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No AC, No Worries. 10 Ways to Sleep Cool (Without an Air Conditioner)
Don't lose sleep over hot weather. Here's how you can sleep cooler despite a heatwave.
McKenzie, a Certified Sleep Science Coach and proclaimed mattress expert, has been writing sleep content in the wellness space for over four years. After earning her certification from the Spencer Institute and dedicating hundreds of hours to sleep research, she has extensive knowledge on the topic and how to improve your quality of rest.
Having more experience with lying on mattresses than most, McKenzie has reviewed over 150 beds and a variety of different sleep products including pillows, mattress toppers and sheets. McKenzie has also been a guest on multiple radio shows including WGN Chicago as a sleep expert and contributed sleep advice to over 50 different websites.
We've kicked off summer with record-breaking heat waves, as temperatures soar for millions of people across the globe. The ideal temperature for sleeping is around 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18 degrees Celsius), give or take a few notches depending on the person. But if you don't have air conditioning, summertime heat can make your home's indoor air temperature rise far above that, even at night. So, how can you sleep comfortably without AC during the summer?
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.
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 house fans to make your own 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.
4. 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
For more, check out our guide to natural sleep aids, the best way to take a power nap and how to train yourself to be a back sleeper (and why you should). And if all else fails, these are our picks for best portable AC units.
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.