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Cool Tips to Avoid Sleeping Hot

june 29 using a fan and cooling towelSummer is finally here, and while it brings its fair share of fun–beach trips, barbecues, and outdoor adventures–it’s also a time when many people have trouble sleeping. It stays light later, the neighbors are up until all hours partying, and most of all, it’s HOT. There’s a reason it’s so much harder to sleep in the heat, and luckily, we’ve got some ideas for how to win this sticky battle.

Science Has Found the Best Sleeping Temperature

There’s an ideal temperature for sleeping, and it’s probably even cooler than you think. Recently, sleep researchers discovered that a room temperature of 60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit was perfect for sleeping. That said, that’s a pretty wide range and most people find 65 to 67 the most comfortable point in that spectrum. But why so chilly? The body’s core temperature drops by a degree or two in order to initiate sleep (which is why it makes sense that humans sleep at night, when it’s cooler). A cool room accomplishes this more efficiently, letting you fall asleep faster (and stay that way.)

Using Technology to Keep Your Bed Cool

There are dozens of cooling products on the market these days that purport to keep you cool as a cucumber. Choose a few favorites to use in any combination and you may just find yourself downright chilly.

    • Cooling mattress: a cooling mattress can work one of two ways. Some mattresses are made out of material that optimizes airflow and wicks away moisture, keeping your body cool, while others actually have a built-in heating and/or cooling system that allows you to control the bed’s temperature. Pair it with a cooling mattress pad for arctic results.
    • Cooling sheets: typically made of synthetic materials, similar to the type used in performance clothing, cooling sheets wick moisture away from the body and are woven in a way that doesn’t trap heat.
    • Cooling towels: cooling towels are made of material that can absorb a ton of water while rapidly evaporating. This means they stay dry to the touch but “miraculously” stay cool for hours. Keep one by your bedside and apply it to your neck and pulse points when you wake up hot in the middle of the night.
    • Bed air conditioner–yes, you read that right. There are special air conditioners and fan systems made specifically for beds, so you can keep your sleeping space cool without racking up a mega electricity bill.
Cooling Your Room without AC

Get back to your roots and create a cave-like atmosphere–cool, dark, and quiet–for the optimum sleep environment. If you have central air that you can control with a tweak of the thermostat, creating a cooler sleep environment is simple. However, not everyone is so lucky. If cranking the AC down into the 60s isn’t an option, there are still a few tried and true tricks for keeping your bedroom crisp and cool.

    • Point a fan directly at your bed. Bonus: the white noise it generates can drown out noisy neighbors.
    • breeze blowing in window.jpgOpen windows. If your home has windows facing each other, open both to create a cross-breeze. If your room only has one window, put a box fan or window fan in front of it to pull in the cooler night air. It works even better if you can position another fan to pull warm air out of the room.
    • Create a “cold water bottle” by freezing water in bottles, then bringing them to bed with you.
    • Wet your curtains (or hang wet laundry in the windows). Any breeze that comes through will be instantly cooled.

What are your favorite heat-beating tricks for getting a good night’s sleep in hot weather?

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