Sleep Better in the Heat

Summer officially starts tomorrow, and in many parts of the country, it already feels like it.  The heat and humidity are in full effect in the east, and in the southwest temperatures in some areas are topping an outrageous 120 degrees.  The situation could be made worse by the fact that hurricane season just started and a couple of tropical systems are already brewing in the Caribbean.  Those storms, along with common everyday thunderstorms, can knock out power.  Sleeping while sweating is never easy, so what do you do if you have no electricity or if you have power but no air conditioning?  Here are some tips to help:

  • Avoid hot, heavy meals at dinnertime. A rich dinner can come back to haunt you in the middle of the night, especially in the summer.
  • Make sure your bed clothes are made up of cool, lightweight and breathable fabrics. Your sheets, blankets and pillows can make a major difference in your summer comfort.  Some types of pillows and mattress toppers, such as the Iso•Cool™ from Carpenter Co., stay cool all night.  You can learn about them on our Recommended Products page.  In the absence of this technology, try to flip your pillow whenever you change positions, keeping the coolest side of the pillow against your face.
  • Take a tepid (not hot) bath or shower before bedtime.  You’ll feel cool and ready for bed when you get out.
  • If you have long hair, put it up in a ponytail or bun on the top of your head so it isn’t covering your neck and shoulders.
  • In extraordinarily hot periods, look for the coolest room in your house to sleep. During a heat wave, don’t be reluctant to have a “family campout” in the basement.
  • In dangerous heat, such as we’re currently seeing in the southwestern U.S., look for a cooling shelter or try to get out of town to a cooler area. 

The website wikiHow has also tackled this subject, and gives a number of very novel ideas.  Here are just a few of the more creative:

  • Sleep with a slightly damp cold towel over your feet or behind your neck. You can also wet your socks with cold water and then put them on
  • Sleep on a straw or bamboo mat, which won’t retain body heat
  • Sleep in a hammock

To read more tips from wikiHow, click here.