With temperatures soaring above what’s normal in the summer and humid nights getting even more humid each year, it’s safe to say that climate change is very real. And, if you’re in a place where you just can’t afford an air conditioner or simply don’t like them, you might find it difficult to sleep at night.
Studies state that when the temperature is too high, it can take longer for people to fall asleep.1 And, if you’ve been struggling with the heat at night, here are a few tips that can help make your nights more comfortable.
1. Take A Cold Shower
Considering the fact that sweltering heat can drive us to take showers multiple times a day, this tip isn’t too difficult to incorporate into your day’s routine. Before you head to bed, take a quick shower with cold water.
Cold showers are believed to cool the body directly and might help reduce the temperature of your skin. Alternatively, you could wash your arms and face with cold water and stand in front of a table fan. And, if you’re feeling extra lazy, soak your feet in cold water for 10 minutes, since heat is easily lost from your extremities.2
2. Avoid “Hot” Foods At Dinner
Eating the right kind of food isn’t just vital for your overall health. Experts believe that certain foods could increase your body heat, making it even more difficult to handle hot weather, particularly when they are had close to bedtime.
These foods include hot, heavy, or spicy foods. Additionally, coffee, chocolate, or caffeinated drinks in the late afternoon or evening can mess with you sleep at night.3
3. Wear Cotton Clothes
This is the classic summer advice that most of us have been given. But, it might be useful when you’re dealing with a sweaty night.
This is because cotton clothes ensure that there’s good air circulation over your skin. They also allow heat and moisture (sweat) to evaporate quickly from your skin, without which both skin temperature and discomfort increase.4
Additionally, ensure that your night clothes are light, breezy, and not dark colored. Try and avoid sleeping naked since that can prevent moisture to evaporate between your body and the sleeping surface, making you feel even hotter.5
4. Draw The Shades In The Mornings
An important part of being able to sleep well during hot nights is to prepare for it during the day. This will keep your home cool and easier to sleep in.
To do this, draw the shades, curtains, and blinds or doors and windows during the day. Additionally, you could invest in black-out curtains that keep the light and heat out.6
5. Distract Yourself
Some experts suggest that distracting yourself might take your mind off of the heat. So, you could try and play relaxing music as you try to sleep.
Alternatively, you could watch television or read a good book before you sleep. This might also help you forget how hot it is.7
6. Stay Hydrated
Keeping up with the recommended 8 glasses of water a day could not be more important during hot weather. This is because dehydration can increase heat build-up in the body, making it uncomfortable for you during the night.
If you are on fluid tablets, do check with your doctor regarding how much water you should drink at night. Additionally, fill a hot water bottle with cold water before keeping it in the freezer. Keep this next to you at night to cool you down whenever it gets too stuffy.8
7. Improve Your Sleep Environment
Without air conditioning, you’d have to put in some work to make your sleeping environment cool. To start off, choose the coolest and darkest part of your house to sleep in. A quiet, dark, and cool area is believed to improve sleeping patterns.
Remove all winter bedding and opt for lightweight cotton sheets instead. Make sure the room you are in has a fan and an open door or window so that fresh air can flow through the room.
Place a tray of ice cubes in front of a table fan to ensure cool air flow around the room. Additionally, place a cold water spray or a mist sprayer on your bedside table. You could spray the former on yourself, while the latter might help keep the room cold.9
In addition to all of these tips, you could sleep on your back to help you feel cooler. And, if you wake up in the middle of the night, you could flip your pillow to the other side to avoid feeling hot.
It is advised not to sleep in the car with the AC on all night since this might lead to a buildup of carbon dioxide and harm your health. Try and incorporate a few of these tips tonight and you’re sure to have a better night’s sleep.
|↑1||Sleeping When Its Blistering Hot. National Sleep Foundation.|
|↑2, ↑8, ↑9||Sleeping in very hot weather. Department Of Health, Government Of Western Australia.|
|↑3, ↑5, ↑6, ↑7||Sleeping when it’s hot. Department Of Health, Government Of South Australia.|
|↑4||Clothing to wear during extreme heat. Department Of Health, Government Of Western Australia.|