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We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this , we may earn a small commission. And not good for that ideal sleep temperature. The obvious solution for cool, calm, and REM-ful sleep is an air conditioner. But AC uses tons of energy and jacks up your monthly electric bill. Here are some tried-and-true DIY strategies to cool a room and avoid sleeping in the heat on those sticky summer nights.
If you thought fans were just for blowing hot air around, think again! Point box fans out the windows so they push hot air out. Adjust ceiling fan settings so the blades run counterclockwise, pulling hot air up and out instead of just twirling it around the room. Even more box fan pro tips: Position a fan across from a window so the wind from outside combines with the fan to make a cooling cross-breeze. Set up multiple fans around the room to make the airflow even more boisterous. Remember when refrigerators were iceboxes that contained actual blocks of ice?
Probably not. But this stay-cool trick is straight out of the icebox era. Make a DIY air conditioner by placing a shallow pan or bowl a roasting pan works nicely full of ice in front of a fan. We know that ideal sleep requires cooler temps.
Those ever-running computers, the TV you left on, all the gadgets you used just before bed — those electronics generate heat. Just make sure to keep your surge protectors plugged in for storm protection. Feeling ambitious or just really, really hot? Rig up a hammock or set up a simple cot. Both types of bed are suspended on all sides, which increases airflow.
In a one-story home, haul the mattress down from a sleeping loft or high bed and put it on the floor. In a multifloor house or apartment, sleep on the ground floor or in the cool basement instead of on an upper story. This tip is pretty self-explanatory. Fortunately, in summer it stays light until or at night. Take advantage of natural light as much as possible. Keep rooms cool after dark by using lights minimally or not at all romantic candlelit dinner, anyone?
If the daytime sun is turning your home into a toaster oven, that heat will linger at night. Keeping your drapes and blinds closed during the day will keep your room cooler and allow it to cool down more quickly when you hit the hay. Cool a whole room by hanging a wet sheet in front of an open window. Summer is not the time to whip up a piping hot casserole or roast chicken. Instead, chow down on cool, room-temperature dishes sal are clutch 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. Got access to a safe outdoor space like a deck, courtyard, or backyard?
Practice those camping skills and stay cooler by pitching a tent and sleeping al fresco. Save the ooh-la-la satin, silk, or polyester sheets for cooler nights. Light-colored bed linens made of lightweight cotton Egyptian or otherwise or linen are breathable and excellent for promoting ventilation and airflow.
In the heat, cotton jammies will help you fall asleep faster. Shin M, et al. Stick your sheets in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes before bed. Place them in a plastic bag first — unless eau de frozen pizza is your fave aromatherapy scent. In the winter, fill it with boiling water for toasty toes without cranking up the thermostat. During the summer, stick it in the freezer to create a bed-friendly ice pack.
Those Nile-dwellers knew how to do it right. Place a dry towel under your body to avoid soaking the mattress. Less is definitely more when it comes to summertime jammies. Pick a loose, soft cotton shirt and shorts or underwear. Going full nude during a heat wave is unsurprisingly controversial. Some people believe it helps keep them cool. Others claim going au naturel means sweat stays on your body instead of being wicked away by fabric. Your now-cooler neck will thank you. Need to cool down stat?
Apply ice packs or cold compresses to pulse points at your wrists, neck, elbows, groin, and ankles and behind your knees. Try a cool pad pillow topper. If you usually smoosh your head onto a big, fluffy pillow, consider swapping that pillow for a lighter, less dense version. Your head tends to retain heat, and surrounding it with fluff can keep heat from escaping. Wake up soaked? The right bedtime ensemble is key. Cooling PJs are made with moisture-wicking fabrics like cotton and bamboo or high-tech synthetics like CoolMax that prevent nighttime overheating.
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 H 2 O in the tank beforehand. But surprisingly, it works, according to a study. Haghayegh S, et al. Before-bedtime passive body heating by warm shower or bath to improve sleep: A systematic review and meta-analysis. DOI: The warmth of the water sends a rush of blood to your hands and feet, where the veins are right under your skin. This lets off extra heat and cools your bloodstream. Ideally, hop in the tub 1 to 2 hours before bed to give your body time to cool off before you slip between the sheets.
Standing under a stream of cool H 2 O brings down your core body temperature and rinses off sweat ick so you can hit the hay feeling cool and clean. Instead of big, heavy meals, go for smaller, lighter dinners, which are easier to metabolize. It takes a lot more energy for your body to break down protein than fats or carbs.
So swap that huge steak for a platter of fruits, veggies, and legumes. Also avoid eating heavy meals and consuming alcohol for 2 to 3 hours before bedtime for optimal cool potential. Exercise has been shown to help you sleep better. Sleeping alone has its perks, including plenty of space to stretch out. Snoozing in spread-eagle position with your arms and legs not touching each other is best for reducing body heat and letting air circulate around your body.
Hit the hay in this sleep position to keep your limbs from getting super sweaty. If you can resist their puppy-dog eyes, try to have them sleep in their own separate beds or at least at the bottom of yours.
When temperatures soar, trade in that extra-comfy mattress for a minimalist straw or bamboo mat. These cupboard staples can also keep you cool on hot nights. For a cold compress on really 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. Sleep is essential for your health. And higher temperatures can lead to insomnia.
Bjorvatn B, et al. The association between insomnia and bedroom habits and bedroom characteristics: An exploratory cross-sectional study of a representative sample of adults. Staying cool in the summer is no easy feat. But these 12 expert-approved products from Wirecutter will help you beat the heat all summer.
The cause could be as simple as the temperature of your bedroom or something about your pre-bedtime routine. Learn what you can do to fall asleep…. The best mattress for an adjustable bed is flexible and supportive. Find the bed system of your dreams with our top picks for adjustable beds. Check out our hybrid mattress picks that hit the sweet spot between comfort and support — plus shopping tips to help you pick the best one for you.
How does your sleeping position reflect your personality? We had a look at the science.Just some hot fun in my room
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10 tips to keep you and your house cool this summer