Beat the heat without AC: tips to stay comfortable at night
While there’s many wonderful things to love about summer, the restless nights aren’t one of them – without the benefit of air conditioning, many of us find it hard to settle down and get to sleep when it’s hot and humid.
Here’s some simple strategies to beat the heat and keep cool on hot nights.
Freeze your sheets
It might seem silly, but putting your sheets in the freezer can help give a brief respite from the heat when you’re first getting into bed. Try putting your top sheet into a plastic bag and leaving them in the freezer for an hour or so. It’s a bit of an effort but will give you a cool bed to get into so you have a chance to get comfortable.
Grab the hot water bottle
If freezing your sheets feels like all too much of an effort, try this simpler trick instead. Dust off your hot water bottle and fill it with cold water to use as a bed-friendly ice pack. If you want it ice-cold, fill the bottle half way with water and lay it on its size in the freezer. Pull it out when you’re ready and fill the other half with water. It will be crisp without being unbearably cold.
The ancient Egyptians knew a thing or two about living in the heat, so why not adopt a modified version of an ancient trick. Egyptians reportedly would sleep with a damp sheet or blanket to keep cool through the night – while you might not want to go that far, try taking a cool wash cloth into bed with you and resting it on your forehead or neck. It will gradually help you feel cooler and drift off to sleep.
Check your pulses
One of the quickest ways to cool down day or night is to apply an ice pack to one of your pulse points. Placing an ice pack or cold water bottle on the wrists, neck, elbows, groin, ankles and behind the knees for a few minutes will help the whole body feel cooler.
Bring down your core temperature
If you’re already hot before you get into bed you might struggle to settle, particularly if your hands or feet feel swollen. Bring your core temperature down by stepping into a cold shower for a few minutes just before you’re ready to sleep. It will feel brisk – but if you can manage a few minutes at the coldest temperature you can stand you’ll be cooler stepping into bed.
Use a bucket
If the cold shower doesn’t appeal, fill a bucket with cold ice water and put it beside your bed. Dunk your feet into it for a few minutes until you start to feel cooler. Leave it there overnight – if you wake up feeling hot and restless, dunk your feet in until you feel cool again.
Do you have any tips for staying comfortable without air conditioning? Let us know in the comments below!