How to Sleep on a Hot Night

Sleeping on a hot night without air-conditioning can be tough. As you toss and turn in the futile pursuit of a more comfortable position, you only become increasingly restless, and hence, hotter. Don't go to bed unarmed. Use these simple tips to beat the heat and get some sleep.

List of Items Needed

  • Light cotton sheets and clothing
  • Spray bottle
  • Bed fan
  • Bag of ice
  1. Wear the right clothes and try to limit the amount of clothes you wear to bed. Wear only light cotton clothing and don't wear socks.

  2. Sleep with light cotton sheets and spread your body out as opposed to curling up. Keep your feet and face out from under the covers. Once you get into bed, avoid too much repositioning.

  3. Keep a cold compress between your thighs and under your pillow on a hot night. Use an ice pack, wrapped in a thin towel, or fill up a sock with rice and stick it in the freezer during the day.

  4. Sleep with a fan blowing on you. Position the fan so it blows across your whole body from head to foot.

  5. Shower right before going to bed and leave your hair and skin slightly damp. It doesn't have to be a cold shower. In fact, the warmer the shower is, the cooler the room will feel afterward. But slightly cool showers typically feel the best after sitting in a room on a hot night.

  6. Dampen your sheets or night shirt slightly. They should not be soaking, or this will be even more uncomfortable. The perfect level of wetness is often achieved by putting a sheet or shirt in the washing machine on the light soil setting. Evaporative cooling will keep you comfortable for several hours.

  7. Rig a homemade air conditioning device. If you know it's going to be a hot night, buy a medium to large bag of store-bought ice and dump it into a large plastic bowl before you go to bed. Set the bowl directly in front of a fan blowing toward you.

  8. Consider purchasing a bed fan. Bed fans attach to the foot of your bed and blow a constant stream of air under the covers. See the Bed Fan link below for more information.

Tips and Warnings

  • Combining two or more of these methods will increase the amount of time it will take for your body to get hot again.
  • Avoid eating refined sugars and carbohydrates before you go to bed, as these are often associated with restlessness.
  • Keep doors and windows open. Set up several fans near and around your room to create air circulation.
  • Keep water next to you while you sleep. You can also keep a spray bottle filled with water to spray yourself with throughout the night.
  • Sleeping naked doesn't allow a medium for moisture to evaporate between your body and the sleeping surface. Heat then collects below your body, making your hotter.
  • Taking a cold shower can shock your body, and is not recommended for people with heart conditions.
  • Dampening your bed and other material can facilitate the growth of mold.
  • Keep any wet material safely out of contact with your fan or any other electrical appliances.

© Demand Media 2011