How to Sleep in Hot Weather: 10 Tips for Staying Cool

We love summer for its beach days and fruity drinks and sundresses. We don’t love summer for its uncanny ability to foil our every attempt at sleeping comfortably. Between sweaty sheets and sticky skin, getting a good night’s rest can be tough when it’s a bajillion degrees. Here's how to sleep in hot weather.

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1. Take A Shower Right Before Bed

Does anything beat the clean, cozy feeling of hopping into bed right after showering? We think not, but doubly so when it’s super hot out. Taking a chilly shower right before going to sleep lowers your body temperature and wards off that sticky feeling you’re bound to get.

2. Keep Your Shades Closed During The Day

Right when you wake up, you should open your bedroom shades. Natural sunlight helps the body produce vitamin D and boosts serotonin levels, which can improve your mood. But, once you’re done getting ready, close the shades for the day. By not having the sun beat down on your bed (especially if your windows face south and west), you’ll keep the temperature low and make your nighttime routine a whole lot more comfortable.

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3. Use A Buckwheat-filled Pillow

You’ve been sleeping on the same set for years. It’s time for a pillow upgrade, in the form of a buckwheat-filled version like this one from Hullo, which promotes better airflow and doesn’t absorb heat like typical down or poly-fill pillows. On top of their cooling properties, buckwheat pillows have a malleable quality that allows them to support the space beneath your neck, keep your spine straight and help your neck and back muscles completely relax. Wins all around.

4. And Slip On A Silk Pillowcase

It’s not just what’s on the inside that counts. Once you’ve got your cooling buckwheat-filled pillow, cover it with a silk pillowcase (we like Slip's version). Silk is a natural temperature regulator, it’s far gentler on your hair (not today, bedhead) and it could protect the delicate skin on your face in the long run, too.

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5. Sleep Alone

No offense to your S.O., your kids, your dog...but having more than one person in your bed majorly increases the amount of body heat. If sleeping solo is an option, go for it. Once you’re all by yourself, spread your limbs wide so your arms and legs don’t touch each other. It’s the best setup for circulating air, and you might as well take advantage of the extra space while you have it.

6. Put Your Pillowcase In The Freezer

This trick will save you from a night spent flipping your pillow in search of the cooler side. About 15 to 30 minutes before bed, stick your pillow cases in a plastic bag (unless you want them touching your frozen peas) and pop them in the freezer. The chill probably won’t last the whole night, but it should keep you cool long enough to drift off.

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7. Swap Your Heavy Comforter For A Lightweight Blanket

You may think the only way to cool down is with the AC, but a lot of times simply switching out your down comforter is enough to save you from those sweaty nights. Go for anything that’s 100-percent cotton. It’s airy enough to keep you cool, and soft enough to double as a top sheet.

8. Switch Out Your Sheets, Too

The higher the thread count, the less breathable your sheets are in the heat. So, even though it feels luxe to splurge on an 800-count set, you should do the opposite in the summer and aim for a lower number. (For example, this 270-count Brooklinen set.)

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Ulta Beauty

9. Mist Your Face

If you do find yourself waking up in a sweat throughout the night, it never hurts to keep a bottle of face mist on your nightstand so you can spritz yourself throughout the night. Nothing fancy, just something to help you cool off quick.

10. Re-position Your Fan At The Foot Of The Bed

Sure, it’s tempting to aim it right at your face. But placing a fan by your feet helps circulate cool air without causing your neck muscles to tense up from the breeze. (Also, have you ever had a fan blowing in your face for eight hours? Not fun.)

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sarah stiefvater

Wellness Director

Sarah Stiefvater is PureWow's Wellness Director. She's been at PureWow for ten years, and in that time has written and edited stories across all categories, but currently focuses...