We’ve all been there — tossing and turning in bed all night, struggling to fall asleep because the heat has us glued to our sheets! Once the temperatures rise, a great night’s sleep can feel pretty elusive. And there are few things worse than trying to catch some shut-eye in an incredibly hot and sticky bedroom.
Before we dive into bed, we realize the obvious solution for a cool, REM-ful slumber is to crank up the AC. But apart from being expensive and environmentally unfriendly, sometimes our AC units can stop working out of nowhere. So how’s an environmentally responsible, budget conscious sleeping beauty supposed to keep when it’s 100-degrees out!
Luckily for you, our AC has gone out a few times this Summer (which is what inspired this post). And in my desperation for a good night’s sleep, I found a few tricks to keep cool without dying of heat. AC unit or not, here’s a few tips to give your bedroom a warm-weather makeover that can mean the difference between a sleepless night in a borderline sauna and some blissful Z’s.
How To Get A Great Night’s Sleep on Those Hot Summer Nights
Switch to a linen duvet.
Even though your fancy comforter matches the rest of your bedroom perfectly, you’re better off without during the Summer. Instead, you should opt for a linen duvet. In an interview on Well + Good, “healthy home expert” Lisa Beres says, “Linen absorbs many times its weight in moisture — [and] the moisture in the fabric evaporates, equating to less moisture on your skin” to help keep you cool during the Summer and warm during Winter for a great night’s sleep. Both elegant and durable, linen embodies a textural richness that’s simply unparalleled — another reason to switch.
Ditch flannel and satin sheets for organic cotton.
When it’s hot and humid outside, the lighter your sheets, the better. So if you’re still using sheets that kept you warm during the cooler months, it’s definitely time to switch. For optimal freshness on a balmy Summer night, lightweight organic cotton sheets allows your skin to breathe and stay cool. Be sure to look for high thread count, which helps keep your body cool and dry as the material wicks away and soaks up perspiration. Or you could always stick your sheets in the freezer before bed . . . but I have yet to test that one out.
Side note: I know there’s a lot of new brands out there saying they have the softest, most comfortable sheets, but for someone who loves color and pattern, they don’t provide a lot of options. So if you’re looking for organic cotton sheets that aren’t just plain, boring solid colors, West Elm and The Company Store have some great options.
Use an eco-friendly pillow.
As far as pillows go, picking the right one can make a huge difference between having a great night’s sleep or waking up with a crick in your neck. But most of us rest our heads on pillows filled with synthetic material — like polyester, which is a petroleum-based, nonrenewable resource that is very energy intensive. What’s more, warm temperatures and moisture we release during sleep make these types of pillows the perfect breeding ground for bacteria, germs and dust mites to thrive. Gross!
Thankfully, there are a few eco-friendly options available that are also great for the warmer months. Kapok, wool and natural latex are dust mite resistant, flame retardant, moisture-wicking and combat the growth of mold or mildew. Plus, Kapok and latex are both biodegradable. Buckwheat pillows are another eco-friendly option. “Because buckwheat hulls have a naturally occurring air space between them, they won’t hold on to your body heat like conventional pillows, even when packed together inside a pillow case.” However, there are some complaints on how heavy and noisy they are.
Wear less to bed.
In just the same ways as your sheets, what you to bed wearing matters, too! Though you might think going au natural will help you stay cooler, going to bed naked means that sweat stays on your body instead of being wicked away by fabric. Instead, pick a soft cotton shirt/tank top and either cotton shorts or underwear. Of course, if you prefer falling asleep in the nude, by all means, do whatever your little heart desires! (Because some nights, you just need to let it all hang out.)
Get a breeze going.
It might sound counterintuitive to crack open a window after you’ve just spent all day dodging the heat, but believe me when I tell you: If the AC isn’t running on a 100-degree-weather night (whether by choice or misfortune), your home will feel a lot hotter compared to the outside temps.
To help keep you cool, create a natural draft by opening the windows just a smidge and placing a fan in front of it to circulate the air flow. To make your fan breeze even cooler, the New York Times suggests putting a bowl of ice in front of your fan or hanging a damp towel over it. (Life Hacker also recommends to make your ceiling fan go counter-clockwise during the Summer to move a breeze around.)
Keep blinds and curtains closed during the day.
Your home needs shade from the sun just like you. If your bedroom receives direct sunlight during the day, keeping your blinds down and curtains closed can make a huge difference. And as simple as this tip may seem, Family Handyman notes that up to 30 percent of unwanted heat comes from your windows. And utilizing shades, curtains and the like can save up to seven percent on bills and lower indoor temps by up to 20 degrees! In other words, closing the blinds essentially prevents your home from becoming a miniature greenhouse.
You can also buy blackout curtains for even more heat protection. Right now, Urban Outfitters actually has a a few sets of blackout curtains that don’t like your average emo blackout curtains. Choose ones with pom poms, tassels or a batik pattern. (If you buy two, you’ll get 25% off).
In the end, if you can’t swing a new AC unit or you’re just trying to save some cash, these small adjustments can definitely pay off.
+What changes have you made this Summer in order to get a great night’s sleep? Leaves your tips and tricks in the comments below!
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