If you live anywhere where the climate is remotely warm, the hottest months of the year can make staying cool at night quite difficult.
AC helps keep the temperature down and a soft blowing fan is refreshing, but nothing compares to the heavenly feeling of cold bedsheets in the late evening.
How can you have cool bed sheets you might ask? Well, there are a few ways.
One of the simplest ways to cool your bedsheets is by putting them in the freezer, which is a relatively straightforward process as you will soon find out. Additionally, you can experiment with the “Egyptian method” or investing in cooling mattress pads.
But first, what is it about hot weather that makes it so difficult to fall asleep in the first place?
How hot weather makes it harder to sleep
There are many things that can affect how easily you can get to sleep. Late-night internet browsing, espresso shots, and stress can all certainly make it harder to get to sleep but one of the most uncomfortable hinderances is a warm room.
But why exactly?
You tend to feel alert during the day when it is typically warmer outside and sleepier at night when its cooler, due to your circadian rhythm. Simply put, your circadian rhythm or your 24-hour internal clock is essentially what naturally makes you feel awake during the day and drowsier at night1.
Naturally, during the night when the sun goes down and the temperature drops, your body’s core temperature slightly drops with it. This drop in body temperature at night signals the release of melatonin, a hormone that makes you feel tired and ready for sleep.
However, when it is still relatively warm at night and your body is overheating, it can be difficult to drift off to sleep because the heat can inhibit your body’s ability to wind down for sleep.
Why chill your bedsheets?
When the night time heat makes it difficult to sleep, some nice cool bedsheets make drifting off to sleep much more pleasant.
Although there are numerous ways to cool down your bedroom, chilling your bedsheets is one of the few ways to specifically cool off your bed. Laying down on cold bedsheets is a quick way to bring down your body temperature and get you in the right physiological state for sleep.
Keep in mind that although this method provides great relief from the heat, its effects are short-lived. Your bedsheets certainly won’t stay cold for the entire night. Hopefully, however, they will stay cool long enough for you to comfortably drift off to sleep.
How to chill your bedsheets
The process of chilling your bedsheets is pretty straightforward but there are a few tips and tricks to keep in mind.
First, grab your bed sheets and pillowcase and put them into an airtight plastic bag. Making sure that the bag is airtight is important for preventing moisture from building up on your sheets. Large-sized hefty zip lock bags usually work great.
Next, simply throw your plastic bag in the freezer. Alternatively, you can put your plastic bag in the fridge if there isn’t room in the freezer. It won’t make too much of a difference other than that your sheets just won’t be quite as cold.
You can then wait 20 minutes or so for your sheets to get nice and cold. From there you can simply take your sheets out of the freezer, and put them back on your bed.
There you have it: a nice chilled out bed.
Other ways to keep your bed sheets cool
Although it’s tough to find another way to make your bed feel as cold as it is after you put your sheets in the freezer, there are a few other ways to make your sheets cool.
The “Egyptian method”
Rumor has it that the ancient Egyptians used to use this approach regularly to beat the heat at night.
Grab some bedsheets and soak them in water. Wring out as much water as you can by hand or throw your sheets in the washing machine on spin cycle. The goal is to get make sure your sheets aren’t dripping wet but at the same time, still damp.
From here put a large towel or blanket on top of your bed, and then while wrapped in your damp bedsheets, lie down on your bed.
The whole idea is that your damp sheets will keep you cool throughout the night as the water evaporates from your sheets. By morning, your sheets should be perfectly dry.
Cooling mattress pads
Cooling mattress pads are, as you can imagine, mattress pads that help your body stay cool. These mattress pads tend to be made of finely woven cotton that is incredibly breathable. The design of these mattress pads allows them to wick moisture away and keep you cool throughout the night.
If traditional cooling mattress pads don’t do the trick, there are some more heavy-duty options to consider. Cooling systems such as the ChiliPad Cube, for instance, use a water cooling system to keep your bed feeling nice and cool. This device is a mat that you place under your sheets, that has water running through a network of tubing inside. You simply need to set the device to whatever water temperature you want and you are set to go.
Moving your mattress
One super cheap and easy way to keep your bed feeling cooler is by simply moving it.
For cooler sleeping conditions, you can move your mattress to a lower floor of your house. You can even bring your mattress down to your basement if you have one. Since heat tends to rise, the lower you can sleep in your house the cooler you will be. Even putting your mattress on the floor instead of on a frame can make a difference temperature-wise.
Keeping a cool mattress is undoubtedly great for dozing off to sleep easier in hot temperatures.
However, keep in mind that keeping your bedroom as a whole cool, and not just your mattress is important for getting good quality sleep. After all, a chilled mattress won’t stay chilled for very long in a hot room. That being said, there are a few things you can do to ensure that your house doesn’t get too warm for sleep.
Using the air conditioning is an obvious one. Without air conditioning or an air cooler, having a temporarily cool mattress might not make a huge difference in the sweltering heat. If you don’t have air conditioning, simply keeping the blinds closed during the day and running fans can prevent your house from heating up too much.
- “What is Circadian Rhythm.” www.sleepfoundation.org, https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/what-circadian-rhythm