It’s time for all the perks of spring and summer: outdoor dinner parties, colorful sunnies, and plenty of opportunities for travel and adventure. But one challenge of the season’s warmer weather conditions comes at night, when it’s time to hit the hay and rest up for another day of fun. Have you ever struggled to snooze because you just couldn’t seem to cool down? It’s no fun. “The temperature your bed retains and transmits back to you can have a great impact on your body temperature and, in turn, your sleep quality,” explains Martin Rawls-Meehan, CEO and co-founder of sleep-tech company Reverie.
We’re always looking for ways to improve the quality of our sleep, so we asked Rawls-Meehan for a few tips on how to maximize our shut-eye as the temperatures begin to climb. “Making your bed as cool as possible doesn’t mean having to resort to other impractical cooling ideas like leaving a bowl of ice water on the floor,” he reassures us. We didn’t know that was a thing, but it’s a relief that we don’t have to do it! Even if your home isn’t equipped with air conditioning, there are plenty of ways to stay cool without going to extreme lengths. Read on for five of Rawls-Meehan’s practical comfy-sleeping tips.
1. If you can control the air temperature, do it. According to Rawls-Meehan, the recommended temperature for optimal sleep is 65 degrees Fahrenheit. If you’re lucky enough to be able to exercise control of just how hot or just how cold your home is, nighttime is the best time to take advantage of that power. Perhaps you’re keeping a close eye on heating and cooling costs for budget reasons (great idea!), but if you’re already concerned about sleep, it may be worthwhile to use your home’s full temperature regulation capacity when it’s time for bed. If you don’t have air conditioning, though, don’t panic! “When temperature-proofing your sleep, one of the primary places to focus is your own bed,” Rawls-Meehan shares, so keep scrolling for more tips on cooling down your nest.
2. Focus on the fabric. A new season is the perfect excuse to treat yourself to new bedding! Even if you can’t cool down the air temperature in your home, you can optimize sleeping conditions by choosing sheets that will keep you from overheating. Now is definitely the time to take off those cozy flannel sheets — and if you’ve added a little luxury to your routine with satin sheets, we hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you’ll probably want to pack those away for the warmer months too. Breathable fabrics like cotton or linen are your best bet.
3. Streamline your layers. It might feel super-cozy to snuggle up under multiple layers of blankets while you’re falling asleep, but as temperatures creep up, you may find that the extra comforters and throws will have you tossing and turning a few hours later. Fold down your heavier blankets and start with a simple sheet (in one of the lightweight fabrics mentioned above). You can always sleepily drag another blanket across yourself if you get chilled, but if you wake up drenched in sweat, it may be hard to get comfortable again.
4. Be a smart mattress shopper. When it’s time to purchase a new mattress, take temperature into consideration. “Because your mattress is so large and dense, its temperature greatly affects the heat level of what’s in contact with it,” Rawls-Meehan points out. “Even though your skin doesn’t come in direct contact with it, your mattress can have the biggest impact on your temperature throughout the night.” Some mattresses will be more comfortable in warmer temperatures than others — memory foam, for example, tends to retain heat, while all-natural latex is the ideal choice for keeping cool. “Hybrid mattresses,” Rawls-Meehan notes, “provide the sink-in comfort of memory foam in a top comfort level with latex layers and springs underneath for breathability.”
5. Pick the perfect pillow. Just like mattresses, not all pillows are created equal. Look for pillows made from materials that will help you keep a cool head (literally). According to Rawls-Meehan, synthetic down pillows are a good affordable option, while wool pillows make a worthwhile investment for all seasons, since they can keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Pillows filled with buckwheat hulls — a lesser-known option in the US — are also great for regulating temperature, and there are of course plenty of high-tech, cool-to-the-touch choices constantly making their way to market.
How do you keep cool overnight? Tweet us your warm-weather sleeping tips @BritandCo!
(Photos via Getty)