How to Stay Cool at Night: 13 Tips

Tara Youngblood Sep 10, 2022

How to stay cool at night

How to stay cool at night -- and how to stay cool while sleeping -- is the ongoing issue we're looking to solve here at sleepme!

It's a fact, sleeping hot or overheating at night can drastically affect your ability to get a great night's sleep. Various factors cause you to sleep hot at night. While sleeping in a cold room is nice, leaving the AC on all night can become expensive.

The ideal temperature for sleep falls between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit. It can become challenging to fall asleep when the temperature gets higher than the recommended temperature.

Falling into a deep sleep is linked with cooling your body temperature, and being hot can reduce your likelihood of falling asleep and staying asleep.

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Learn how to keep cooler at night with the tips below.

How to Cool Down Before Bed

We've touched on this in the past, but there are various ways to cool down your body before bed.

Take a Warm Shower or Bath

A warm (not too hot) shower or bath can lower your core body temperature. While your body temperature will initially increase in the shower, your body will start to cool down once you get out. But, make sure that the shower or bath is lukewarm rather than hot or cold.

Research shows that taking a warm shower or relaxing bath, ideally 90 minutes before bedtime, can help you fall asleep an average of 10 minutes faster than usual. [1]

Eat Small Meals Before Bed

You should avoid eating heavy foods before bed. They tend to be full of spices, carbs, and fats that can take more energy for your body to break down. Your body is not meant to digest foods while you sleep; not only could this lead to potential weight gain, but it could lead to heartburn and poor sleep.

Consider healthy meals, including salad, fish, or chicken. But, if you cannot fall asleep and need a snack, some excellent options include pretzels, almonds, bananas, and yogurt. You can always choose a glass of cold water to cool down and curb hunger before bed.

How does alcohol affect your sleep

Drinking Alcohol Before Bed

Everyone enjoys a good drink every once in a while, whether it's a craft beer, an elaborate cocktail, or a glass of fine wine. Consuming alcohol before bed can decrease the likelihood of good sleep, but it may cause acute physiological changes, such as raising your body temperature or causing skin flushing.

Second, alcohol dehydrates the body, making you feel hot and can lead to night sweats. Learn how alcohol can affect your sleep quality.

Resource: Reviewing Alcohol’s Effects on Normal Sleep [2]

Exercise Early in the Day

When it comes to exercise, it's recommended to do it earlier in the day. A study done by Appalachian State University followed three groups exercising at 7 am, 1 pm, or 7 pm 3-days per week. [3]

The study found that the participants who got the deepest, longest sleep exercised in the morning. If your daily routine only provides the evening to exercise, it's best 90 minutes before bedtime.

Doing so will help your core body temperature and endorphin levels return to favorable levels to sleep.

There are plenty of advantages of exercising in the morning since it can shift your circadian rhythm making your body more alert in the morning and more tired in the evening.

How to Cool Down a Room

Sleep environment plays a significant role in your body temperature before bed. If your bedroom gets warm leading up to bedtime, below are some helpful tips to decrease the room temperature and how to sleep cooler.

Ceiling Fan: Counterclockwise

A ceiling fan can not only cool you but can help cool a room. During the warmer months, your ceiling fan should be in the counterclockwise direction. How do you know it's in the right direction? While standing right under the fan, you should feel cooler air. The airflow generated creates a wind-chill effect, making you "feel" cooler and helping cool the room over time.

Sleeping Tip: During the colder months, it's recommended to set your fan to rotate in the opposite direction: clockwise. The fan will push the air upwards so that the heat can circulate and keep you and the room warmer.

Window Blinds and Curtains

Did you know that windows can let in about 25% of the summer heat? Closing your window blinds or curtains can help keep your room cooler during those hot summer days. Keeping them closed during the day will reflect the heat radiating through the windows.

Cooking cooler in the kitchen

Cooking Strategically

We all love homemade meals. But, when it's hot outside, a great method to cool down a room can be done by limiting the amount of time cooking indoors. Cooking in the morning or early afternoon is a way to drastically reduce a room's temperature. Rather than using the oven, there are other cooking methods, such as instant pot, crockpot, outdoor grill, and more, than using the stove.

How to Stay Cool While Sleeping

Can't seem to fall asleep on hot nights? You're not alone. Below are some helpful tips you can try out on how you can stay cooler at night while sleeping.

Invest in Cooling Technology

If you are sleeping hot and waking up from sweating during the night, you may want to explore cooling mattress toppers. When sleeping hot, our bodies release heat into the bedding and mattress. Manipulating core body temperature allows quick access to uninterrupted, deep sleep. Quality sleep enhances overall health and wellness.

Find The Perfect Spot For Your Bed

Sleep cool! Not only is it essential to keep your body cool at night, but do you know how to keep your bed cool? It's recommended to keep your bed away from the window or in a shaded area of your room.

Since heat rises, if your bedroom is on the second or third floor of your house, consider moving to a lower level for a cooler environment.

Flip To The Cool Side Of The Pillow

Have trouble finding a pillow that stays cool all night? We know there's nothing worse than waking up to a hot pillow at night. When it comes to cooling your pillow, you have a few options.

  • Flip the pillowcase throughout the night
  • Purchase cooling pillowcases
  • Freeze your sheets

Consider a cooling pillow, providing ventilation holes throughout the memory foam pillow to help improve airflow, keeping your pillow cool at night.

Freeze The Sheets

It's time to upgrade your bed sheets. Cool bedsheets will also play a role in your ability to sleep better during the summer months. If you want some immediate cooling relief when you're getting ready for bed, some recommend putting your bedding in the freezer.

Although the sheets won't stay cool for an entire night, they'll at least stay cool during the first 30 - 40 minutes when you're trying to fall asleep.

The Egyptian Method

Running out of time to stick your sheets in the freezer? Another popular option to keep your bed cool at night is The Egyptian Method. It could also work! This technique refers to how Egyptians would soak a sheet in water, then wring it dry so that it was damp.

As the water evaporated, they would stay cool while falling asleep. This method can also be applied to socks, washcloths, and more.

Sleepwear

Clothing that you select can play a role in body temperature. The secret to staying cool is the fabric you wear. Choosing the right type of clothing materials can help you stay cold sleeping. Shop for loose-fitting cotton, moisture-wicking, silk, or bamboo-based clothing. They tend to be more breathable than other materials.

Take Total Control of Your Temperature

So, you want more than relocating your room, frozen or wet sheets, or a cool pillow? What if you've purchased a cooling mattress or a pad?

Remember that most cooling mattresses have a maximum impact of 2 degrees in temperature difference. If you want to take more control of your sleep temperature, look no further than sleepme.

It's important to keep cool at night. Getting a restful night's sleep is so important. If you haven't yet, follow our tips to help you cool down at night.

Citations/References

[1] Haghayegh, S., Khoshnevis, S., Smolensky, M. H., Diller, K. R., & Castriotta, R. J. (2019). Before-bedtime passive body heating by warm shower or bath to improve sleep: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Sleep Medicine Reviews, 46, 124–135. View Study

[2] Reviewing alcohol’s effects on normal sleep. (2013). ScienceDaily. View Resource

[3] Fairbrother, K. R. (n.d.). The effects of aerobic exercise timing on sleep architecture. Libres.uncg.edu. View Resource

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