For a lot of people, the summer months are a rough time for our sleep.
Especially if you’re living in some of this country’s hotter states, temperatures at night can still be far too hot for comfort.
Our body temperature naturally lowers at night to get us ready for sleep, but if the air around us is too warm for that to happen properly, you’re going to be in for a rough night.
If you’re having trouble getting to sleep at night and you think the temperature might be an issue, here are a couple tips for getting your sleep schedule back under control.
Adjust the Temperature of Your Room
This is probably the most obvious solution to this problem, but it’s still worth mentioning.
Your body sleeps best when you’re at rest in a cool, dark place.
Experts recommend keeping your room at night somewhere between 65 and 70 degrees to get the best results.
The exact temperature is going to vary a little from person to person, though.
If this is a viable option for you, try playing around with the thermostat a little from night to night to figure out the optimal temperature.
This will allow your body to reach its ideal core temperature more easily, helping you relax and settle down for a peaceful sleep.
Improve Air Circulation
Unfortunately, for a lot of us, keeping our bedroom’s temperature that low just isn’t a realistic solution.
Some of us don’t even have a thermostat.
Some of us have our eye on our electric bill—and keeping the A/C at 65 to 70 degrees sure isn’t going to do our pocketbook any favors.
If getting your air conditioning into gear like that isn’t going to work, you can also consider using fans to improve air circulation in your room and throughout the house.
The reason you’re sleeping hot is because too much air is getting trapped around your body, making its nightly temperature regulation a whole lot harder than it’s supposed to be.
Fans will blow hot air away from your mattress and blow cooler air in, helping to keep your body at the perfect temperature.
If you ceiling fan, note that you’ll find best results if its blades are spinning counterclockwise.
This will pull all your hot air up towards the ceiling and away from your bed.
If you’re using floor fans, on the other hand, try putting them on opposite corners of the room.
The will create a nice cross current, keeping both sides of your body nice and cool.
One advantage to bringing fans into your room is that, in addition to cooling you off, they also double as white noise sources.
This can help many different kinds of people sleep more easily, even if they’re not having problems with sleeping hot.
Consider Your Bedding
If you’ve tried playing around with the airflow and thermostat of your room, and you’re still not getting any real results, you might consider taking a closer look at your bedding.
The materials in between yourself and your mattress can play a bigger role in your nighttime temperature than you might think.
Bedding is sometimes the number one issue for people who are feeling too hot trying to get to sleep at night, so it pays to have a look at yours—even if you don’t think it’s too likely.
Mattress protectors are one potential issue.
Although they’re often useful for keeping your mattress clear of spills and stains, many of the cheaper, plastic mattress protectors on the market today can trap in heat at night, leading to hot sleep.
If you think your mattress protector might be at fault here, try taking it off for a couple nights and see if you notice any differences.
If not, don’t despair—there are a lot of factors that could be at fault here.
Sheets often pose another major bedding culprit.
You see, different sheet materials are designed for different temperatures.
Flannel, for instance, is perfect for colder months.
One it starts warming up, though, you might start to find your bed a little stifling at night.
You can try switching to cotton sheets for the summer—although even here, it still pays to be careful.
Cotton sheets vary a lot based on the thickness of their threads and the denseness of their weave.
Thicker, denser cotton sheets tend to trap in more air, preventing airflow and leading to those uncomfortable nights.
Have a Look at Your Mattress
Getting a new mattress is a big investment, so you’re probably going to want to exhaust every other solution on this list before you consider replacing yours.
The thing is, though, the kind of mattress you end up sleeping on can have a very real impact on every aspect of your sleep quality.
Different materials interact with your body heat in different ways, so if you’ve always had a tendency to sleep hot, you should definitely keep that in mind—especially if you’re considering buying a new mattress soon anyway.
Memory Foam Mattresses
Memory foam mattresses and mattress toppers are infamous for their tendency to keep hot air trapped against your body.
It’s just a side effect of how their material works.
Memory foam is able to provide such excellent support because it allows every contour of your body to sink in.
While this does mean that every part of your body is subject to pretty much perfectly equal pressure, it also means that a lot of your body is now encased in dense, poorly-ventilated foam.
This means much of your body heat is now trapped against your body—bad news for hot sleepers.
Now, there are a couple solutions to this.
Open cell foam, for instance, allows for greater breathability while you sleep.
Air is able to diffuse in and out of tiny pockets in the material, instead of getting trapped in the dense padding of memory foam.
Memory foam infused with gel, on the other hand, absorbs the heat off your body and keeps your mattress from slowly roasting you while you sleep.
Certain experts are skeptical of gels, though, and you probably shouldn’t count on gel alone to save you from hot sleep.
If sleeping hot is your only priority, then you’ll probably have better luck with an innerspring mattress than with memory foam.
There are a lot of different kinds of innersprings on the market, so you’ll want to check your individually, but in general you should look for anything that will improve mattress airflow.
Latex mattresses are another good option if you’re hoping your mattress can keep you from sleeping hot.
Latex is made from the sap of the rubber tree, which means it has a natural open cell structure that allows for better ventilation.
Manufacturers also often add pinholes to latex mattresses during the production process, allowing for even better airflow.
The structure of latex also lets air move in and out of your mattress when you move, which can help keep you nice and comfy.
Cooler Sleeping Techniques
There are also a number of cheaper options for keeping yourself cool at night.
Not every solution needs to involve buying a new mattress or new set of sheets, or even keeping your room cooler at night.
Here are a couple easy techniques the can help you keep your cool during the hottest months of the year.
Reconsider Your PJs
The clothes you wear to bed can have a serious impact on how hot you are at night.
One option is to just wear less.
Sleeping in the nude or with fewer layers of clothing can help your body better regulate its temperature the way it needs, saving you from hot sleep.
If you’re not comfortable with that, though, consider getting looser, more breathable pajamas.
Looser-fitting clothing can help make hot nights a lot more bearable!
Keep the Shades Down
Another easy way to keep your room’s temperature down at night is to consider how hot it gets during the day.
Keeping the shades down can help a lot with this.
By preventing the strong, hot rays of the sun from heating up your bedroom while it’s not occupied, you’ll have an easier time keeping from sleeping hot.
Take a Warm Shower
Although it might seem slightly counterintuitive, taking a warm shower at night can actually help keep you from sleeping hot.
Your body will respond to the warmth of the shower.
Although it will of course be hotter while you’re showering, that heat will cause your body to lower its core temperature.
That means that, once you move into your cooler bedroom, your body will stay cool the way you want it too.
Be sure not to get the shower too hot, though.
This will raise your body temperature too high, speeding up your metabolism and making it harder to sleep.
Evaluate Your Pillow
Another easy way to get your nighttime body temperature under control is to reevaluate the pillow you’re sleeping on.
A lot of traditional pillows will trap in heat—the exact opposite of what you want.
There are modern solutions to this, though.
Many higher-tech pillows allow for better airflow around your head, while still providing quality comfort and support.
With these techniques, you’ll beat the summer heat in no time.
You don’t need to cut corners on your sleep—you’ve actually got a lot of different options!
Play around with a couple of them, and figure out what works best for you.
Don’t settle for hot sleep.