10 tricks to sleep in the heat
posted: July 11, 2014
When summer comes to mind, we almost always focus on pool and beach days, picnics, shorts, tanks, tasty iced drinks and treats. But hot weather has a gnarly side too. We’re talking about the real dog days of summer, when intense heat and humidity make it impossible to sit comfortably, let alone sleep through the night.
The obvious solution for cool, calm, and REM-ful sleeping is an air conditioner. Those magical modern machines can keep a bedroom at the optimum sleep temperature, which is, by the way, roughly between 15C and 21C (60F and 70F). But even small window units suck up tons of energy, a big boooo for the environment not to mention your monthly electric bills. So what’s an environmentally-responsible, budget-conscious sleeper to do? What our grandparents did, obviously. Read on for some tried and true DIY strategies from our friends at Greatist for staying cool on hot nights.
Sleep Cool As A Cucumber…
1. Go old skool
Remember when refrigerators were iceboxes that contained actual blocks of ice? Us neither, but Grams and Gramps probably do. This stay-cool trick is straight out of the icebox era: Make a DIY air conditioner by positioning a shallow pan or bowl (a roasting pan works nicely) full of ice in front of a fan. The breeze will pick up cold water from the ice’s surface as it melts, creating a cooling mist.
2. Get straight to the point
To chill out super-fast, apply ice packs or cold compresses to pulse points at the wrists, neck, elbows, groin, ankles, and behind the knees.
3. Make like you’re on a tropical holiday
Feeling ambitious (or just really, frustratingly hot)? Make like your last yoga retreat and rig up a hammock, or set up a simple cot. Both types of beds are suspended on all sides, which increases airflow.
4. Step back from the stove
Summer is not the time to whip up a casserole or roast chicken. Instead, chow down on cool, room-temperature dishes (salads are the obvious choice) to avoid generating any more heat in the house. If hot food is in order, fire up the grill instead of turning on the oven. And swap big meals for smaller, lighter dinners that are easier to metabolize. The body produces more heat after you chow down on a huge steak than a platter of fruits, veggies, and legumes.
5. Cool from the inside out
Get a leg up on hydration by drinking a glass of water before bed. Tossing and turning and sweating at night can result in dehydration, so get some H20 in the tank beforehand. (Pro tip: Just eight ounces will do the trick, unless you’re really into those 3am bathroom runs.)
6. Unplug at night
As in, literally disconnect electronics. Gadgets and other small appliances give off heat, even when turned off. Reduce total heat in the house (and save energy! yay for the environment!) by keeping plugs out of sockets when the appliances are not in use.
7. Get wet
A cold shower (or swim in the ocean, lake or a pool, should you have one at your disposal) should be an obvious option, but we’re calling it out just in case. Rinsing off under a stream of tepid H20 brings down the core body temperature and rinses off sweat (ick) so you can hit the hay feeling cool and clean.
8. Consider the fabrics you surround yourself with
Choose cotton, and save the ooh-la-la satin, silk, or polyester sheets for cooler nights. Light-coloured bed linens made of lightweight cotton (Egyptian or otherwise) are breathable and excellent for promoting ventilation and airflow in the bedroom.
9. DIY air conditioner #2
Cool down a whole room by hanging a damp sheet in front of an open window. Make sure you have a solid cross breeze. As it blows through the sheet it will quickly bring down the room’s temperature.
10. Start at the bottom
Those 10 little piggies are pretty sensitive to temperature because there are lots of pulse points in the feet and ankles. Cool down your whole body by dunking (clean!) feet in cold water before hitting the hay. Better yet, keep a bucket of water near the bed and dip feet whenever you’re feeling hot throughout the night.
Want 14 more tips for staying cool as a cucumber on hot summer nights? Here‘s where to find them.
This post came from our friends at Greatist, who have plenty of fab tips when it comes to your healthy, active lifestyle. Check them out!