Record setting heat waves are on the rise, and with increased energy demands worldwide, it may be increasingly difficult to keep your house the optimal temperature for sleep. This can lead to disrupted sleep and increased sleep deprivation during that period of time.
Sleep deprivation due to just general discomfort can lead to some severe consequences. Mood swings, poor memory and concentration, among other physical disturbances, are just a few of the ways that this can be problematic. Continue reading for tips on how to stay cool at night during warm temperatures.
1. Talk to your doctor about night sweats
You want to make sure that if you are extremely warm at night, it's not due to an underlying disorder. This can include a number of metabolic and hormonal disorders such as menopause, hyperthyroidism, neuropathy, anxiety, Hodgkin's lymphoma and tuberculosis. All of these, and more, can have night sweats as a common symptom.
Also, certain medications such as diabetes and depression may also cause night sweats. If you are waking up soaked in sweat, then it may be worth mentioning to your physician just to rule out any other causes then it's just really warm outside.
2. Add a window unit or box fan
If you do not have central AC, then you may want to consider buying a window unit or box fan for you bedroom. This is much cheaper than a central AC unit, and saves on energy costs because you're only cooling one room. A box fan in the window, alternatively, can push hot air out and circulate cool air.
3. Buy a floor fan or mini nightstand fan
If you do not have space for a window unit or box fan, many companies make powerful floor fans and mini fans as alternative options. These are fans that won't take up a lot of space, but can definitely cool down a room and save on energy costs. You can find them at any major retailer and see which ones works for you. There are even some that double as a white noise machine for even better sleep.
4. Use multiple fans to create a cross breeze
When shopping for fans, try grabbing two of them and placing them on opposite sides of your room. This can create a cross-breeze that keeps you cool throughout the entire night. Just make sure they don't make so much noise that they end up interrupting your sleep.
5. Take a hot bath before bed
Your body temperature does not remain the same all day. When your eyes sense darkness and release melatonin, your body prepares for sleep, which drops your internal body temperature. If you take a hot bath 1 to 2 hours before bed, this can simulate this natural process and promote restful sleep. Your body temperature is about 2 degrees lower than daytime temperature and slowly starts to rise in the morning. The temperature drop you experience from getting out of a hot bath into a cooler room can simulate this and help you get to sleep and stay asleep.
6. Try natural fiber bedding
Synthetic sheets cost less than natural sheets, but investing in natural cotton, linen, silk, or bamboo bed sheets may help you stay cooler while you sleep. These fabrics promote breathability and don't put off volatile organic compounds.
7. Shed some, or all, of your clothing
Sleeping naked may be the easiest way to cool you down while you sleep. This works for some people,but not for others, however. For some, sleeping with clothes helps to absorb some of the sweat away from the skin, creating a cooling feeling. At the very least, choose pajamas that are light, breathable and comfortable. Materials like heavy wool are not suitable for a good night's rest.
8. Create a darker room
Sunlight in your home is great during the day, but during really hot days, blocking the sunlight in your room can actually keep it cooler throughout the day. Blackout or thermal curtains are great ways to keep out as much sunlight as possible throughout the day, so when you're ready to go to bed, it's not as hot from the sun.
9. Remove electronics
Electronics release heat when they run. This includes TVs, radios, video game consoles, computers, etc. If you want to reduce the amount of heat that you feel, then it may be best to avoid using electronics in your bedroom at night if you are having a hard time keeping your room cool.
10. Freeze your pillowcases and sheets
Freezing your pillowcases and sheets may sound insane, but it's actually a great way to create some coolness for the first 30 minutes or so, long enough to help you fall asleep. It's like turning your pillow over to the cool side, but now both sides, and the sheets are the cool side. Stick your pillowcases and sheets in the freezer a couple of hours before bed,and then put them back on your bed for your own personal ice chest.
11. Turn down your thermostat
Many people are hesitant to turn the thermostat down because of how high the bill can get. However, if you've tried everything, and you still are sleeping in what feels like the Sahara desert, then desperate times call for desperate measures. You can reduce the impact of your bill by only turning it down during the night and letting your house get really warm in the early hours of the morning and for the rest of the day. But you may need a little assistance getting a good night's rest, by turning down the thermostat to an optimal temperature.