We know, we know. Half of you are still knee-deep in late-Spring snow storms and the last thing on your mind is how to sleep cooler, but for the Southern half of the country, things are starting to thaw out. May brings warm weather and brighter days, toasty walks in the morning and sun-drenched afternoons are what we dream of all winter long. But May gives way to June, July, and worst yet, August. “Sticky” becomes a way to describe our world for weeks on end, and sleep can feel impossible.
It’s no wonder why—how can you get a good night’s rest when you’re stuck in a miserable mess of sheets and sweat? Follow these tips to sleep cooler than ever and make Summer your most restful season yet.
Strip It Down One of the biggest factors keeping you hot is less about the temperatures outside and more about what you’ve got on your bed. The more layers you apply to your mattress, the more places there are for heat to get trapped while you sleep. If you’re waking up hot, you may want to explore just how many layers have accumulated on your setup. A waterproof mattress protector, memory foam topper, flannel sheet, and fluffy duvet all sound lovely, but in the dead of Summer you’re looking at endless layers of materials that don’t breathe. Stripping everything off your bed and swapping out your stuffy accessories for lighter, more breathable materials, can keep you much cooler.
Thread count, for example, can play a huge role in how breathable your sheets are. Traditionally, a higher-thread count meant a higher quality, but we’ve since learned that to be false. Staple length (The actual length of the fiber used to weave the sheet.) has much more to do with that soft, luxurious feeling to your sheets than thread count does. Any thread count over 300 is usually too densely woven for super hot nights, so swapping out for a lower-thread count, but still high quality sheet set is a way to keep the heat retention of your bed at bay.
Adding a cotton mattress pad in place of your thick foam topper may not feel as plush, but it should let your mattress breathe a bit more, too.
Location, Location, Location It’s true what they say—it all boils down to where you are. If you have a room that gets a ton of direct sunlight during the day, black out curtains or blinds can do wonders to be sure that you aren’t turning your bedroom into an oven. Another factor to think about when you’re caught in a heat wave is where your bedroom is in your home. If you live in a two-story house, heat will naturally rise to the higher levels. Sleeping on the first floor, or better, a basement might help you stay cool on those truly scorching days.
Keeping your bed away from windows and doors can also help prevent it from heating up before you’re even tucked in. Find the coolest spot in your room and scoot your bed to that area while you wait for cooler nights.
It Starts With You Sleeping cooler can can start long before you head to bed by bringing your own temperature down. Studies have shown that allowing your internal temperature to wind down before hitting the hay can have a positive impact on the quality of sleep that you get, with much less interruptions and deeper rest. There are a few things you can work into your routine (Or out of it!) to stay relaxed and ready for bed.
Avoid anything that raises your temperature right before bedtime. Working out, piping-hot showers, and eating heavy meals before bed can all elevate your body’s temperature and set the tone for sleeping warmer. You can also take a look at what you’re wearing to bed. Just like with your sheets and bedding, the lighter the better. Sleeping naked has also been shown to have plenty of benefits beside keeping you cool.
Taking a cool shower or setting aside a few hours at the end of your night as a "cooling off" period where you avoid anything too physically strenuous will help you stay much cooler as it heats up outside.
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