Warm, muggy days are ahead and it's a challenge to sleep cool. If you're too uncomfortable, it can mean a long, restless night of tossing and turning. With a little preparation before bed, you can sleep like a log all through the summer.
1. Prepare a cool bed. Choose comfortable hot weather bedding like all cotton or cotton/polyester blend sheets with a higher thread count in summer. Large pillows can make your head feel warm, so to sleep cool, try using pillow cases made from sateen, a soft, cotton fabric that resembles satin. During the night, turn the pillow over any time you wake, and the reverse side will feel cool. Also try filling a clean sock with rice and fasten at the top with ribbon or string. Place in the freezer for a few hours and put alongside the neck or on the forehead to help you sleep cool. If the sock feels too cold, wrap lightly in a dish towel or wash cloth before bringing in contact with the skin.
2. Keep the bedroom comfortable. Air conditioning works best on hot, humid summer nights, but to sleep cool the alternative is to use a fan and open the windows so that the room temperature drops. If the room is still too uncomfortable, keep a spray bottle filled with a mixture of 50% water and 50% rubbing alcohol on the night stand. Spray arms and legs periodically when uncomfortable. The mixture will quickly evaporate from your skin and cool you off. To sleep cool you can also spray the top sheet lightly with water and position the fan so that it blows on the sheets, evaporating the water. Keep a light blanket handy in case you get cold, even though it's summer.
3. Make adjustments when necessary. If you are not sleeping on the ground floor of your home, and have a choice to move to a downstairs bedroom, move your sleeping location during the summer months. Warm air rises and it is more difficult to keep a second floor sleeping area comfortable. Also watch your food and drink intake. Don't consume caffeinated beverages or alcohol before bed. Caffeine raises blood pressure and can make your body feel hotter, as can alcohol.
4. Dress for comfort. Take stock of your summer night wear and choose a light pure cotton fabric or something that will wick perspiration away from the body so you can sleep cool through the night. In hot weather wearing something is actually better than wearing nothing, so you will be more comfortable lightly dressed during the summer. Because heat escapes first through the extremities, there are two more things you can do to sleep cool. Keep feet bare and don't cover them with bedding. Also try sleeping with a wet head. As hair dries, water evaporates around the scalp, keeping you cooler.