Whether it is a hot summer night, stress, nervousness, irritability or night sweating, the adverse effects of being too hot during sleep can be annoying, but also preventable. To get a good night’s sleep, your body needs to regulate and lower its temperature, but your surrounding also needs to be a bit cooler.
That can be a rather difficult thing to achieve, because, unless you’re using air conditioning, there’s isn’t much you can do. Or is there? In the following paragraphs, we’ll present some of our recommendations and tips on how you can stay cool during the night and finally get some sleep. So, let’s get started!
What Are The Effects of Staying Cool During The Night?
Sleeping in a cooler environment is beneficial for your health as well as sleep quality. Here are some of the main effects and reasons why a cool room is better than a hot one;
- You will fall asleep quicker – during summer, it will take you significantly longer to fall asleep because of the heat. By cooling down, you will fall asleep quicker. That is because the brain recognizes a cooler temperature as a green light for melatonin production and sleep onset.
- You will sleep better – by staying cooler during the night, your body will increase the production of melatonin much longer than it would do in a warmer environment. You won’t be waking up throughout the night and you will feel fresh and relaxed in the morning.
- Your immune system will be stronger – by staying cool during the night, you will surely enter deep sleep, during which the body recovers and improves metabolism and immune system. Moreover, your body will be able to fight off bacteria, viruses, and diseases.
- You will prevent sleeping disorders – by helping the body regulate temperature and cool down, you’ll be more likely to establish a healthy sleep-wake cycle and prevent sleeping disorders, like insomnia, from occurring. Studies have shown that people with insomnia usually have a higher body temperature.
Tip no. 1 – Keeping Your Home And Bedroom Cool
One of the first things you can do is aim to keep your living space, especially your bedroom cool. The ideal room temperature should be up to 90°F during the day, and up to 75°F during the night. This way you will ensure proper body temperature regulation and sleep onset since your body recognizes lower temperatures as a signal for sleep initiation and melatonin production. Here’s how you can achieve that;
- Make sure to keep your windows open, especially in the evening, before bedtime, and in the morning. The fresh, crisp air will lower the temperature in your home and make it more comfortable for sleep during the night.
- During the day, make sure to close windows and shutters, especially those that are directly exposed to sun and heat. This will keep the room temperature down for a few degrees.
- If you’re using air-conditioning, make sure to close the doors and windows to conserve the cooler air and prevent the air in the house from heating up. Also, make sure not to lower the temperature too much, and then leave the house into the heat; this might shock the body and cause some health issues.
- In cases of extreme heat, you can hang wet towels in the bedroom and around the house to keep it cooled down. However, bear in mind that this may also increase the air humidity in the house.
- Use electric fans to get instant relief, especially before bedtime. However, this is only temporary relief and won’t keep your bedroom, for example, necessarily cool throughout the night, since you should not keep the fan on for such a long time.
Tip no. 2 – Keeping Yourself Cool
For the body to regulate temperature properly, it is not only important to keep the house and the bedroom cool, but also yourself. Here’s how you can do that;
- Make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day. An adult individual should drink anywhere between 2 and 3 liters of water during the day, especially during summer.
- Make sure to eat lots of fruit, like watermelon, melon, citrus fruits, and other water-rich fruits to keep yourself hydrated and of course, cool.
- When we look at the Middle Easterns and how they deal with heat, we notice that they drink plenty of hot beverages, like tea. Bt drinking tea during a hot day, you’re naturally cooling down your body through sweating and sweat evaporation from the skin. So, instead of an ice tea or iced coffee, go for a cup of tea before bedtime.
- Try to sleep in sleeveless tops, underwear, or loose-fitting shorts or a nightgown. This way you will expose your skin to the cooler airflow in the room (because of the open windows, wet towels and the fan). If you still want to use a cover, try using a cotton sheet instead of synthetic covers. Cotton fabrics are breathable and will keep you cool.
- You can always try purchasing a new mattress that features cooling technology. Such mattresses help regulate body temperature and keep you cool at night. Such technology has proven effective in people who suffer sleeping disorders or excessive night sweating.
- Try using a cool pad pillow or mattress topper. Such toppers provide cooling effect that are exceptional for hot summer months. They provide the effect of a damp material and are usually made of cotton.
- You can also purchase thermal spring water in a spray bottle and using it throughout the night to freshen up a bit. This will give an instant cooling effect and will help you fall asleep again.
- Make sure to get a warm shower before bedtime. A cool shower will cool you down, but the body will immediately start to warm you up since cold water is a warning sign that your body is in danger. Instead, a warm shower will be more effective; as the warm water evaporates from the skin, it will give a cooling effect and help the body regulate the temperature.
- Make sure to sleep in the so-called spread-eagled position. Such a sleeping position allows air circulation and cooling down. So, instead of sleeping curled up next to your partner, try to get some space and breathability for your body.
- Try not to stress over the fact that it is too hot for you to sleep. Instead, stay calm and relaxed and try to focus on your breathing. The body eventually gets used to the warmth, so you might as well let it do so. By stressing out, you’ll increase the body temperature and be even hotter than you are. So, make sure to breathe slowly and deeply and accept the situation for what it is.
- Anticipate that you might get a bit cold during the night with all these cooling-down methods, so keep a blanket close by just in case. You don’t want to get a cold in the middle of the summer.
Tip no. 3 – Optional Strategies
- You can try sleeping naked. This has proven to help the majority of people in promoting temperature regulation and general wellbeing and health. However, bear in mind that sleeping naked can also make you feel even hotter, and promote excessive sweating in some people.
Read More: Is Sleeping Naked Good for You?
- Try using ice packs as a form of cooling down. You can place them next to your bed, or next to the fan, so that it blows cooler air. People tend to get very creative with ice packs, so make sure to give it a try. However, never place the ice packs directly onto the skin, as you can cause irritation, inflammation of the skin, and rash.
- Try not to eat big meals during the day, especially before bedtime. Bigger, protein- and carb-rich meals require a greater metabolic activity, which in turn raises the body temperature. So, instead, try eating several, small-portion meals in a day, and before bedtime, try relying on fruits and veggies.
- Try to cool down the important body parts; for example, the back of the nack, ankles, and knees. By cooling down these body parts, you’re more likely to relax and lower the temperature in the whole body. You can do this by placing a wet towel or a bottle filled with cold water onto these body parts.
Contrary to popular belief, sleeping in a cooler room won’t have any significant adverse health effects. Of course, if you make your room freezing, you will surely get the flu or cold, so make sure not to overdo it with the cooling down.
By staying cool during the night you can only improve your sleep quality and avoid the discomfort of warmth and heat during the night. You will be in a better mood, less stressed, and completely relaxed and ready for the next day.