Tips for Sleeping When It’s Hot Out

This content was created by the National Sleep Foundation


Six smart ways to beat the heat for a good night’s sleep.

Hot, humid nights can wreak havoc on your sleep if you don’t have air conditioning. Humidity make it hard for sweat to evaporate (which leaves you feeling wet and uncomfortable), and if your room temperature is not within the optimal nighttime range of 60 to 67 degrees, it can become more difficult to fall asleep. But a heat wave doesn’t have to lead to sleepless nights. Invest in some powerful fans, and then follow these tips to keep your cool and get the slumber that you need.

Close the Curtains.

Protect your bedroom from heating up from the midday sun by keeping your window treatments drawn shut during the day. This will bring down the room temperature slightly to make it easier to fall asleep come bedtime. 

Change Your Sheets.

Save your silk, polyester, or satin bedding for the fall. Lightweight cotton sheets breathe better, allowing for as much ventilation as possible on muggy nights.

Pick Out Smart PJs.

Wicking pajamas—those made from materials that pull moisture away from your skin—will help keep sweat from disrupting your sleep. If you don’t want to shell out for new nighttime wear, search through your workout clothes instead: Fitness attire often features the same wicking technology.

Bring The Chill to Bed.

Cold compresses and ice packs can be lifesavers on a hot night. To get the biggest benefit, place them on your pulse points (the wrists, neck, elbows, ankles, and behind the knees).

Skip Happy Hour.

While a cold beer may seem like the perfect way to unwind on a warm night, it can interfere with your slumber, causing you to wake up throughout the night. Replace your brew with a glass of ice water instead (or at least alternate alcoholic beverages with water to prevent overindulging), since it will protect you from the dehydration effects of a night sweat. 

Swap Rooms.

Heat rises, so if your bedroom is on the top floor and you're able to move to a lower floor or basement during the night, it may be worth your while. However, if your only sleeping options downstairs are couches, you’ll need to decide whether it’s worth leaving your cushy bed to escape the upstairs heat.