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No Air Conditioner? Try These Hacks to Sleep Cooler Without it

Whether you don't have AC or you're trying to maximize savings by keeping yours off, these tips will help you sleep cooler as temperatures heat up.

Trying to sleep cooler with one leg sticking out from under the covers.
Getty Images/ Burak Karademir

Warm weather is quickly approaching, and gone are the nights where you can open a window to let the cool breeze blow through your bedroom. For people without a reliable air conditioning unit, summer nights aren't nearly as pleasant as the Grease song makes it out to be. Comfort is a key part of falling asleep, and it's a difficult feat when you're a human radiator sweating onto your clean sheets. Whether you don't have an AC unit or you're avoiding turning it on to maximize savings this sunny season, there are ways to seek relief without it. Consider the 10 tips below to help you or your partner sleep cooler and more comfortably. 

1. Freeze your sheets and pillowcases

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An hour or two before you go to bed, throw your sheets and pillowcases in the freezer. They won't come out stiff as a board, don't worry. However, they'll stay icy long enough that you can easily fall asleep without feeling like you're overheating. 

2. Freeze your socks

Along the same lines as freezing your linens, you can also freeze your socks for cooling relief. Like your fingers, feet and toes are sensitive to temperature changes and play a role in regulating temperature. By keeping your feet cool, you help cool down the rest of your body. 

3. Use a wet towel layer

Lay a damp towel down on your bed over your sheets to give your body some cooling relief while you fall asleep. Though, I recommend you lay a dry towel underneath the wet one to avoid soaking your mattress with water which can damage the foam in your mattress. The towel won't stay cold for the entire night, but it should stay cool enough that you can drift off to sleep. 

4. Use fans to your advantage and makeshift your AC

Fans are much more energy-efficient and wallet-friendly than an air conditioner. They use about 1% of the electricity that AC does. So, take advantage of fans and strategically place them around your room. Place one fan next to your bedside and put a bowl of ice water in front of it. The ice will create cold air that the fan will blow towards you. Next, face a window fan outwards to blow the hot air from your bedroom outside. 

5. Don't sleep in the nude

You may see advice on the internet suggesting that you should sleep in the nude to stay cool. That might work if you sleep cool, but it won't do much for you if you get sweaty. If you're hot, it's beneficial to wear lightweight pajamas (such as cotton) that can wick the moisture away. Otherwise, your body is free to sweat all over your sheets. 

6. Consider a cooling mattress

There are a lot of mattresses that retain heat, especially beds made with standard memory foam. A cooling mattress can actually make a big difference in how comfortable you sleep. It can either provide extra airflow and breathability, or it can actively provide your body with a cool-to-the-touch sensation and draw heat away from you like Brooklyn Bedding Aurora. 

7. Look into cooling sheets, pillows and comforters

If a mattress is out of your realm of budget, you can opt for cooling sheets or pillows for relief. Search for sheets made with breathable fabric like organic cotton, linen or bamboo. Bamboo is great at absorbing sweat and helping you stay cool, and organic cotton does a good job of wicking away moisture. 

8. Use blackout curtains during the daytime

Prevent your bedroom from getting too hot during the daytime, especially in the summer, with blackout curtains. Not only do they keep your bedroom dark, but they can also reflect heat and stop it from entering your bedroom through the windows. 

9. Sleep on the first level of your home 

Unfortunately for people in two-story homes, hot air rises. That means the top story of your house is going to be warmer than the bottom story. So, beat the heat a little by sleeping on the bottom story of your home when you need relief from the heat.  

10. Drink ice water before bed

Drink a significant amount of water before bed to try and counteract the night sweats. Also, avoid alcohol before bedtime as it can promote dehydration, making it more difficult for your body to regulate temperature and keep you cooler. 

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.