Are you a hot sleeper? Do you spend hours tossing and turning on hot summer nights?
High temperatures and humidity can greatly reduce sleep efficiency, negatively impacting your energy, productivity, and mood.
In this article, we walk you through simple solutions to cool down at night.
Keep reading if you're looking for ways to enjoy a cooler night's sleep during the summer months.
Why is it important to stay cool at night?
Staying cool at night is important for a couple of reasons:
- When your body produces the sleep hormone melatonin, your brain and body temperature naturally drop, triggering sleepiness1. As you move into the deeper stages of sleep, your temperature drops further. Being hot interrupts this process and keeps you from entering deep sleep.
- If you’re always hot at night – or if you experience frequent hot flashes – it can cause dehydration. This may lead to sore throats, headaches, and fatigue during the day.
Many individuals feel overly warm at night, irrespective of the season or ambient temperature. This may be due to medication, anxiety, an infection, hormonal changes, or a thyroid condition.
Tips to stay cool at night
Here are some of our favourite ways to stay cool in bed, avoid night sweats, and sleep well.
#1 Create a microclimate in your bedroom
Researchers suggest anywhere from 15 to 19°C is the ideal room temperature2 for maintaining a healthy sleep cycle. So, creating a "microclimate" in your bedroom before you go to bed will help you drift off easily.
Close the blinds or curtains during the day to keep the sun out. Even better if you have blackout curtains! If you have an air-conditioner, set it to 15-19 °C in the hour before bedtime. But turn it off when in bed as aircon dries out the air, irritates your respiratory tract, and raises your energy bill.
#2 Use microwave wheat bags and foot warmers
Pop them in the freezer for an hour or two and place them under the covers for 15 minutes to cool your bed down. You can apply the packs to your pulse points and keep them in bed overnight to stay cool.
You can also put a pair of foot warmers or slipper socks in a Ziplock bag in the freezer for 30-40 minutes and wear them to bed.
#3 Cross ventilate your room
Creating a cross-breeze in your bedroom is a simple way to cool down in bed. Keep your curtains closed but leave your windows and bedroom door slightly open in the evening to allow the air to move.
If you have a fan, place a bowl of ice at a safe distance in front of the fan to push cold air around the room.
#4 Wear light, loose fabrics
If you wake up in a pool of sweat every night, you may decide to sleep in the nude. But breathable pyjamas made from natural fibres are a better option – they wick away moisture and allow air to circulate your skin. The best options for breathable sleepwear include cotton, linen, wool, and bamboo. Stay away from synthetic fabrics.
Changing what you sleep on and under can also help you stay cool down in bed3. We suggest using 100% cotton sheets and a light cotton or linen blanket instead of a duvet.
#5 Try a cool gel pillow
If you love feeling cool fabric against your cheek when you sleep, a cooling gel pillow could be a game-changer!
Place the gel pillow in the fridge for an hour before bed. Slip it inside your pillowcase – over your existing pillow – and let the cool sensation mould to your skin. It's also a source of lavender-scented gel, helping you wind down and drift off to sleep.
#6 Make a cooling aromatherapy massage oil
Peppermint essential oil is one of our favourite "hacks" for keeping cool at night. It contains an active compound with a cooling effect called menthol. It'll cool you down, and it can open your airways if you struggle to sleep due to congestion!
Make a peppermint massage oil with 1 tablespoon of carrier oil – jojoba, almond, or apricot oil – and 5 drops of peppermint essential oil. Apply some to your hands and gently massage your neck, arms, and legs before you climb into bed.
With the help of these tips, you can avoid overheating at night and wake up feeling rested and refreshed! Plus, you'll minimise your risk of heat exhaustion in summer.
We've just scratched the surface, so let us know in the comments if you want more simple tips to cool down at night.