How to Stay Cool at Night: 25 Tips
6/22/20 | Casper Editorial Team
Getting hot while you sleep is very normal and is something many people experience on a nightly basis. The ideal temperature for sleep is between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit. When the temperature gets higher than this, it makes it very difficult to fall asleep.
Falling into a deep sleep is associated with cool body temperatures and being too hot can hurt your ability to fall and stay asleep. Regulating and managing your body temperature is an important part of good sleep hygiene. Learn how to stay cool at night with the below tips.
How to Cool Down Before Bed
What you do before bed can affect how you sleep that night. That’s why it’s so important to create a bedtime routine that will allow you to destress and cool down before you hit the hay. If you tend to get hot in your sleep, try incorporating some of the below tips into your nightly routine.
1. Take a warm shower or bath
Taking a warm shower or bath before bed can lower your core body temperature. While your body temperature will initially rise in the shower, once you get out your body will begin to cool down. On top of that, taking a warm bath or shower can also help you fall asleep faster.
However, make sure you’re taking a lukewarm shower as opposed to a cold or very hot one. Hot showers can heat up your bathroom and already warm room, while cold showers can have a stimulating effect — making it harder for you to fall asleep.
2. Freeze a washcloth
One of the most common places people sweat is on their head and face, so it’s important to keep this area cool. In order to do that, freeze a washcloth before bed and use it as a cold compress when you’re trying to fall asleep.
3. Eat smaller meals close to bedtime
Heavy meals full of fats, carbs, and spices take more energy for your body to break down. Spicy meals also have a tendency to make people sweat. Stick to something light and healthy before bed. Consider options such as salad, chicken, or fish. If you’re craving a late-night snack, prioritize foods that help you sleep such as popcorn or dark chocolate.
4. Freeze a water bottle
Along with a washcloth, place a water bottle or two in the freezer and let it freeze. Before bed, take it out and use it as a cold compress. You can use it to cool off your face and neck, or you can place it in the bed around you to keep you cool.
5. Cool off pulse points with ice packs
Cooling off your pulse points will expand the cooling effect to the rest of your body. To do this, use ice packs to cool off your various pulse points such as your ankles, wrists, the backs of your knees, and the crooks of your elbows. Do this for about 20 minutes at a time.
6. Keep the blinds shut during the day
This tip is especially important in the summer, or if you live in a warm climate. Keep your blinds shut during the day to avoid letting in excess heat. Consider investing in blackout shades to avoid letting in any sunlight at all.
7. Limit alcohol before bed
Not only is drinking alcohol before bed bad for your sleep, but it can also cause hot flashes and night sweats. When you drink alcohol, your blood vessels dilate and move closer to the surface of the skin, causing you to sweat. Next time you’re craving a glass of wine before bed, stick to a warm tea or glass of milk instead.
8. Exercise in the morning
It’s no surprise that exercise makes you sweat. If you sleep hot, it’s important to avoid exercising too close to bedtime as it can make it harder for your body temperature to fall during sleep. Try working out in the morning instead. An early morning sweat sesh has many benefits including the ability to increase deep sleep.
9. Drink ice water
Keep a cup of ice water by your bed to sip when you get hot at night. Sweating while you sleep can result in dehydration, so it’s a good idea to hydrate throughout the day and keep water by your bed in case you wake up thirsty. It can also help cool you down if you wake up too hot.
10. Avoid getting too much sun during the day
While getting vitamin D in the morning is a great way to wake up naturally, too much sun can be bad for your skin and your sleep. A bad sunburn can cause you to sweat and be uncomfortable all night. Make sure to always wear sunscreen and limit your time in the sun if you tend to sleep hot.
How to Cool Down a Room
Your sleep environment plays a huge role in your temperature when you sleep. If your bedroom tends to be the hottest room in your home, use these tips to cool down your room before you sleep.
11. Get strategic with fans
Place box fans out windows in order to push hot air out. If you have a ceiling fan, adjust it so the blades move counterclockwise — the airflow will create a wind-chill breeze effect to cool the room.
12. Purchase a cooling mattress
If you’re waking up dripping in sweat every night, it may be time to upgrade your mattress. When people sleep hot, their bodies release heat that gets absorbed by their surroundings (i.e. mattress and bedding). That’s why it’s so important to purchase a mattress that has cooling features. Mattresses like the Casper Wave contain wool-infused covers and air channels that allow heat to escape, and cooling gel so you stay cool all night.
14. Switch out your pillow
Just like you want your mattress and bedding to have cooling properties, you want your pillow to keep you cool as well. Look for pillows that are temperature regulating and have a fabric that feels cool. The Casper foam pillow is built with optimal air circulation to keep you cool through the night.
15. Sleep on the lowest level of your home
Heat rises, so if you sleep on the second or third floor of your home consider sleeping on the lowest level. If you live in a one-story apartment or home, move your mattress to the floor to avoid the updraft of warm air.
