how to cool down in bed
Better Sleep

How To Stay Cool While Sleeping Without Using An Air Conditioner

Last Updated on February 10, 2024 by Louise Carter

Maintaining an optimal room temperature is pivotal to getting quality sleep.

This involves cooling a room down fast if it’s hot and stuffy as bedtime approaches. While air conditioning can reduce the temperature quickly, other effective techniques are available.

Sleeping with the air conditioning on can have unwelcome consequences. AC removes moisture from the air, can lead to illness, and prevents thermoregulation.

Staying cool naturally while sleeping is preferable to doing so by artificial means.

Is My Bedroom Too Hot?

Many of us like the thought of a warm and cozy bedroom, especially when winter arrives. 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.”

If we doze off, these conditions can prevent us from falling asleep or cause broken sleep. What temperature should a bedroom be to be comfortable for sleeping?

The ideal ambient temperature for a bedroom during sleep is 65 degrees Fahrenheit, which will stimulate REM sleep. Anything between 60 and 67 degrees is usually okay.

Don’t be afraid of experimenting with different temperatures. As Indoor and Built Environments explains, gender differences can lead to variations in body heat.

An air conditioner may seem the easiest way to sleep in a hot, stuffy room. However, this approach isn’t for everybody, so we must understand how to keep a room cool in summer without an 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 germs. The International Journal of Epidemiology stated that prolonged use of AC leads to more illnesses.

In addition, air conditioning creates a false ambient temperature, making it difficult for the body to adapt once removed from the familiar environment.

Air conditioning removes moisture from the room, leaving the skin to dry overnight, often leading to substandard sleep and feelings of discomfort by the morning.

How to Sleep in a Hot Room Without Air Conditioning

We’ve 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 an effective 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 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 remain 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 1-2 hours of bedtime.
  • Take a cool or lukewarm shower.
  • Place ice packs on your pulse points.
  • Sip on a glass of iced water.
  • Remain as still and static as possible for half an hour before bed.

Give yourself time to relax before getting into bed. No matter how tired you feel, don’t retire after strenuous physical activity or a stressful situation. Take 20-30 minutes to sit down and cool off.

Sleep Alone

Many of us love sharing a bed with partners or pets because it’s a way to bond. Unfortunately, sharing a bed also transfers body heat, which is invaluable during the winter but uncomfortable during the summer.

Explain to your partner that their body heat interferes with sleep. From here, reduce the temperature in the room or temporarily sleep in separate beds until winter arrives again.

Open Windows

If a natural breeze enters your room, it’ll help keep you cool. According to Indoor Air, if the air quality is of a high standard, you’ll wake up feeling refreshed in the morning.

Of course, sleeping with windows open isn’t for everyone.

If you have pets, it may be unsafe. Equally, you must be mindful of who can access your home through a window. Be wary of passers-by and neighborhood animals.

A compromise is 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.

Fans

Some people will immediately reject the idea of fans because they create a draft. You’ll have no problem if you understand how to cool down a room with a fan.

Don’t leave fans running all day. This is a waste of electricity, as they’re only effective when the outside temperature drops below that of your bedroom.

Usually, that’s after sundown and in the early hours. You’ll need 2-4 for a 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 emit waste heat while they’re in use. The larger the device, the hotter it runs. For example, a refrigerator will run at a higher temperature than a charging iPad.

If you must have electrical equipment in your bedroom, 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.

Nightwear

Thick, flannel pajamas may feel comforting but lead to overheating. Other materials may also react to your bedsheets and blankets.

Sleeping without clothing has benefits. If you feel comfortable with this arrangement, you’re likelier to maintain an ideal core temperature, as there will be no fabric barriers to raise the heat level.

If you prefer not to sleep naked, choose nightwear that’s as thin as possible.

If you get satin pajamas or a night dress, any sweat will rapidly evaporate, helping you stay cool.

Cooling Mattress

Think of cooling mattresses as the inverse of an electric blanket. Switch the cooling mattress on before retiring, and you’ll have a chilled bed ideal for sleep.

Consider taking a hot water bottle and filling it with chilled water – add some ice if you can. Just sleeping with a cool washcloth on your head can reduce your temperature.

These tips for sleeping without AC will help anybody enjoy a long, peaceful, and restful sleep.

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 won’t need this expensive home appliance.