Ever tried to find ways to sleep better as the temperatures start to rise? I always hate trying to find the perfect balance for better sleep during the hot summer months. If you travel much, it's even harder. However, there are a few ways to sleep better whether you're at home or on vacation. You don't have to let the wonderful summer weather ruin a great night's rest.
1. Cool the Room
Read any article on ways to sleep better and you'll find that most people sleep more soundly in a cooler room. I know I love to snuggle under the covers and it's impossible to snuggle when the room is hot. Consider turning your thermostat down before bed for a cooler, more comfortable room. You can even use a window fan if you're in an area where AC isn't a must.
2. Switch to All Cotton
Summer is not the time for silk sheets or polyester filled bedding. Instead, opt for all cotton. It stays cooler longer and air circulates through the material better. Think how much more comfortable you'll be with bedding that helps reduce heat and sweating on hot nights. For even cooler bedding, look for pillows, sheets and comforters listed as “cooling.” These are designed specifically to help keep you cooler at night.
3. Drink Cool Water
It may seem too simple to be effective, but believe me, this actually works. Instead of having an iced tea or coffee late at night, drink water instead. Caffeine, alcohol and sugary drinks can actually cause your body temperature to rise slightly. Cold water helps cool you off. As night starts to fall, make the switch to water only and start sleeping better.
4. Free Your Feet
I have a hard time with this one as I can't stand my feet to stick out at night. If you don't mind your tootsies hanging out from under the covers, free your feet to instantly cool your body. Feet and hands tend to cool off quicker than other body parts. Once your feet are cool, the rest of you feels better as well. Personally, I prefer leaving my arms out when I start to get hot and that seems to work for me.
5. Cotton Sleepwear
It may sound counter-productive to wear clothes to bed when you're trying to stay cool, but clothing actually helps. Find ultra thin, cotton sleepwear. A simple tank and shorts is all you really need. The idea is to wick away sweat and provide an air barrier between you and your sheets. I've found cooling active wear to be just as effective and it moves with you if you're a restless type of sleeper.
6. Sleep Low
We all know heat rises, so why not sleep on lower levels? Try sleeping on the first floor of your home or at a hotel for a naturally cooler environment. I know, the view is better on the upper levels, but you can't enjoy the view when you're tired. I've actually tried this at hotels and there is a difference.
7. Invest in a Bedside Fan
I know some people hate fans, but if you don't mind the breeze and extra sounds, they're perfect for hot summer nights. I have one on year round because I can't sleep without some type of background noise. I recommend a fan that's easy to reposition so it'll blow right where you need it most. Oscillating fans are also good for stirring up a breeze throughout the entire room.
8. Sweatless Gel Packs
I always used to struggle with keeping my pillow cool during the warmer months. I tried a trick a friend told me about. She'd refrigerate thin gel packs and place them under her pillow at night. When she'd flip the pillow over, she'd get a nice cool side. The gel packs would then cool the other side. Always look for packs that are listed as “sweat proof” or “sweatless” to avoid a damp pillow.
9. Cool Rag
If nothing else works, try placing a cool rag on your forehead right before bed. It will cool your body temperature just enough to help you sleep better. I refrigerate mine instead of using fresh cold water to avoid a wet forehead. I also keep a spare in the fridge to grab if it's a particularly hot night. You can also try cooling sports towels designed to keep athletes cooler as they play.
While we might love playing out in the summer sun, no one likes being hot and sweaty while they're trying to sleep. You don't have to be miserable. Try some of these tips, cool off and sleep better. What are some of your best tips for better summer sleep?