16. Create a DIY AC unit
If you don’t have AC in your home, there are a couple of ways you can make your own DIY AC unit. One simple way to do this is by placing a bowl full of ice cubes in the path of the airflow coming from a fan. Another way to do this is by cutting off the bottom end of two soda bottles, strapping them to the back of a fan, and filling the bottles with ice.
17. Sleep like an Egyptian
In order to keep themselves cool while they slept, ancient Egyptians used to soak their sheets in cold water right before bed. However, with washing machines and fans, we can now do this without having dripping wet sheets on our bed all night.
To do the more modern “Egyptian method” first get a large sheet or towel and soak it in cold water. Then, squeeze out as much water as you can before placing the sheet into your washer. Lastly, run it through the spin cycle. This will make the sheet come out wet, but not dripping.
18. Flip your pillow and sheets over
If you don’t have a pillow that stays cool all night long, flip it over to the cold side of the pillow. You can do the same thing with your sheets. While this isn’t a fix-all for keeping cool while you sleep, it will provide you with some temporary relief.
19. Freeze your bed sheets
Having cold sheets in the summer months will be critical to helping you stay cool at night. Before bed, place your bed sheets in a bag and freeze them for about an hour. Although the frozen sheets won’t stay cold for an entire night, they will hopefully stay cold enough to cool you down and help you drift off to sleep.
20. Create cross-ventilation in your room
To create nice ventilation in your home, you should prevent heat from entering and accumulating as much as possible. You can do this by using windows and doors to create natural cross-ventilation. Open windows that are located directly across from each other. Make a smaller window opening for the air to come in and a larger opening for the air to exit your home. This increases air speed and has a stronger cooling effect.
How to Stay Cool While You Sleep
Once you’ve gotten your bedroom set up to keep you cool, below are a few ways you can ensure you stay cool while you sleep.
21. Sleep in the nude
Sleeping naked has many benefits including temperature control. Going to bed au natural can help decrease your body’s temperature. You also won’t have to worry about waking up with your pajamas drenched in sweat.
22. Sleep alone
Your sleeping buddy could be the reason you keep waking up dripping in sweat. If you share a bed — whether that be with your partner or a furry friend — consider sleeping alone on particularly warm nights. This will eliminate any excess body heat.
23. Freeze your socks
This may sound silly, but freezing your socks is a great way to stay cool at night. An hour or two before bed, place your socks in a large plastic bag in the freezer. Then, when you're ready to go to bed, take them out and place them on your feet. You can also do this with a bandana to wear around your neck or head.
24. Keep your skin cool and moist
Keeping your skin cool is a great way to reduce body heat. You can do this by applying a cooling gel such as aloe vera or placing a damp cloth on your forehead or neck. There are also some types of facial or deodorant body wipes that remove sweat, create a cooling sensation, and prevent further sweating. Make sure the wipes you’re choosing have alcohol in them as this is what helps remove heat from the body.
25. Switch up your sleeping position
Your body temperature has a lot to do with your sleeping position. If you like to sleep on your back or spoon with your partner, it may be time to rethink your sleeping position. Since mattresses tend to absorb body heat, it may be a good idea to sleep on your side. The fewer body parts you have touching the mattress, the better.
If you sleep with your partner, try to avoid contact during sleep. You don’t want their body heat to transfer to you and vice versa. Sleeping in a “starfish” position with your arms and legs spread out to the four corners of the bed is also another great position to help you stay cool.
Why do I get so hot when I sleep?
Your sleeping environment and the bedding you sleep on are the most common reasons people get so hot when they sleep. This is because your core temperature drops a couple of degrees during the night and sheds heat into your surrounding environment.
How can I cool down a room without AC?
If you don’t have an AC unit in your home, consider making a DIY AC unit or getting strategic with fans as discussed above. You can also freeze your sheets, create cross-ventilation by opening windows and doors, and upgrade your bedding and mattress to make sure they have cooling features.
How can I cool down hot feet at night?
There are a couple of ways that you can cool down hot feet at night. You can keep an ice bucket by your bed that you can place your feet in when they get hot or you can freeze socks and wear them on your feet when you sleep. You can also place a fan at the foot of your bed so the breeze hits your feet.
How can I make my bed cooler?
The best way to make your bed cooler is to purchase a mattress, bedding, and pillows that have cooling features. The Casper mattress and bedding options all have cooling features built to keep you at the perfect temperature all night long.
Where you lay your head at night plays a huge role in whether or not you will sleep hot. Creating a comfortable environment is critical to staying cool while you sleep and that starts with sleeping on a mattress that will balance heat and move it away from the body.
At Casper, we are focused on developing a sleeping system that supports the body and helps you stay cool at night. That’s why the Casper mattress is built with a top layer of breathable, open-cell foam that increases circulation and airflow and the Casper pillow has an outer shell of breathable cotton that keeps air moving all night long.
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