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Getting a good nights sleep in the heat of summer.

Updated on June 21, 2013

There arefew things more frustrating than not being able to sleep one night after the other and in the middle of summer this is a big problem for lots of people, as all around them people are out enjoying themselves. Making as much night as it seems humanly possible. Also with the extended daylight savings its still bright outside while we try to sleep which is extremely confusing for our body clock all this coupled with the heat and humidity encountered in June through August leads to it being very difficult for many people to get that coveted nights rest. Whether it's the heat, humidity, noise, light, or just general restless energy, the endeavour of summer slumber is more pain than pleasure. This guide will hopefully shed some light on how you can get a good nights rest even with the heat.

Sleep barrier no.1 The heat

Depending on where you live July August and possibly even June can be extremely hot and possibly humid.. Heat and humidity are the main obstacles to getting a good night’s sleep during the summer.Even just an increase of a few degrees in the temperature in your room is very noticeable and can stop you from falling asleep easily. Fortunately there are some solutions to help you overcome these problems with relative easy (Some solutions are a bit abstract but they work so give them a chance!)

  • Although it may seem expensive spending the 100 or so on a good environmentally friendly air conditioning unit for your room always comes up as a good investment.Also most good air conditioners do more than just cool the room they also act as a dehumidifier, dehumidifying the air can go a long way to helping you get a good nights sleep
  • Make sure your windows and shades are kept completely closed during the day, and then remember to open as many of them as you can at nighttime. Have fans positioned on alternate sides of your room this will help to create a nice criss cross breeze effect another great tip is to get a pot such as a roasting pot then fill it with nice and place it in front of the fan now the air being generated will be ice cool. Then just enjoy the cool air as it lasts.
  • Take a shower as cold as you can bear it then lightly towel dry yourself and get into bed with the hope that by the time you have dried off completely you will have fallen asleep
  • Using cool water lightly wet a sheet that is large enough to cover your whole body , and then put your washing machine on a spin cycle and throw the sheet in when you take it out it should be damp still but not dripping wet.Alternatively yhou could use a spray bottle of water to cover the sheet so its damp but not soaking. Then put a dry sheet underneath you and use this damp sheet as your blanket the damp sheet will go great lengths to keeping you cool. The damp blanket will keep you cool and if you add a fan at the foot of your bed, the cooling effect will be even greater.


Sleep barrier no.2 - The noise

Now that you've finally overcome the hurdle of the sweltering heat by flinging the window open you encounter a new problem noise. Be it neighbours having a party across the street with loud music or simply just dogs still out because of the bright conditions it seems when our trying to sleep during the summer there will always be external noise.

Overcome the noise:

  • If you are able to then shut the windows.
  • Pick up a pair of ear plugs. If the standard ones from a drug store arent doing enough then it might be time to invest in a good quality pair of custom ones.
  • Counter their noise with your onw set your tv onto sleep mode so it will automatically turn off after an hour and put it on low volume then lie down with your back to the screen and try to sleep.Alternatively a noisy machine or overhead fan will work to drown out the noise.
  • If all else fails and you really have no alternative then try to move to an area of the house as far from the source of the noise as possible and then sleep there.

The ultimate cool room

Sleep barrier no3 - The light

Now your lying in bed with damp sheets at the perfect temperature with a fan running and no noise. Yet there is still one thing stopping you from sleeping and that's the light, in West Europe it stays bright till half ten

Overcome the light:

  • Keep your room as dark as you can this can be done by using darkly coloured heavy blinds that will filter out all light.Remove any other light sources that may distract you from your sleep this includes the blinking lights on televisions and computers this can be done by switching them off at the wall or simply covering the lights with paper or cloth. By ensuring your bedroom and all the associated walls are a dark shade will help to stimulate a feeling of tiredness or sleepiness in your body
  • Upon waking up, be sure to rifle open the windows since natural sunlight will help your body reach an alert state much more quickly;
  • Try to use a face mask as it can help to block out all the light although uncomfortable at first you soon get used to them,
  • Find a sleep schedule and stick to it although it might not help you now right away but over the long run getting on a good sleeping pattern will benefit you more than all the other solutions combined

Things to remember - Warnings

  • If you spend allot of time directly in front of the draft of a fan you could become severely dehydrated
  • An extremely cold shower might not be suitable for eveyone for example people with any kind of heart condition would be better to take a slightly warmer shower.
  • Lowering the temperature of your water bed can put you at risk of severe hypothermia
  • be sure that where the fan is standing is in a safe place away from any liquids as if it falls into water it could cause an electrical shock
  • Try to stay awake in the bath as falling asleep could put you at risk of drowning no matter how shallow it is.
  • If your hair is long don't have the fan right next to you as it could become tangled up alternatively try place it at the foot of your bed
  • When doing the ice bucket and fan method keep the fan raised above the level of the bucket so there is no danger of it falling into the bucket.
  • If you have ice cubes in your mouth be careful not to swallow them as doing so would pose as a choking hazard.
  • If you find yourself really struggling to sleep at night then a quick nap during the day is a great way to regain some energy and not leave as much stress on your self at night time.

What obstacle do you have to deal with the most

See results

Please tell me how you keep cool by posting in the comments below:

Personally I find that the method of using the fan coupled with the bucket of ice works best for me as the icy air has a really great cooling effect. When it comes to noise I like to listen to the whirring of a fan or similar monotone machine in my room.


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