Maintaining an optimal room temperature is pivotal in getting regular, high-quality sleep.
This involves cooling a room down fast if it is hot and stuffy when bedtime approaches. While air conditioning can reduce the temperature quickly, other effective techniques exist.
Sleeping with the air conditioning on can have unwelcome consequences.
AC removes moisture from the air, can lead to illness and infection, and prevents organic thermoregulation of the body. Staying cool naturally while sleeping is infinitely preferable.
Is My Bedroom Too Hot?
Many of us enjoy the idea of a warm and cozy bedroom, especially when the colder months of the year arrive. A comfortable bed can feel like a sanctuary from the chill of the outside world.
Unfortunately, it’s easy to tip the balance from “cozy” to “stuffy.” These conditions can prevent us from falling asleep or leading to broken sleep if we doze off. So, what temperature should a bedroom be to achieve a comfortable temperature for sleeping?
The ideal ambient temperature for a bedroom during sleeping hours is 65 degrees Fahrenheit, which will encourage and stimulate REM sleep. Anything between 60 and 67 degrees is usually fine, though.
Do not be afraid of experimenting with different temperatures. As Indoor and Built Environments explain, gender differences can lead to variations in body heat.
An air conditioner may seem the easiest way to sleep in a hot, stuffy room. This approach is not for everybody, so it’s important to understand how to keep a room cool in summer without AC.
Benefits of Sleeping Without Air Conditioning
Air conditioning recirculates the same air, time and again. While sleeping, you’ll be immobile and breathe in countless germs. The International Journal of Epidemiology confirms that prolonged use of AC leads to more time in doctor’s offices and clinics.
In addition, air conditioning creates a false ambient temperature, making it challenging for the body to adapt once removed from the familiar environment.
Air conditioning removes moisture from the room, leaving the skin to dry out overnight, often leading to substandard sleep and feelings of discomfort by the morning.
How to Sleep in a Hot Room Without Air Conditioning
So, we have established that sleeping without air conditioning is better, but we haven’t discussed how to sleep in a house without AC.
Follow these hot weather hacks to stay cool at night without AC:
Blackout Blinds or Curtains
Blackout blinds are often associated with keeping intrusive light pollution from a bedroom, but they can be a good way to cool down a bedroom by day.
If you get blackout curtains and close them during the day, heat from the sun’s rays will enter your bedroom, which means the room won’t have the opportunity to build ambient heat.
However, some blackout curtains will trap any heat already within the room. If you use large electrical appliances in the afternoon, they’ll release heat that lingers in the room.
Reduce Body Temperature Before Bedtime
You’re likelier to stay cool overnight if you reduce your body temperature before getting into bed in the first place.
Ways to achieve this include:
- Avoid eating or drinking alcohol within an hour or two of bedtime
- Take a cool or lukewarm shower
- Place icepacks on your pulse points
- Sip on a glass of iced water
- Remain as still and static as possible for half an hour before bed
Above all, give yourself time to relax before getting into bed. Don’t retire immediately after strenuous physical activity or a stressful situation, no matter how tired you are. Take 20-30 minutes to sit down and cool off.
Many of us love sharing a bed with partners or pets because it’s a great way to bond. Unfortunately, it also transfers body heat. Sometimes this is invaluable during the winter, but it’s often uncomfortable during the hotter months.
Have a conversation with your partner, explaining that their body heat interferes with your sleep. From here, consider reducing the ambient temperature in the room or temporarily debunk to separate beds until winter arrives again.
If a natural breeze enters your room, it’ll help keep you cool. According to Indoor Air, if the air quality is of a sufficiently high standard, you’ll wake up feeling refreshed in the morning.
Of course, sleeping with windows open isn’t for everybody. If you have pets, it may not be safe. Equally, you’ll need to be mindful of who could access your home through a window. Be wary of passers-by and neighborhood animals.
A compromise could be to sleep with open windows and closed curtains, which will moderate the temperature while blocking light pollution and preventing too much cold air from entering the room.
Some people will immediately reject the idea of fans as they create a draft. You’ll have no problem if you understand how to effectively cool down a room with a fan.
Don’t leave fans running all day as this is a waste of electricity as they’re only effective when the outside temperature drops below that found in your bedroom. Usually, that’s after sundown and in the early hours of the morning.
You’ll need an even number of fans, so two or four may be needed for a particularly large room.
Position half these fans in a shaded part of the room to blow cool air around the room. Place the other fans on the other side to move this air out of the house and keep a fresh breeze circulating.
Unplug Electrical Appliances
If you’re using a fan, make it the only electrical appliance plugged in overnight. Switch to an analog, battery-powered alarm clock, and turn off and unplug any cell phones, TV sets, computers, and tablets.
Appliances tend to emit waste heat while they’re in use. The larger the device, the hotter it runs. For example, a refrigerator will run hotter than a charging iPad.
If you must have electrical equipment in your bedroom, try to run it by day so it can cool off. Also, when replacing older appliances, look at the Energy Star rating of any option. The higher this rating, the less heat it will generate.
Consider Your Nightwear
Thick, flannel pajamas may feel comforting but lead to overheating. Other materials may also react to your bedsheets and blankets.
There are benefits to sleeping without clothing at all. If you feel comfortable with this arrangement, you’re likelier to maintain an ideal core temperature. There will be no fabric barriers to raise the level of heat.
If you prefer not to sleep naked, choose nightwear that’s as thin as possible. If you can afford satin pajamas or a night dress of this material, any sweat will rapidly evaporate, helping you stay cool. If you can stretch your budget to satin sheets, that’s even better.
Think of cooling mattresses as the inverse of the popular electronic heating blanket. Switch the cooling mattress on before retiring, and you’ll have a chilled bed ideal for sleep.
Blankets are not the only way to cool off, though. Consider taking a hot water bottle and filling it with chilled water – add some ice if you can, too. Just sleeping with a cool washcloth on your head can also reduce your temperature.
These tips for sleeping without AC will help anybody enjoy a long, peaceful, and restful night of slumber. Sleeping without air conditioning benefits the body in the longer term, so it’s a healthy habit to get into. Once you know how to cool off a room without AC, you’ll not need to use this expensive home appliance.