Beat the Heat and Get Some Sleep

Just by going outside its easy to see (and feel) that summer has really kicked in. It’s one thing for the calendar to tell you that summer has begun, but something else entirely when temperatures reach into the high 80s and into the 90s. Now that’s summer! With that said, most people at this point crank up the AC and to cool down their homes. But what if you don’t have air conditioning? Or, perhaps more likely, you don’t want to pay the electric bill that comes with running air conditioners all night long so that you can get a restful sleep.

Well there’s another way – an AC free way. No, nothing really beats running an air conditioner to cool down your bedroom at night. But if that’s not an option or not the way you want to go, I’ve gathered up a list of potentially useful tips and tricks for staying cool enough to get a good night’s sleep.

  • Turn your fan around – If you have a window fan turn it around so that it is blowing hot air out of your house.
  • Don’t exercise a few hours before going to bed. Exercising raises your body temperature and it takes a while for it to go down.
  • Use light-colored bed sheets made of lightweight cotton. They are breathable and promote ventilation and airflow when trying to get yourself a good night sleep.
  • Create an ice towel and place it in front of your fan to create a make-shift air conditioner. This will take a little doing, but basically wrap a bunch of ice cubes in a wet towel and find a way to place them in front of the fan. Make sure you have a pan or a bowl under the ice towel to catch the melting ice.
  • Cool your sheets off in the freezer (in a plastic bag) for a bit before using them. It’ll cool you down quick.
  • Sleep in the basement – Yep, it might be kind of gross down there but it’s definitely cooler.
  • wikiHow recommends the “Egyptian Method” – Wet a sheet or bath towel that is large enough to cover you with cool or cold water, and wring it or run it through the spin cycle on a washing machine until the sheet is quite damp but not dripping wet. Place the dry towel or sheet on your bed underneath your body and use the wet sheet as your blanket. The damp blanket will keep you cool.
  • Flip over your pillow to get “the cold side of the pillow” as often as you like. Or buy a pillow that has a built-in “cold side”. Yes they make those.
  • Hydrate!!
  • Avoid drinking ice cold water. Drinking cold water not only slows digestion, it also slows down metabolism by constricting blood vessels and thereby decreasing hydration and ability of your body to cool off. Drink room temperature water instead.
  • Create a cross-breeze in your bedroom by opening windows on opposite sides of the room.
  • Run your wrists or the inside of your arms under cold running water for 30 seconds. These areas are where your blood stream flows closest to the surface of your body. Running them under cold water for a minute will cool your blood down, making your whole body cooler.
  • Place an ice-pack on your forehead when laying in bed trying to sleep.
  • Take a lukewarm shower before bedtime. Don’t take a cold shower as your body may counter act that by raising its internal temperature, completely defeating the purpose.
  • And to state the obvious – use a fan.