I love having air conditioning. But when it comes to sleeping with it running, either all night or scheduled on a timer, I find it to be both expensive and unhealthy. I can't even recall the number of times I woke up feeling ill because I left the A/C on. But how to fall asleep when the night is so hot and humid? There are quite a few answers to that, so allow me to share a few proven methods with you.
1. Choose cotton
Satin, silk and polyester sheets may be nice, but for hot nights, your best bet is light-weight cotton bed linens. They let the air pass through them, so you get great ventilation and airflow in your bedroom.
2. Pre-cool your sheets
Stick your sheets in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes before going to bed. Best to put them in a plastic bag first (to avoid food scents and wetness). This may not keep you cool all night, but it will give you a respite for those first crucial minutes when you're trying to fall asleep, as well as reduce your own body heat.
3. Create a cold pack from a hot water bottle
In the winter, a hot water bottle is a wonderful thing to have. In the summer, you can use that same bottle, fill it with water and put it in the freezer to create an ice pack you can put in your bed.
4. Use fans creatively
Fans can do more than just keep the air inside the room flowing, they can actually be used near windows to PUSH hot air out! If you have a ceiling fan, rigging it to run counter-clockwise can pull hot air up and out instead of just spreading it around the room.
5. The Egyptian method
The Egyptian method is when you dampen a sheet or towel in cold water and use it as a blanket. Of course, to avoid soaking your mattress, a good idea is to lay the damp sheet on top of a dry towel.
6. Wear loose clothing
Soft cotton shirts and shorts are the best for warm nights. Clothing that breaths and is loose around the body. Sleeping in the nude can sometimes lead to stickiness and surprisingly - more body heat.
7. Make your own A/C
Follow this guide to make your own cheap A/C unit with just a fan and a cooler.
8. Cool your pulse
If you need to cool down very fast, apply cold compresses or ice packs to your pulse points (neck, wrists, elbows, behind the knees, groin and ankles).
9. Go up
If you're feeling up to it, rig a hammock or a simple cot. These suspended beds have the most airflow.
10. Go down
Even if you are hanging above the floor on a hammock, try to set it low, as hot air rises up. The closer you are to the floor, the cooler you'll be.
11. Take a cold shower before bed
A cold shower is a great way to lower your core body temperature before bed time, as well as washing off dry sweat and dirt that may increase your feeling of heat.
12. Keep it dark
Even small lights produce a fair amount of heat. Sleep in the dark if you'd like to keep the temperature of the room down. Don't just turn them off before going to sleep, but try to keep the light off in your bedroom for a couple of hours before.
13. Hang a wet sheet in front of the window
Hanging a wet sheet in front of an open window will chill the air coming in, which will lower the temperature of the room and give you a nice cool breeze to enjoy.
14. Cool down your feet
Our feet are incredibly sensitive to heat, and have a lot of pulse points. You can quickly cool down your entire body by dunking your feet in cold water (tip: keep your feet clean for this). The cold water will cool your blood and your circulation will deliver that cooled blood to your entire body. You can even keep a bucket of cold water near the bed and dip whenever you feel the need.
15. Use grains to create a cool pillow
Rice and buckwheat can be used to fill a pillow. This pillow will not absorb heat like cotton and down pillows do, so your head and especially your ears will not become so hot.
On VERY hot nights, you can fill a sock with rice, tie it and put it in the freezer for an hour. This cold compress can keep you cool for up to 30 minutes, enough time to fall asleep.