Summer will be upon us sooner than you might think, and depending on where you live, this can mean seemingly endless weeks of uncomfortable heat. Even in the cooler parts of the country, a heat wave can make life uncomfortable, especially as you are far less likely to have home air conditioning if your climate doesn't normally require it. One of the hardest parts of high temperatures is that it can make it very hard to sleep. While during the day you can seek out water, go outside in the shade, or use cold beverages to keep your body cool, night time can be difficult if you are too hot.
Fortunately, there are some easy and inexpensive ways to make your bedroom cooler and more pleasant to try and sleep in in the middle of summer, and we are going to look at a few of them here:
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Breathable, Light Bedding
Naturally you won't want a duvet at this time of year, but many people find it hard to sleep without anything at all over them, and you also want sheets underneath you that are breathable as you are likely to sweat more than usual at night. Make sure you use bed linen made of natural materials, because artificial fibers like polyester will not give you that breathable texture you really need for comfortable nights in the heat. One of the best fabric to look for is, surprisingly, bamboo. Bamboo bedding is extremely soft and comfortable, with textures similar to high thread count cottons or even silks easy to achieve, and the natural properties of the fibers make it ideal for keeping you cool when the temperatures soar.
Remember to wash your bedsheets more regularly than usual in the hottest times of the year too. Because of increased sweat, sheets can soon become itchy from residual salt, and this will make sleeping even more uncomfortable. It can also be a good idea to leave the sheets off of the bed during the day to air out – a great excuse not to make your bed in the morning too!
Make or Buy a Swamp Cooler
A swamp cooler can be a wonderful way to try and cool down the air in your home if you don't have air conditioning. It effectively uses air blown over a reservoir of cold water or even iced water to bring the air temperature down. You can make a very rudimentary version of a swamp cooler by putting a cold, wet towel over the grille of a large indoor fan, or by positioning a bucket of ice water in front of a fan. You can also buy proper swamp cooler units that are far cheaper than portable air conditioning units, if you prefer something less DIY! This can make a lot of difference to how comfortable you'll find your bedroom at night, and of course can also be used as a way to keep other rooms cooler too.
Bring Something Cold to Bed with You
If it is really hot, you can reverse an approach used in winter and bring a cold water bottle to bed! This may sound strange, but having something chilled that you can place in your bed before you get in to make the sheets nice and cool can make getting to sleep much easier, and if it is exceptionally hot you can even keep it in bed with you and cuddle up to it!
Don't use ice, however, as this will be too cold and isn't really safe to be clinging to overnight! Instead, use some chilled water from the fridge in a normal hot water bottle. You will find it goes up to room temperature over time, or to body temperature if you are keeping it close to you, but it may help you stay cool enough to get to sleep before that happens.
Put a Mesh Over Your Windows and Keep Them Open
Depending on the type of property you live in and where you are, you may be able to keep your windows open. While this may not sound like it will help much if the temperatures outside are even higher than they are in your home, the circulation of fresh air should make a difference, and if the temperature outside drops at night, you'll also feel the benefits of that inside. Of course, you don't want a house full of bugs and moths, so before the summer season, be sure to fit some mesh over the window frames so that you can let air in while keeping mosquitoes, wasps and other unwanted pests out.
If you live in a busy area where outside noise makes it hard to sleep with the windows open, you may want to try soft ear plugs designed for sleeping, or use a white noise machine in your room to cover up those sounds. You may find, however, that it is worth tolerating some noise for the cooling effect, and that you'll manage to fall asleep anyway!
Fans are the most obvious way to try and cool down your room, and a ceiling fan can be very effective. If you are expecting a long, hot summer, then buying and fitting ceiling fans now can be the best way to ensure that you will not have to worry about being prepared if the temperatures suddenly spike. Standing fans and desk fans can all do something to help cool you down, but after a certain point it can just feel like they are simply moving hot air around. If that happens, go for the swamp cooler approach or be sure to put your fans where they can circulate air coming in through a window.
These are just a few inexpensive ideas that can help you enjoy easier and better quality sleep this summer when the temperatures start to rise. They can make all the difference if you are trying to get through a heat wave without air con!