Tips to Stay Cool Through the Night
Sleeping comfortably through a hot, humid summer night is no easy task. Heat exposure increases wakefulness and decreases rapid eye movement sleep and slow wave sleep, according to research published in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology. High levels of humidity disrupt sleep because the moisture in the air prevents the evaporation of sweat from the skin.
The ideal temperature for sleep is around 65 degrees — but running the air conditioning that low comes at a cost.
There are alternative cooling tactics. Here’s how to manage your sleep environment to cope with summer heat and get the best sleep possible.
Prep your bed.
Sheets made of natural fibers such as cotton, linen or bamboo can help you stay cooler and drier through the night. To prevent tossing and turning, consider adding a Sleep Number® DualTemp™ layer under the sheets. Wireless remotes allow you to tap into the layer’s active air technology to heat or cool each side of the bed to your ideal temperature.
Get the most out of your ceiling fan.
Even if you use air conditioning, a ceiling fan can allow you to raise the thermostat setting by roughly 4 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), without sacrificing comfort. Just make sure your fan blades turn the right way — if you don’t feel air blow on you when you’re underneath the fan, switch the direction. If you don’t have a ceiling fan and are considering adding one to your bedroom, research can pay off. Check for noise ratings and ask to listen to the fan before buying, so you can judge whether you can handle the noise level.
Create a DIY air conditioner.
Table and floor fans create a wind chill effect that can also make steamy nights feel more comfortable. Placing a shallow bowl of ice in front of a fan may keep you even cooler. As the ice melts, the fan will blow a fine mist of cool water into the air.
Create a cross breeze.
Experiment with cross ventilation by opening windows and doors to move fresh, cooler air in and warm air out, suggests the DOE. You can cool more of your home if you force the air to travel further between the area where the cool air comes in and the area where the warm air goes out. Adjust the size of the openings and play with which doors and windows you open to ventilate different areas of your home.
Turn to water.
Rinsing off before bed can help cool your body down the same way sweating does. Keep the shower short so your home’s humidity level doesn’t increase too much. Or fill a spray bottle with water and spritz yourself before bed.
Fibers have different thermal properties, meaning materials react to heat differently, and that can impact sleep, notes the Journal of Nature and Science of Sleep. Just like sheets, certain sleepwear fabrics are naturally more breathable and keep us cooler through the night. Try light cotton pajamas, says the U.K.-based Sleep Council, which can stave off heat more than going bare since the fabric absorbs perspiration.
To fall asleep and stay asleep, it’s crucial to remain cool and comfortable during hot summer nights. Try these tips to beat the heat.
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