I love the “idea” of summer, but the actual season? I hate to admit it, but not so much. The only reason, truly, is the heat. I’m a born and bred Los Angeleno and the rising temps over the last several years have made it difficult for me to sleep at night. I dream of cold weather, chilly rooms in which to lay my head to get the most out of my evening snooze, and we figure some of you are feeling the same as well when the temps rise and relaxing becomes a little more difficult.
How do you deal with it? What do you do? Oh, sure, some people can just pack up and take a long summer vacay in a gloriously cool location. And we are jealous, envious, and still wish you restful nights. But for those of us who are not quite so lucky and must learn to embrace summer in all its glory while figuring out how to navigate it to squeeze out every ounce of enjoyment from it?
Yeah. Not so much.
But there are solutions, answers to the, “How do I sleep through a 100+ degree night?” And more.
Walk with me. Talk with me. Let’s cool our jets together with our top 3 go-tos when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep in the heat.
Tried and true: lightening things up
This is probably our favorite simple solution to make sleeping in the summer heat that much easier: Lightweight pajamas and natural, cooling bed linens.
I know what you’re thinking. Why not just go full commando? Well, you certainly could but the truth is you sweat when it’s hot, right? When you’re in the buff, that perspiration pools and stays on you. It’s why so many of us who sleep this way in the summer frequently wake up in the middle of the night, hot and sweaty, and kick off the covers, completely uncomfortable. Those in the know suggest wearing thin, natural fabric pjs that help your body breathe and have wicking properties — this means they pull the moisture away from your skin so you can cool down and feel more relaxed. Cotton’s good. So are linen, bamboo, and even eucalyptus.
As for the bed sheets, the same fabrics reign supreme. Basically, naturally wicking fabrics are your friend during the summer and pretty much all year round — they also tend to be more eco-friendly than some of the synthetic ones, and we’re all about keeping our planet healthy and happy.
Some great brands with comfy, summer-friendly sleep attire and sheets are Cozy Earth — one of Oprah’s faves that feature bamboo pajamas and bed linens — Sijo, which offers vegan eucalyptus options for both your body and your mattress, family friendly Little Sleepies that has something for mom, dad, and the kids, Eberjey with their variety of eco-friendly pajama fabrics and styles again for your whole brood, and the cozy tees in our own Sleep Club collection.
Products and hacks to chill you out
Whenever the temperature rises, we know we have to do something to make our nights easier to sleep through. Sure, you can post fans in every available spot around the bedroom, and suck it up to blast the A/C hardcore. Sometimes, however, you need an extra boost of coolness and that’s where some of these goosebump inducing tricks come in.
Popping those sheets into a plastic bag then into your freezer for a little while is a fantastic cooling trick. That and keeping a spray bottle of chilled water in your room so you can spritz you and your bed lightly when you need it — just a mist, not a soak. This second one is partially why I personally have a mini fridge on my nightstand. It’s also why I dream of some day having a Sobro Smart Side Table with a cooling drawer. Ahh…
There are also cooling pillows, blankets, and mattress pads. These are built to pull moisture and heat away from the body thanks to that combination of the type of fabrics, design, and actual construction of the item. The Saatva Latex Pillow is supposed to be very good, but if you’re allergic to latex (which many are), you can also check out the plant-based Sweet Zzz collection as well as the temperature regulating Cool Zzz options from The Company Store.
We’re also fans of the simple cooling pads out there. These are gel packs you chill in your fridge then slip inside your existing pillow case. A big favorite is CUQOO Cooling Gel Pillow Pack, which ships from the UK and comes in a 2-pack, but you can just as easily find a large gel pack used for sports, cool it down and use that as well.
Straight-forward and simple — drink lots and lots of water. I do this throughout the day but I also like to make sure I have something cold handy when I’m going to bed, hence the mini-fridge in my bedroom. In it is my cooling mister bottle and my water. The ones that literally fit on your nightstand are often called “skin care refrigerators” or “cosmetics fridges,” but ultimately, what you put in it is completely up to you. Me? I put in small water bottles and anything I think I’ll need to keep me comfy when I’m beating the heat to get some sleep. An ice cold drink of water keeps your core body temperature down and that means your whole being is better regulated when it’s hot out there, night or day.
Sleeping in cold comfort
One last fun thing we discovered recently is a website completely devoted to temperature regulated sleeping called Chilisleep. Give it a look and you’ll see they have created various systems to support their belief — and, well, kind of ours, honestly — that cold sleeping is the best way to get true rest. Remember, optimal temps for successfully getting that REM are said to be between 60-67 degrees fahrenheit (15.6-19.4 degrees celsius).
If we get into the physics of cooling down, it’s easier to warm up — in the winter months, for example — than it is to cool down. You can add layers to melt that chill, go to a crowded place to benefit from shared body heat, and so forth. Bringing your body temperature down when the environment is heating up takes more work and skill. These little tips and tricks will hopefully make it easier to face the summer heat so you can get the rest you deserve. We can’t sleep properly if we aren’t comfortable and if doing any one of these makes it possible for you to successfully slumber when the digits are rising, then that’s all that matters.
Enjoy your summer and rest well!