Tricks to Survive a Hot Summer’s Night
Hot summer nights may be ideal for enjoying a nice braai, but it's a completely different story when you're trying to get some shut-eye.
We've all been there—tossing and turning in bed, struggling because our sweat has us practically glued to the sheets. It. Is. Awful. There are few things worse than trying to catch some shut-eye (or even just relax!) in an incredibly hot, sticky room.
The ideal sleeping temperature is said to be between 15.5 and 19.4°C. Here’s why you sleep better when it’s cool. Right before you fall asleep, many changes take place in your body. Your brainwave patterns change, your heart and breathing rates slow, and your body temperature starts to drop. This temperature change can help you fall and stay asleep.
Also, you spend approximately 20-25% of the time you sleep in the “rapid eye movement” stage.
During this part of the sleep cycle, you temporarily lose your ability to sweat and shiver, leaving your body unable to adjust your inner temperature to the surrounding air temperature. So when the room temperature is too warm, your body starts to heat up which can wake you and make it hard to get back to sleep.
1. Choose Cotton
Save the ooh-la-la satin, silk, or polyester sheets for cooler nights. Light-coloured bed linens made of lightweight cotton (Egyptian or otherwise) are breathable and excellent for promoting ventilation and airflow in the bedroom.
2. Feel the Freezer Burn
Stick sheets in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes before bed. We recommend placing them in a plastic bag first (unless eu de frozen pizza is your favourite aromatherapy scent). Granted, this won’t keep you cool all night, but it will provide a brief respite from heat and humidity.
3. Get Cold Comfort
Here’s a four-seasons tip for keeping utilities charges down: Buy a hot water bottle. In winter, fill it with boiling water for toasty toes without cranking the thermostat. During summer, stick it in the freezer to create a bed-friendly ice pack.
4. Sleep Like An Egyptian
If there seem to be a lot of Egyptian references in this list, it’s because those Nile-dwellers knew how to do it right. The so-called “Egyptian method” involves dampening a sheet or towel in cool water and using it as a blanket. We recommend laying the damp sheets on top of a dry towel to avoid soaking the mattress.
5. Get Loose
Less is definitely more when it comes to summertime jammies. Pick a loose, soft cotton shirt and shorts or underwear. Going full nudie during a heat wave is (unsurprisingly) controversial. Some people believe it helps keep them cool, while others claim going au natural means sweat stays on the body instead of being wicked away by fabric. We’re going to chalk this one up to personal preference.
6. Pamper Your Pulses
Need to cool down, stat? To chill out super-fast, apply ice packs or cold compresses to pulse points at the wrists, neck, elbows, groin, ankles, and behind the knees.
7. Create A Cross-Breeze
Open a window slightly and let in some fresh air. Position your evaporative air cooler with some added ice blocks in the tank with its rear facing the window. Thereby the air cooler pulls in the hot air and pushes out some cooler air by creating a cross-breeze. Another tip is to adjust ceiling fan settings so the blades run counter clockwise, pulling hot air up and out instead of just twirling around in the room.