The worst thing about summer is, bar none, trying to nod off on a sticky, sweaty night. Thanks to the unwavering humidity and relentless heat, summer evenings are best described as sleepless and sweat-drenched—especially for those who don’t have an air conditioner.
But thankfully, this warm season doesn’t have to be like the others. We feel your pain, and so we’ve gathered some of the best ways to keep your bedroom cool during the dog days. From unplugging your electronics to keeping the blinds shut during the day, these tips are easy to implement and their heat-beating effects will be felt immediately. So read on, and for ways to stay cool during the day, here are 20 Tips for a Less Sweaty Summer.
Use Cotton Sheets
“To avoid those summer-night sweats, you must stay away from synthetic materials and use a breathable natural material instead,” interior designer Bobby Berk told New York Magazine. His suggestion? Drape your bed in either linen ($378), cotton ($65), or percale ($39) sheets. Just make sure you spring for a thread count between 300 and 400.
Or Get a Serious Upgrade
If you’re willing to invest a bit of money into cooling down, consider buying a set of temperature-regulating sheets ($67). These beauties are made with phase-change materials (PCM)—originally created for the folks at NASA—that absorb, hold, and release heat. In other words, your body will maintain a steady temperature throughout the night.
Get Creative With Your Fan
Instead of using your fan to blow more hot air onto your face, point it at the window. This will blast the hot air outside. Meanwhile, open up a different window (or two, if you have them), so cooler air can cycle in. Note, though, this trick only works if the air outside is colder than the air in your house, though, so only deploy it if the temperature has dropped with the setting sun. And for more ways to sleep soundly, don’t miss these 40 Tips for Better Sleep on Summer Nights.
Sleep Like a Pharaoh
Don’t let the heat keep you from another good night’s rest. If you find yourself tossing and turning from the unbearably boiling temperatures, try this trick, courtesy of the ancient Egyptians: Wet a sheet with cold water and squeeze out the excess so it’s not dripping wet. Lie on top of a dry towel and use the wet sheet as your blanket. This “Egyptian Method” will keep you cool as you drift off effortlessly.
Keep the Blinds Shut All Day
Don’t leave your apartment exposed to the scorching summer sun during the day. These radiant rays will slowly build up heat in your apartment, and you’ll feel the warming effects long after the sun has gone down.
Turn Off Electronics
Make sure to unplug all the electronics you aren’t using during the day to avoid heat build-up. All of our devices give off heat as they run—just think about how hot your laptop gets when it’s working in overdrive. And bonus: Unplugging your unused electronics is one of the 30 Easy Ways to Make Your Home More Eco-Friendly.
Hang a Damp Sheet in Front of the Window
As the air passes through the wet sheet, the evaporating moisture will cool down your room. And the lighter the color of the towel is, the cooler the room will be, as darker colors absorb more heat.
Use Alternate Light Sources
Take advantage of the natural light in the summertime as much as you can. Using light bulbs—even the environmentally-friendly kind—gives off heat, which builds in your apartment and is difficult to expel. At night, you can use candles to get ready for bed to avoid turning your bedroom into a sauna.
Invest in a Dehumidifer
It’s not just allergy season that dehumidifiers ($69) are good for. The machines also work to cool down bedrooms in especially humid areas by removing excess moisture from the environment.
Use White Accessories
Just like you shouldn’t wear black when it’s 100 degrees outside, you should avoid decorating your bedroom with dark accessories during the summer months. Dark objects—black ones especially—absorb more heat than lighter objects. White objects absorb the least heat of all.
Put Out Some Bowls of Water
Guests might get confused as to why you have bowls of water scattered everywhere, but you can explain to them that the water is slowly evaporating to cool the air (just like steam works to heat you up in a sauna). This tactic is especially effective if the bowls of water are placed by the window, where the breeze can disperse the cool air throughout the house.
Shut the Doors
If you’re trying to cool down sans A/C, make sure you’re shutting your bedroom door before you retire for the night. Otherwise, all of the hard work you’re putting into beating the heat will be for naught, as the cool air you’re creating will escape the room and you’ll be left with, quite literally, a hot mess.
Don’t Use the Stove
Your dinner isn’t the only thing that your stove is heating up. Unfortunately, cooking on the stove or in the oven has the unintended side effect of taking the temperature of the house up a notch. In the winter, this influx of heat is welcome—but during the dog days of summer, it’s the last thing you want.
Let Science Set Your Thermostat
If you’re fortunate enough to have an air conditioner, then scientists suggest setting it somewhere between 65 to 72 degrees. This is our body’s optimal temperature range, and we will sleep more soundly if our bodies aren’t struggling to heat up thanks to an A/C set too low.
Freeze Your Sheets
It sounds weird, but it works. Sticking your sheets in the freezer for a while before heading to bed will cool your body down just enough to fall asleep with ease. And for more ways to make the most of your nightly eight hours, learn the 10 Genius Tricks For Falling Back Asleep in the Middle of the Night.
Sleep On the Floor
It’s a known fact that heat rises, so scientifically speaking, sleeping on the floor will be cooler than sleeping on your elevated bed. Plus, sleeping on the floor has been proven to realign our posture and improve our quality of sleep. Win-win!
Fit Your Windows With Reflective Film
This reflective window film ($35) rejects 63 percent of the sun’s solar energy. Basically, it still allows light to shine through your windows, but filters out just enough so that your room won’t overheat. One Amazon user raves that the film has “helped reduce the light [and] heat from the door and window I applied them to.” And for more ways to enjoy every second of summer, don’t miss the 20 Summer Hobbies That Will Change Your Life.
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