Summer Survival Guide: How to Sleep Without AC (And Not Hate Your Life)

Defeat your summertime sleep struggles with these tips for staying cool at bedtime.

Here we are, in Philadelphia, which is quite the historic city, in case you haven’t heard. It’s full of old, erm, we mean historical buildings and houses. Meaning: A lot of folks live in buildings, apartments and houses bereft of central air conditioning. If you’re of this camp, you know how miserable it can be. Sleeping soundly in the heat can be very difficult. You’ve probably got, like, 10 fans blowing on you at all times have gotten very accustomed to sleeping in the nude. But, despite your cooling efforts, you’re still hot … ALL THE TIME.

In an effort to make life more pleasant for you, we did some digging to find some tips and tricks to make sleeping in the blistering heat without air conditioning a little more manageable. Here, some cooling tricks and habits to try for the best air conditioning-less sleep possible.

Repurpose your punch bowl
via Apartment Therapy

This nifty little trick requires only a fan, a bowl and ice. Take a big metal bowl filled with ice, or a comparable cool item — maybe those frozen peas that have been living in the veryyy back of your freezer for the past two years? — and place it in front of your fan at an angle. The result: An icy cool breeze for you to bask in.

Set your ceiling fan to turn counter-clockwise
via Be Well Philly 

The counter-clockwise rotation setting on most ceiling fans helps to promote better air flow throughout your room; when set to high, the air blows directly down, creating a vortex of cool air in the room. As we reported last summer, this quick and easy ceiling fan fix is a real game changer in the warmer months. I bet you’re really wondering which direction your fan is turning right about now, huh?

Explore your pantry
via Greatist

Getting creative with pantry staples like rice can be a great cool-down method. To make a quick and easy cold compress, fill a sock with rice and tie it off the end. Stick that sucker in the freezer for about an hour and reap the cooling benefits. The compress should stay cold for about 30 minutes, giving you ample time to doze off.

Utilize summer’s harvest
via Huffington Post

Did you know that your gut, if it’s working too hard, can make you hot? A sleep-expert-backed trick is to take it easy on your digestive system and choose lighter foods during summertime — hit up your local farmers’ market for some refreshing and light summer produce.

Rethink where you sleep
via Sleep Junkies

While beds are the standard spot for sleeping in our culture, extreme heat may drive you to reconsider. As we all know, heat rises so, one move may be to sleep downstairs. You could also try to hang a hammock inside your house so air can flow all around you while your sleep. (So bohemian, eh?)

Sleep like a starfish
via Reverie

While this might not be the most feasible if you share a bed, sleeping in the starfish position — with your arms and legs spread apart — allows more air to reach more of your body. Switching up your sleep position will hopefully reduce the sweaty nooks and crannies that occur during your slumber.

Get high-tech
via Greatist

Our heads are a strong portal for heating and cooling, so rethinking your pillow situation might be the ticket for staying cool during your slumber. Check out the Chillow, which is a cooling pad that you place on top of your pillow to tone down your sleep sweating. Bonus: The Chillow can also help with sunburn (which you shouldn’t have, but in case you do … ).

Be strategic about your dinnertime.
via PopSugar

Eating too close to bedtime can cause digestive upset, another issue that can keep you up, on top of being hot. Try to give at least one to two hours of  buffer period between dinner and hitting the hay.

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