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Too hot to sleep? Keeping cool in Summer.

Author imageThe Mattress Warehouse

Summer sleeping tips and ideas that won’t cost you a fortune

Summer is great. Everyone loves the sunshine, especially on weekends and holidays. There is nothing as sublimely pleasurable as reading in the dappled shade of the oak tree at the pool. Intermittent dips to cool off every thirty minutes and your body believes it has found nirvana. Day after day of this kind of heaven is what idyllic summer days are all about. However, unless you are in an air-conditioned environment, the problem arrives as the night sky darkens.  Often we lay on our beds, too hot to sleep, daytime tips to keep cool in summer are often not practical when we lay in bed. Keeping cool in summer is a challenge, especially if you are trying to fall asleep.

To be precise, the heat can become a veritable instrument of torture when you are trying to fall asleep. Tossing and turning with the discomfort of excessive temperatures can rob you of your daytime bliss. Lying at the pool feeling exhausted from sleep deprivation is not as enjoyable. Understanding the basic science behind the inability to sleep well during excessive heat,  will give you clarity and empower you to address the situation successfully.

What happens to the body with high night-time temperatures

Body temperature is key to sleep depth and duration. For a full night of sleep, the body is mainly dependent on Melatonin. Many people are aware that Melatonin levels dictate the ability to fall asleep and remain asleep. However, according to sleep expert Dr Alex Bartle, this sleep hormone is responsible for core body temperature as well. Your deepest sleep during sleep cycles occurs when core temperature drops to the appropriate degree.

Your core refers to the areas which contain the vital organs. The brain, being one of these, produces Melatonin. This hormone regulates the process of reducing core heat. Too much body heat impedes the brain’s abilities and blocks the entire process since core and shell temperatures are interconnected. Shell temperature refers to skin, surface tissue and muscle temperature. When your peripheries are too hot, the core is unable to effectively release sufficient heat resulting in a malfunction and insufficient Melatonin.

Furthermore, for temperature balance, outside temperature rises when organ temperature drops. When the environment is already hot, excessive superficial heat is an issue and wakefulness is the result. To be able to sleep soundly one needs to cool down.

During REM sleep our body is not in control of temperature regulation. When the climate is inordinately hot or cold, the body simply avoids this crucial stage of the sleep cycle. Constant interruptions to the cycle will be evident when feeling under par the next day. Due to disruptions of essential healing processes that occur only during deep sleep, the body is unable to recover its full vitality. Blood pressure and glucose regulation are amongst numerous vital processes that suffer. Cooling the bedroom area is paramount to a fabulous slumber and excellent health regardless of atmospheric conditions.

Simple ways to keep cool

There are some simple and accessible ways to ensure your body enjoys a  temperate environment at night. Keep blood ph as alkaline as possible. Agitation in the blood leads to a restless body and mind. Blood that is racing through the veins in an attempt to detoxify will cause over-heating. Blood with a healthy ph balance flows calmly and quickly and the mind and body follow suit. Summertime is the perfect season to partake of fruits and salads.

Steamed vegetables and brown rice are suitable as are all whole foods. Whole foods are those that you can eat raw or cooked in their original state as you find them in nature. Avoid processed foods. They are unnatural and made by man in factories. They often contain harmful and stimulating chemicals. Avoid stimulants and acid triggers such as salt, vinegar and spices. Sugar and alcohol are unnaturally stimulating to the body. Keep your dietary choices wholesome, and your body will reward you with a more relaxed body, a peaceful mind and restful nights.

Drink two litres of clean water daily to remain well hydrated. Spread your water consumption over the whole day for adequate hydration. When you are well hydrated, your body feels calm, cool and sleeps deeply. Additionally, proper hydration keeps the blood at a beneficial ph. A healthier ph paves the way for a deliciously deep slumber.

Attend to your digestive system as a calm stomach is crucial if you desire a deep sleep.  Consume a glass of water twenty minutes before meals and two hours afterwards. Do not drink just after eating since that dilutes digestive juices. Work in harmony with the body processes and you will sleep soundly.

There are several electronic devices that you can purchase to cool your body further. Obtain a top quality fan that operates quietly. Take care where you place the device. Do not sleep with a strong jet of air bombarding your face or body. The alternative could be waking with a tender throat or sinus, regardless of seasonal heat. Preferably, direct the fan away from the bed in such a manner that the air in the bedroom adequately circulates. As the night deepens, the bedroom cools down providing the ideal climate for your brain to manufacture sufficient Melatonin. Do not set the fan to oscillate since that may be disturbing to your sleep. Use two or more fans if the heat is truly extreme. Face them all away from the bed. Your reward will be a perfect combination of gentle breezes crisscrossing your bedroom. Alternatively, install a ceiling fan for improvement in air movement. Leave windows open unless it is warmer out of doors than in. Fans are invaluable in transforming a night of discomfort to one of serenity.

Appliances that move air around dry it out. When the air is too humid, this is perfect. However, if your sleep environment tends to dryness, purchase a cold air humidifier. In a dry atmosphere, the lungs use more body energy and cellular water to breathe.  Gentle humidity is easy on the lungs and improves their ability to breath with ease. Unnecessary disruptions to sleep cycles do not occur.

Moreover, effective oxygenation engenders a proper ph balance. Another option is to place a large block of ice in a bowl in front of the fan. Water will work adequately if ice is unobtainable.

Placement of your bed can make a massive difference to your shell temperature. Heat rises and moving your mattress onto the floor can be an effective way to escape it. A bedroom at a higher level will be warmer, and it is worth arranging matters so that you can sleep downstairs if the heat warrants.

Choose excellent quality cotton sheets since they allow air to circulate. Silk or polyester trap body heat and are perfect for winter. Your cotton sheet is just the thing for the simple old Egyptian tradition to cool down on hot summer nights. Run cold water over the sheet and wring it out thoroughly until it is evenly and lightly damp. Sleep under this sheet to keep fresh during the hottest hours of the night. Ensure your bedding is appropriate for warm weather. Feather duvets and pillows are not conducive to cool summer nights.

Pay attention to your attire. Wear a loose cotton t-shirt or go without, depending on what feels most comfortable to you. Use your hot water bottle as an ice pack. Keep it in the freezer during the day and enjoy your very own portable AC in bed.

Keep lights as low as possible during the hours before sleep. Apart from attracting mosquitoes, lights heat the air. Soft evening lighting favours efficient Melatonin production whereas bright white lights impede the process.

Cool off just before you slip between the sheets. A cold shower is immediately refreshing and cools shell temperature for long enough to enable you to fall asleep with ease. Consequently, once you are sleeping core temperature can drop sufficiently. With the combination of the fan, humidifier and a wet sheet you are likely to remain peacefully asleep until morning.


The torment of hot, restless nights disappears when you understand the science of the effect of heat on your body. Biologically it all begins to make sense. Knowing precisely what to target means the issue becomes obsolete. Eliminating the problem is easier than you think and numerous solutions are accessible. Addressing the temperature of your body and the immediate environment is paramount. Creating a strong foundation with a healthy lifestyle is always conducive to indulgent nights of sleep regardless of outdoor heat. Supplementing this foundation with solutions that suit you is the most effective approach.

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