7 Tips for Getting Better Sleep When it's Too Hot Outside

It looks like we’re in for another scorching summer. And while the summer heat may be great for chilling at the beach and sipping cocktails, it’s terrible for a good night’s sleep.

The unbearable heat can cause you to toss and turn at night, struggling to find a comfortable position and get some much-needed shut-eye. And we all know how crucial sleep is for our overall well-being. Without necessary sleep, most of us turn into moody, tired, and stressed zombies who can’t wait for the day to be over to get some rest.

To prevent you from becoming an exhausted mess, we have compiled these seven tips and tricks to help you cool down during hot summer nights and get the sleep you deserve.

Let’s jump right in!

1. Optimize Airflow in the Bedroom

Many experts agree that 65 degrees Fahrenheit is the optimal temperature for sleep. However, if you don’t have the AC, or it doesn’t work well, you may struggle to hit that sweet spot. What you can do instead is optimize airflow in your bedroom to circulate the air and help you stay cool. Keep in mind that this won’t lower the temperature in your room, but it will cool you down.

First, you can strategically open windows throughout your house to create a cross-breeze. The best way to make a cross-breeze is to open windows directly across each other. Ideally, you should have a small opening where the cool air comes in and a large window for hot air to exit. This helps increase air speed, boosts the cooling effect, and prevents heat from accumulating in your home.

Another thing you can do is use the fans strategically. You can place a box fan next to a window and point it out to push the hot air out. In addition, adjusting a ceiling fan to run counterclockwise helps pull the hot air up and create a wind-chill breeze to cool you down.

If the AC is on, but it’s not doing a great job, you can place a fan near a vent, which will help spread the cooler air around your bedroom.

2. Use a Dehumidifier

Humidity is another thing that makes the scorching summer heat insufferable. High humidity levels can make the air feel heavy and sticky, turning a warm night into an unbearable sauna. The worst thing is that the excessive moisture in the air prevents sweat from evaporating efficiently, making us feel even hotter. So, you are more likely to become restless and sweaty, making it impossible to get comfortable and fall asleep.

A dehumidifier removes excess moisture from the air, effectively reducing the humidity levels in your bedroom. It creates a drier environment, which can help cool down your bedroom effectively.

In addition, a dehumidifier prevents the growth of mold and mildew, as these annoying fungi thrive in conditions with excess moisture. They could pose serious health problems and prevent you from getting the sleep you need.

So, with a dehumidifier gently humming in the background, your bedroom will become more pleasant during hot summer nights.

3. Optimize Your Bedtime Routine

A bedtime routine should help you unwind and easily transition from wakefulness to sleep. That’s why you need to optimize it and remove any distractions that could make it harder to fall asleep in the summer heat.

For example, you shouldn’t exercise in the evening because it will keep your body hot, making it harder to cool down and relax. Instead, exercising earlier in the day allows your body enough time to cool down, and it can actually have beneficial effects on your sleep quality.

Here are some other things to avoid before bedtime:

  • Heavy meals
  • Spicy foods
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Electronics

One thing you can do to prepare your body for sleep is to take a warm shower. Although you may feel tempted to go cold, cold showers can stimulate you, making it harder to fall asleep. Instead, using lukewarm water may slightly warm you up for a second, but as soon as you step out, your body will begin to cool down. In fact, research has confirmed that a warm shower before bed could help people fall asleep faster and improve their sleep quality.

Remember to drink a lot of water and opt for smaller, light meals. In addition, your bedtime routine should include a relaxing activity that helps you unwind, such as reading.

4. Use Light, Breathable Bedding

Certain materials feel lighter during the summer because they are breathable and wick moisture away. That’s why bedding sets made with these materials can help you feel cooler during the summer.

You should stay away from polyester and other synthetic materials and choose a natural option like cotton or bamboo.

Both cotton and bamboo are naturally breathable, which prevents heat accumulation. In addition, they wick moisture away, helping you during those hot, sweaty nights. Lastly, cotton and bamboo are perfect for people who struggle with allergies because they are naturally hypoallergenic.

Do your old sheets always feel hot, and you wonder if it’s time to ditch them? Read our guide to discover how often you should buy new sheets.

5. Try Old-School Cooling Techniques

We didn’t always have the AC to cool us down during the night, so people had to use many creative ways to get comfortable on hot summer nights. You can recreate these to cool down and get comfortable.

For example, you can place a bowl of ice in front of a fan to turn it into a DIY air conditioner. As the fan blows over the icy surface, it creates a refreshing breeze that significantly cools down the surrounding area. You can also apply ice packs or cold compresses to pulse points in your neck, wrists, groin, ankles, and behind your knees. Doing this before bedtime can help cool you down and relax.

Another cool trick is to keep a glass of ice-cold water and a spray bottle next to your bed. If you wake up feeling hot or need to use the bathroom, drink some ice-cold water and spray your skin to cool down.

Lastly, toss your sheets and pillowcases in a plastic bag and put them in the freezer for a few minutes before bed. A chilled bed will provide a nice relief from heat and humidity and help you get comfortable.

6. Use Curtains to Your Advantage

When the sun is blazing outside, curtains can be your secret weapon for creating a cool and comfortable sleep haven. By strategically using curtains, you can block out the sunlight and keep your bedroom pleasantly shaded, helping you beat the summer heat. Blackout curtains are made with a special lining that effectively blocks out sunlight, creating a darker and cooler environment for sleep.

During the day, keep your curtains closed to prevent direct sunlight from entering your bedroom and heating it. This simple step can make a significant difference in maintaining a cooler indoor temperature. As the evening approaches, open the curtains to allow fresh cooler air to come in and provide natural ventilation.

In addition, blackout curtains can serve as a shield against annoying streetlights that have a habit of blasting into your face at night.

7. Get a Giant Mattress That Doesn’t Trap Heat

The problem with most low-quality mattresses is that they often trap heat. Although memory foam is great for conforming to your body shape and relieving pressure points, it’s not breathable. As a result, you may feel too hot when sleeping on a memory foam mattress.

Instead, you should search for a quality pocket coil, latex, or gel-infused foam mattress. These materials are much more breathable and dissipate the heat, allowing for cooler sleep. For example, at Alaskan King Bed Company, we use innovative HyperCool™ material that acts like memory foam, but it bounces back a lot quicker so that you don’t feel stuck, and it sleeps cooler. That makes our Alaskan King mattresses more comfortable for warm summer nights.

But it’s not just about the cooling properties!

Your mattress should be big enough to allow airflow around each sleeper to cool them down at night. If your bed feels too cramped, you’re less likely to get comfortable and get the sleep you deserve.

That’s why you should consider upgrading to a giant mattress like the Alaskan King. With six available sizes, Alaskan King is the best option for parents who need more sleeping space for their loved ones.

Keep Cool with the Right Strategies & a Custom Mattress

Research has shown that excessive heat can prevent you from falling asleep and entering deep and rapid-eye-movement stages of sleep. As a result, you may struggle to get the rest you need during the summer months.

To beat the heat and get better sleep, you can try some of these seven tips. Improve the airflow in your bedroom, use a dehumidifier, optimize your bedtime routine, use breathable bedding, try old-school cooling techniques, use curtains strategically, and invest in a giant mattress that doesn’t trap heat.

That way, you can create a cool and comfortable sleep environment that allows you to wake up refreshed and energized, even during the warmest nights.