21 Tips for Sleeping Better this Summer

Things are heating up outdoors. Follow these tips to get your best night’s sleep in the summer heat.

By Alesandra Woolley

Feb 2nd, 2021

People write songs about summers that changed their lives, but no one ever pens a lyric about the torture of trying to sleep during these hot nights.

Studies have shown that to get your best night’s sleep you need a cool room and lower core body temperature. The obvious solution to creating this environment is to crank the AC way up, but sometimes that’s just not in the cards. It may not be financially viable, or you may be experiencing the ultimate summertime nightmare – the AC has gone out.

In these cases, you have other options. Let’s explore them.

Summer Time Sleep Tips for…

Your Environment

  1. Adding blackout curtains to your windows can have numerous benefits. The most important one in this instance is that they keep the hot sun rays out. They also absorb noise and keep the early sunrise out of your eyes.
  2. How often have you and your coworkers complained about the humidity? We all know it feels like walking through a heated pool some days, so how can you possibly sleep in that atmosphere? A dehumidifier might make a world of difference.
  3. Fans have several benefits to your sleep space. By placing a small fan on your nightstand, you can aim it to skim the top of your body while providing the soothing noise to lull you to sleep.
  4. Speaking of soothing noises, some can help with falling asleep. Turn off that episode of The Office you’ve seen 400 times (TV is bad for your sleep anyway) and find a white noise app to use on your phone. Pro tip: the sound of light rain makes the body feel cooler.
  5. The “unplug” rule may apply to more than the blue light from your phone. It may be a good idea to unplug all appliances in your room. Even when turned off, if they’re plugged in, they’re still generating heat. This can be made super simple by using a surge protector you can simply flip off at night (and it’s way safer).
  6. If your bedroom happens to be on a top floor of your home, consider moving downstairs for a few nights. The higher you are in the house, the hotter you’re going to get. A few nights on the cool sofa may be worth it – especially if you’re just trying to get through a heat wave or waiting for the HVAC guy to come in the morning.

Your Bed

7. If you’re a naturally hot sleeper, you probably already know this trick. Sheets made of specific material are the perfect opponent for night sweats. Linen is very lightweight, PeachSkin sheets are made of moisture-wicking fabric, and Bamboo is naturally breathable. Or just get to the root of the problem and buy one of the best cooling mattresses for hot sleepers.

8. A wool mattress topper (yep, wool) can actually help keep you cool all night long. That material every grandmother uses for sweater-making reacts to your body temperature to absorb and release moisture keeping you cooler all night.

9. Your cuddle bugs may not like this tip but sharing a bed with your pets can only increase your body temperatures. You can consider a few nights in separate beds during this heatwave. Or look into a brand new bed specifically designed for your fur babies.

Your Pillow

10. The head is the hottest part of the body. You need to keep a cool head to keep a good night’s sleep. Standard pillows surround the head with fluff and heat. A smaller firmer pillow allows for greater air circulation.

11. If you’re waking up every night to flip your pillow to the cool side, consider the kind of pillow that never needs a flip. Buckwheat pillows don’t trap heat and the individual grains conform to your head without the squishy hot feeling of a memory foam pillow.

12. That is definitely not to say all memory foam pillows are bad. Some have a gel side to disperse heat and keep a constant cool side.

Your Body

13. It’s time to eat for the heat. Your meals are always having an impact on your sleep, but a few diet changes in the summer may help you cool down. First, keep your evening meals small. The more you eat, the more metabolic energy your body expends to break down the food. Energy = Heat = No Fun.

14. A high protein meal will have the same effect. Try switching over to foods that metabolize more easily like salads, fruits, and veggies.

15. Night time showers have a few sleep benefits, one being sleeping with wet hair. If you don’t mind a wet bedhead look, water evaporating from drying hair keeps your head, and in turn your body, cool all night long.

16. The number one rule for surviving the summer heat is hydration, and that goes for finding good sleep, as well. Spending your days hydrated reduces the risk of midnight leg cramps and discomfort. So yes, this means those summer sangrias are probably dehydrating you and impacting your sleep. One solution is to keep a cooling thermos by the bed so when you wake up thirsty you’ll have a cool drink instead of that lukewarm glass of tap water.

17. One of the great debates in the insomnia world is to sleep naked or not to sleep naked. There are reasons for both, especially when it’s sweltering outside. If you decide you’re actually a never-nude, grab some loosely woven cotton pajamas, or something made with fabric designed to soak up moisture.

Your Extras

18. If you’re lucky, you’ve never heard of a migraine cooling patch. They’re exactly what they sound like. These patches can be placed on your head, the back of your neck, or anyplace you need to keep cool for the whole night.

19. A quick, at-home remedy for keeping your chill is a cooling mixture of aloe, witch hazel, and peppermint oil. Keep it in a spray bottle by your bed and spritz it on the skin for a night time cool down.

20. There are several cooling companions you can store in the freezer as backup bedtime buddies. One option is a frozen gel eye mask. Another is the old sock full of rice, and you may even have a hot water bottle lying in storage. Well, no need to wait until the winter months to put it back into play. Pop it in the freezer and pull it out for bed.

21. And for the horrible moments when the AC is out, and you just weren’t prepared in the slightest, the old standby is placing ice cubes on critical pulse points. Blood vessels are close to your wrists, neck, and the tops of your feet and those spots are begging for some frozen comfort before bed.

There’s great comfort in knowing that while it’s heating up outside, you’re nice and cool inside. You don’t have to work your AC to death to achieve this. These tips will ensure you can spend the day at the pool (drinking water), and rest easy knowing you’ll sleep soundly that night.

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