While we’re at it, make sure your summer jammies are also made of loose, breathable cotton—even if you’re used to sleeping in your birthday suit. They’ll help absorb even more heat and sweat to maximize your coolness.
Exercising an hour or two before bed can do wonders for your sleep quality, which matters most in the hot summertime when a good sleep is hard enough to achieve as it is. You’ll tire yourself out (as long as you don’t exercise right before bed), making it easier to fall and stay asleep. If hitting the gym late isn’t feasible, just knock out an at-home workout in your living room with easy-to-use gym equipment that you can tuck away in a closet when you’re done.
It might seem counterproductive, but hopping into an ice cold shower right before bed will help you sleep like a baby on even the most scorching night. Tried and found true thanks to a broken A/C in the Dominican Republic jungle, this shower tip won’t prevent you from sleeping. In fact, the cool water droplets on your skin combined with the warm air will lull you into a restful sleep like no other.
A strategic cross breeze is a huge advantage in the summer months, and it’s not that complicated to set up. Simply prop up a fan across from a window so that the incoming breeze and the fan’s air combine to create a delicious cross breeze that can cool you down on the warmest of nights. If you’re feeling even more ambitious, hang a wet sheet in front of the window; the breeze blowing in will feel even cooler thanks to the cold water.
Hate to break it to you snuggle bears, but sleeping alone in the summer is vastly better for your sleep quality. Not only is it already harder to sleep with another person in the bed on a good night, but combined with the body heat (looking at you guys with the insane metabolisms and core body temperatures), your bed quickly becomes a swampy, humid mess. Consider alternating nights in the guest room for some relief, and don’t worry—come winter, you can more than make up for the lost cuddles.
It should go without saying that putting down your phone for the night half an hour before bed can benefit your sleep, but unplugging everything you can in your room/home can help even more. Appliances and gadgets give off heat when plugged in, so turning them off individually or with a power bar can make a significant difference.
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