How to Keep Cool at Night Without Air Conditioning
Stop Overheating While Sleeping
Summer is upon us, and it is hot. You find yourself in the unenviable position of somehow sleeping without air conditioning. Maybe your air conditioner is on the fritz, or you cannot afford the unreal electricity bill that will hit you a month from now. Either way, it’s probably bad for your quality of sleep.
For some of us, it might not be a big deal. However, temperatures in certain areas make it so air conditioners are not customary in homes at all. For others, lack of a/c in the hottest months of the summer can be downright deadly.
Regardless of the reason forcing you to seek sleep in the sultry sauna that was once your bedroom, there are some things you can do to ensure you catch a comfortable couple of winks. These solutions should sustain you through the summer.
You are What You Drink
One of the easiest ways to make sure you have a good night’s sleep even in the sweltering heat is to hydrate. According to Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) suggestions, drink lots of water, even if you aren’t thirsty. If you’re hydrated, you are less likely to be restless as you sleep.
Keeping a cold bottle of water bedside is also encouraged. That way, if you wake up in the night and you’re feeling too hot, taking a drink of cool water will help lower your body temperature.
Additionally, the CDC suggests staying away from alcohol before sleeping. While it may seem ideal to knock out from having a cocktail before venturing to your hot room where you’ll try to sleep soundly, alcohol will probably have the opposite effect than what you’re hoping for.
While booze may initially put you to sleep, the rest will not be sound. Alcohol knocks you out, but it won’t keep you down. Alcohol also raises your body temperature. You will naturally sleep hotter than usual. This leads to night sweats, and no one sleeps well when they sweat.
Put My What In the Where?
If you want to sleep like a cool baby even when you’re a hot tamale, stuff your sheets and pillows in the freezer before crawling into bed. This is advice of Healthpartners sleep specialists, Rick Blackburn, PhD and James Davig, PhD.
The school of thought behind the suggestion makes perfect sense. If your sheets are “frozen” when you go to bed, they will help keep your body temperature lower, thus helping you to sleep well in the heat. But who would have ever thought of that? Doctors, that’s who.
Don’t Be Full of Hot Air
Another glaringly obvious idea to help you sleep happier in the heat is to keep your room as cool as possible during the heat of the day. Make sure that your blinds are closed, and the shades are down. This will keep your room from being as hot when it’s time to turn in.
Another tip in this category is opening your windows and turning on a fan or two to ensure proper air circulation throughout your room. The circulating air will help you catch some sleep, and the fan’s white noise will provide soothing sounds to sleep by, according to Blackburn and Davig.
Get Down On the Ground to Sleep
Here’s another cooky idea for helping to lower your body temperature as you sleep: sleep on the ground. Christabel Majendie, a sleep therapist, as we know, heat rises, so the coolest spot in your room is on the floor.
Making your bed on the ground will help you to sleep cooler, especially if you are on a non-carpeted surface because surfaces like tile, concrete, or laminate stay cool to the touch.
This won’t be a viable option for those of us who have back issues, or (if you’re anything like me) if you get down, getting back up could be worse than the heat. But if you have an able body, get down on it...the floor, that is.
You’re Bananas! No Pajamas?
Yet another obvious option for cooler sleep in the absence of air conditioning is sleeping in the nude. This alternative to a/c is also free.
But if sleeping in the buff isn’t your thing, then make sure you go to bed in breathable clothing, like cotton. Another newer option is to wear clothing that wicks away sweat. These clothing (or non) options will help you sleep cooler.
Don’t Overdo It Before Bedtime
Blackburn and Davig also recommend not partaking in a rigorous exercise routine right before resting. Because exercising raises your internal temperature, doing it right before bed when you have no air conditioning is not a good idea.
While this idea may not do anything to help you fall asleep in the heat directly, it will keep you from starting the race to catching z’s far behind the starting line.
Sing in the Shower
Taking a cold shower before bedtime will aid in lower your body temperature. This is a simple sleep solution when you are under siege in the heat because you are without the service of an air conditioner.
For many, going to sleep at night is a difficult task. When factoring in seeking sleep when you’re sweltering because you have no air conditioning, the odds seem to be stacked against you; however, following some of these suggestions can help you make it through the night.
While no one wants to spend undue money or alter their lives too much if the issue surrounding sleeping without the a/c is temporary, the good news is that all of these tips are virtually free, they are born from common sense, and they don’t require huge adjustments.
Try one or more of these suggestions and see which works for you. You might notice you are able to not only sleep but sleep well sans a/c. These adjustments could become a regular part of your routine, causing your nighttime air conditioner dependence to reduce or go away completely.
He is an Engineer, designer and jogging enthusiast. His team of product testers and reviewers are as passionate as he is about sleep improvement and are on a collective mission to reveal to you only the best sleep solutions and products.