Yeah, we bet you could model in your sleep, but that’s not what this article’s about.
Hot sleeping is a unique and terrible pit of human misery that can be caused by a multitude of factors ranging from the temperature of the room, to the bedding in which you sleep, to your sleep partner, to the biosystem of your own body!
A hot sleeper will wake once or several times a night, sweat drenched and feeling none too fabulous the next day. Soon the haggard look in your eyes and sag in your swagger might force a hot sleeper to say goodnight to any chance of a modeling career.
With the approach of summer, life really starts to heat up. Nobody wants to face the long hot day running on empty due to lack of quality sleep, tossing and turning, sweating through your essential would-be REM cycle. That’s why we’re providing a comprehensive guide to staying cool for you current or soon-to-be hot sleepers out there. Here are the 21 ways to beat the heat between the sheets!
Set your thermostat between 60-65 degrees.
As part of your body’s 24-hour cycle, or Circadian rhythm, body temperature drops during the night to facilitate deep sleep. A too warm room temperature interferes with this process, which is no bueno. Though there is some contention about the exact number, across sources and research studies, including the opinions of several doctors, 60-65 degrees is the ideal room temperature in which to sleep.
Sleep in fresh air.
Not only does this allow cool air in, but also prevents the midnight feeling of suffocation that rouses people who sleep in rooms without ventilation. It also reduces the likelihood of disease transmission in your home, if only slightly.
Improve air circulation with a fan.
While open windows are great, those summer nights of dead calm can be just as suffocating. Get the air in your living space moving with the addition of a small fan.
Set a bowl of ice in front of your fan.
A sweet, low-budget, DIY air conditioning unit, sticking a bowl of ice water in front of your fan will send cool air through the room—most effective if aimed directly at your bed.
Keep the windows open at night and closed during the day.
Otherwise known as the Roman method of air conditioning, this simple life hack allows cool air in at night while trapping it in your home during the day. Drawing curtains in your home during the day can prevent the sun from warming up your cool air.
Lower your bed.
Heat rises, in case you slept through that particular science lecture (good for you). If your home or apartment or bed is high up, do your best to lower it. Sleep on the floor if need be, but avoid carpets.
A sure fire way to get plenty of fresh air and reduce heat boxing is to sleep outside: on the porch, a balcony, backyard, or camping. Just be sure to have some bug repellant handy in case of mosquitos—ick!
Sleep in minimal clothing or breathable fabrics.
Less is more when the heatwaves hit. Heck, sleep naked if you can swing it.
Keep a glass of ice water near your bed to dab on your hot spots.
Dabbing a bit of cold water or rubbing an ice cube against the spots where your blood vessels come closest to the surface of your skin can cool your blood. Aim for the temples, wrists, and the back of the neck.
Keep a damp washcloth in the freezer during the day to use as a cold compress at night.
Feel free to get creative if you’re down a washcloth: cold packs or even an unopened bag of frozen veggies will do in a pinch.
Take a lukewarm shower before bed.
Water is an ideal and accessible cooling agent across the board. Make sure the temperature is not too hot (which can generate humidity) or cold (which will wake you up).
Enjoy a warm bath one hour before bedtime.
Same concept, but for greater ease of mind if you have a bath available. Make this part of your nighttime ritual. Soothing music, candle-light, and a good book wouldn’t go amiss either.
Consume cold drinks and smaller meals throughout the day.
Dr. Joyce Walsleben of the Sleep Medicine Associates of NYC recommends lots of cool drinks (2 liters of water per day) and “smaller, more frequent meals” so that your metabolism doesn’t overheat your body before bed.
Avoid intense exercise or activities too close to bedtime.
Too much exercise can ramp up your metabolism and wake you up before bed. If at all, only do soothing cool-down exercises like light stretching or simple meditation before bed to shift your body and your mind into sleepytime mode.
Toss the comforter off the bed.
Get that big floofy thing off the bed! But be careful, you may need a light blanket nearby in case you get the chills in the middle of the night.
Invest in a eucalyptus comforter.
For those who love the assuring weight of the comforter, temperature-regulating Tencel eucalyptus will help keep you cool. Available from Primary Goods!
Use a cool pillow.
Our silver pillow’s air-layer outer shell promotes cool airflow throughout the night while the silver lining actively kills bacteria more likely to grow and thrive in the hot summer months.
Ditch the memory foam mattress topper.
Memory foam, thought soft, traps in body heat as you sink into it and could be a major cause of your hot sleeping woes. Ditch it!
Add a cooling mattress pad.
A fancy cooling pad can really help out if you’re in dire straits, especially if you’re missing your memory foam.
Avoid dense mattresses.
Innerspring, hybrid, latex, futons or air mattresses are the ideal mattress types as they allow for greater air flow. Avoid dense memory foam or mixed foam mattresses!
Sleep in breathable sheets!
The power move toward thwarting hot sleep is to switch out your sheet set entirely come summer. Airy and breathable materials such as 100% cotton or 100% linen are ideal. And not just in the hot months, but in the winter as well—alleviating night sweats while still keeping you cozy!
All bodies and lives are unique, but this grab bag of tips can shore you up against many a wasted night tossing and turning, waking wet and miserable as the thermostat rises.
We recommend starting with some new sheets (perhaps a cool eucalyptus comforter and silver pillows, too) to start your summer on the cool side of sleep quality. Love the linen you’re in and stay cool, hot sleepers!
Hamblin, James. “Paging Dr. Hamblin: Your Bedroom Is Too Hot.” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 3 June 2020, www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2019/12/sleep-cold/604111/.
Kryger, Meir. “How to Stay Cool While Sleeping.” Sleep Foundation, 2 June 2020, www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/sleeping-when-it-blistering-hot.
Nehring, Brad. “Body Temperature and Sleep.” Tuck Sleep, Tuck.com LLC, 9 Aug. 2019, www.tuck.com/thermoregulation/.
Qian, Hua, and Xiaohong Zheng. “Ventilation control for airborne transmission of human exhaled bio-aerosols in buildings.” Journal of thoracic disease vol. 10,Suppl 19 (2018): S2295-S2304. doi:10.21037/jtd.2018.01.24