Warm Summer Nights. How to stay cool from a bedding perspective...
Every summer it seems to get a bit warmer and heat waves are becoming a common occurrence. This can wreak havoc on our sleep. A higher body temperature during the night disrupts our sleep cycles and makes it harder to sleep soundly throughout the night.
What can we do to make a difference? Start by packing up that down comforter. These are heat insulating (not to mention a dust mite's favourite place). Also take the polyester and synthetics fabrics out of the bedroom. Their lack of breathability will keep you hot. Use light weight breathable cotton sheets instead. If you choose an organic option, you will also find comfort in knowing that they are made free of chemicals and insecticides during their processing.
Using a waterproof mattress cover? Take this off and put a few extra cotton blankets down instead, if you are worried about mishaps. Waterproof covers have a membrane which keeps heat in. So if you are hot and struggling, this can be an easy fix for a few nights.
What about your mattress? Consider getting off of the gel and memory foam mattresses. The big fad over the last 15 years has been these "wonder" materials, which are not so wonderful, especially during a heat wave. How these foams work: as your body warms up (which activates a chemical reaction in the foam) it banks and holds this heat throughout the night. Consider a natural bedding material such as rubber tree latex, which is a temperature neutral material.
Our heads are one of the hottest parts of our bodies, so choosing a pillow and covering that is breathable, is essential. Pillow casings ideally should be a 250-400 thread count to be adequately breathable. Invest in a pillow filled naturally. The majority of head pillows on the market are made with synthetic fabrics, keeping us hotter than is ideal.
Other Ways to Keep Cool, Naturally:
- Close the blinds during the day to keep the house cooler, and open the window after the sun goes down to improve air circulation (which helps evaporate your sweat and will keep you cooler as you sleep).
- Hang up your bedding in the coolest part of the house during the day. Some folk even put sheets and pillow cases in the fridge or freezer, to ensure a cool bed to crawl into. This will make it much easier to fall asleep.
- Sleeping with a damp cloth or a covered ice pack can be very soothing. Consider wearing cool damp socks to bed. Cooling the feet lowers the overall body temperature of your skin and body.
- Drink lots of water during the day to keep hydrated. Eat smaller meals throughout the day, and choose foods that are easy to digest. Consuming protein stimulates the digestive fire and will heating up your body.