8 Ways to Beat the Heat and Sleep During a Heatwave

8 Ways to Beat the Heat and Sleep During a Heatwave

Posted by Andi on 1st Jul 2019

Sleeping is easier when it’s cool, but sometimes it’s hard to stay cool throughout the night. If you don’t have central air conditioning, staying cool can be rough. Mattresses and sheets get hot, pillows get sweaty, and hot, humid air is uncomfortable to breathe. Thankfully, there are ways you can beat the heat and get a good night’s sleep by making your sleeping space a little cooler.

  1. Sleep with breathable, cotton sheets -- If it’s summertime and you haven’t ditched your jersey material sheets yet, it’s time. Sleeping with thin, pure cotton sheets will keep you cooler than any other material since it’s the most breathable
  2. Freeze your sheets before bed --  This idea sounds strange at first but once you try it, you’ll wonder why you waited so long. Put your bed sheets into a plastic garbage bag, tie it off, and stick it in the freezer for about an hour. Put your cool sheets on your bed and fall asleep in total comfort.

    This trick is best when it’s extremely hot, but you can use it in any temperature. If your sheets are too cold for your liking, you don’t have to get underneath the top sheet right away. Lie in bed for a few minutes before getting under the covers or put a pair of light pajama pants on. Next time, freeze your sheets for a shorter period of time to keep them from getting too cold.

    Freezing your sheets for an hour is just like sticking a beer in the freezer for 20 minutes to get it ice cold without having to use ice.

  3. Get a swamp cooler --  You could put a roasting pan full of ice in front of your fan, but a real swamp cooler will do the job much better. A swamp cooler is one of the oldest forms of air conditioning and uses evaporative cooling to cool you down.

    When hot, dry air moves over or through water, the air cools off. Swamp coolers pass hot air over water and use a fan to blow that cool air into your space. It’s a simple setup, but they don’t work everywhere. You really need a hot environment to benefit from them.

    You can buy a freestanding swamp cooler on wheels, but there are also miniature units sold as portable air conditioners found at most stores that sell home goods.

    If you use a swamp cooler, be sure to clean the filter after each use or you’ll end up with a hot, swampy smell in your space from the mold and mildew.

  4. Put up room darkening shades/curtains --  Dark curtains go a long way when it comes to keeping your sleeping space cool throughout the night. There are curtains specifically made for darkening rooms and these curtains come in a variety of colors, not just black. They’re thick and will reflect the heat back through the window.
  5. Get a cooling gel pillow and mattress --  If you’re sleeping on a memory foam mattress without cooling gel technology, you’re going to get hot even in cool weather. Memory foam by itself retains body heat and reflects that heat back to you while you sleep. The only way to prevent this is to get a mattress topper with infused gel technology or invest in a new mattress.

    Memory foam mattress toppers are great, but they add extra height to your bed and look lumpy under a fitted sheet. If your current mattress is making you hot, you can get a cooler memory foam mattress for under $700.

    Our Ultraplush mattress is one of the most affordable memory foam mattresses on the market. The Ultraplush mattress is a 10” mattress with 2” of cooling gel-infused memory foam specially designed to keep you cool throughout the night. The mattress cover has mesh accents that allow air to flow freely in and out of the mattress which helps to dissipate heat.

    In addition to getting a cooler mattress, consider getting a pillow designed to keep you cool. It’s important to keep your head cool at night to maintain a comfortable body temperature, and our double air flow memory foam pillow can help. In addition to cooling you down, this pillow will support your head and neck to eliminate the pain that comes from sleeping on an unsupportive pillow. Like the Ultraplush mattress, this pillow also comes with ventilated mesh trim to maintain a cooler sleeping temperature.

  6. Sleep alone --  No matter how much you love your partner and pets, when it’s hot, it’s better to sleep alone. Extra body heat next to your body is the last thing you want to deal with in a heatwave!
  7. Take a cold shower before bed --  According to the National Sleep Foundation, a cold shower or bath before bed can help you sleep better in the heat. It’s kind of like dunking your dog in the pool on a hot day. Your body temperature will drop slightly and you should stay cool enough to fall asleep. You don’t need to take an ice-cold shower, just lower the temperature a little bit.

    An alternative is to spray yourself down with a misting spray bottle or run through the sprinklers.

    Instead of thoroughly drying your hair, keep it damp and you’ll stay cooler.

  8. Wear a lightly soaked bandana around your neck --  When the night is unbearably hot, soak a bandana in cold water, wring it out, and place it around your neck. Remember to put a towel down over your pillow first.

You don't need to suffer in the heat

No matter how hot it gets, there are ways to stay cool. You might be fine with a swamp cooler or a misting fan, or you might need to sleep with three giant fans blowing on you for the whole night.

If you can’t seem to cool off and you think you’ve tried everything, consider freezing your sheets before bed. It’s the strangest suggestion on this list but it will put you in direct contact with a cool surface and will help you fall asleep.