How to keep cool at night during the summer
Are you finding it hard to sleep due to the hot humid summer weather? You’re not alone.
Thankfully there are no shortage of solutions to your sleepless nights, including:
- Taking a cold shower before bed (who doesn’t LOVE a horrible cold shower)
- Switching to cotton sheets (they don't come cheap)
- Wearing looser clothing
- Turning off heat producing electronics before bed – such as lights or your TV
Then there are the less than practical solutions for staying cool in the summer, such as sleeping on the floor where the air is cooler, but the ground is harder!
Or how about cooling your bed sheets in the fridge – because everyone loves slightly damp bed sheets, especially with an unwelcome tomato stalk from the fridge that looks like a spider at 2am!
So how about some more realistic solutions to stay cool in the summer?
Freezer bags and rice
Interesting fact for you: rice absorbs heat far more slowly than cotton or down, making it perfect for this particular cooling trick.
All you need to do is take a large freezer bag and fill it with rice. Make sure you only fill the bag to the point where you can lay it flat on the ground and have a single unbroken layer of rice inside – remember, you’re cooling your face, not fixing your waterlogged phone or rustling up a jalfrezi.
Next, place the bag of rice into the freezer for an hour or so before bed. Then, when you’re ready, slip the freezer bag inside your pillowcase and enjoy the cold side of a pillow for longer.
The rice should stay cool for around 30 minutes, which for most people is plenty of time to fall asleep. And if you find the freezer bag uncomfortable you can always cover it with a tea towel for an additional layer of softness.
Blow the hot air away
Do you ever feel like your desk fans are just blowing hot air around the room? Why not try positioning the fans in front of your windows to blow that hot air outside instead?
Whilst the cooling effect may not feel immediate, over time the inside of your house will cool down. This is especially true if you tend to keep your windows open throughout the day – which is when hot air tends to accumulate inside your home like a greenhouse.
As an added bonus the fans will help to reduce the pollen count and number of flies that would otherwise have made their way through your open windows.
Adjust the spin of your ceiling fan
If you’re lucky enough to have a ceiling fan you may want to check if there is a setting to adjust the direction of spin – best to do this one whilst the fan is turned off. Just saying.
During the summer the fan should be moving counter-clockwise at a high speed to pull hot air upwards and force colder air down to the ground.
Then in winter you should be operating the fan clockwise at a lower speed to distribute heat around the room.
DIY your own air conditioner
An air conditioner works by moving a chemical called refrigerant around a closed loop. The refrigerant starts out as a liquid, absorbs heat and then transforms into a gas. This gas is then forced back into a liquid state, expelling the unwanted heat outside the home in the process.
You can create a partial version of this system by placing a bowl of ice in front of a desk fan. As the ice absorbs heat it evaporates creating colder air above the ice, the fan then blows this cooler air in your direction.
Another option is to freeze half filled bottles of water (full bottles will explode in the freezer) and place them in front of the fan for the same effect. As an added bonus you can drink the chilled water when it thaws.
Freeze a hot water bottle
Your trusty hot water bottle will keep you warm in the winter but can also be used to keep you cool in the summer.
Just be mindful not to totally fill your hot water bottle as water actually expands by as much as 9% when frozen – that’s why soft drink cans often explode if they are left to freeze.
When your hot water bottle is frozen wrap it up in a towel (if it doesn't have a soft cover of its own) and place it under your duvet before bed to regulate the temperature as you sleep.
You can even freeze more than one hot water bottle in advance as a replacement if you wake up hot during the night.
Know any other tips to keep cool during the summer nights?
Let us know in the comments and they may even make their way into the article.
- how to cool down a room
- How to stay cool
- stay cool in summer
- too hot to sleep
- trouble sleeping
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