How to Sleep Cooler in a Hot and Stuffy Bedroom

Drink cool water, use fan.
How to Sleep Cooler in a Hot and Stuffy Bedroom
Tom Greenspan
December 21, 2022

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If you live in a part of the world where increasing temperatures are a significant issue, you will know how difficult it is to sleep in a hot, stuffy bedroom where the heat is oppressive.

The good news is that you can take measures to make your bedroom feel cooler, enabling you to sleep through the night.

Your body temperature fluctuates through the day, but generally, if you are healthy, your body temperature will drop by a couple of degrees as you start to get sleepy. You can sleep soundly if you can get past the initial uncomfortably hot phase and manage to drift off to sleep with a few common sense tips.

Let's get into it and learn how you can get a good night's sleep and more such as:

How do I make my bedroom less stuffy and cooler?

With a few tried and tested hacks, you can make your bedroom cooler easily, creating an environment where rest and sleep are easily achievable without breaking a sweat during the night.

Here are a few tips to start with:

  • Direct sunlight streaming into your bedroom will raise the bedroom's temperature. Close the curtains during daylight hours to prevent sunlight from entering the bedroom.
  • Open windows and interior doors at night to allow air circulation throughout the house. Smaller rooms will retain heat more than a larger bedroom. If you have issues with insects at night, fit a mosquito screen to the bedroom window to allow cooler air into the bedroom without the bugs.
  • Increase the speed of your ceiling fan to create more air turbulence in the bedroom, the air may not be colder, but it will feel that way as it will increase the evaporation of moisture from your skin.
  • Heat rises, and cool air sinks. Sleep close to the ground on a low-slung bed for a cooler night's sleep.
  • Replace bulbs with LEDs and switch off electronic devices that generate and contribute to increased heat.
  • Sleep naked or in loose-fitting, lightweight sleepwear.
  • Sleep alone

How can I stop getting hot at night?

If you calculate, the average person has a calorie intake of around 2000 calories per day, which translates to  ~350,000 J of heat energy per hour. Since Watt is just Joules per second, this is roughly equal to the energy given off by a 100 Watt light bulb!

Use these tips to reduce your sleeping body temperature:

  • Eat smaller meals before bedtime.
  • Limit alcohol consumption.
  • Cool off pulse pints with ice packs.
  • Take a warm shower before bedtime.

Let's find out more fascinating tips for staying cool at night.

1. Keep fans clean

It can be a ceiling fan or desktop fan; when the fan blades become covered with dust and grime, the fan can lose up to 50% of its efficiency. Without a regular cleaning schedule, your fan will start losing its cooling effects making your bedroom feel warmer at night.

It is a simple fix, wipe with a clean cloth that has been rinsed in clean soapy water to remove dust and grime and dry off with a clean cloth. The difference in performance between a clean or dirty fan is staggeringly vast.

How do you clean a ceiling fan?

In most cases, you will need a set of steps to gain access to the ceiling fan, isolate the circuit from the breaker box, and the fan has an electric motor, so isolating the electricity will prevent electric shocks.

Wipe clean with warm soapy water until the fan blades are clean and free from general dust and grime.

2. Air Conditioning Maintenance

Maintain your air conditioning on a set schedule. The problem with air conditioning is it gets fitted and then forgotten about until the first signs of drops of water coming from the air conditioning unit. If left, the air conditioner will drip water more and more until you can almost fill a bucket with water overnight.

Why is the air conditioning dripping water? Its dirty dust has accumulated on the filters and then penetrated and settled on the condenser. When the air conditioning unit is full of dust and grime, it builds up a block of ice and loses its efficiency and ability to cool effectively.

How do you clean the air conditioning unit?

The home over can remove the first line of air filtration by simply unclipping the plastic air filter frame. This should be done every couple of weeks when the air conditioning is used for hours through the night.

Wash the filters with a soft brush to remove the dust, and then replace the filters when dry. It's an easy job.

If the air conditioner is still dripping water, you may need to call an air conditioning engineer for a more thorough cleaning. If you have window-type air conditioning, once it's clean, replace the unit and angle it slightly backward, so any water runs from the back of the unit and not the front.

3. Sleep alone

Humans generate a lot of heat even when just laying still in bed, and two adults in a bed can soon increase the bedroom's temperature to unbearable levels. If it's an option to sleep alone, do so. When nighttime temperatures stay high in those weeks during the summer, sleep in a separate bedroom to get quality sleep.

4. Use a cold face cloth

It may seem like a hassle, but a cold face cloth across your forehead and pulse points will make you feel cooler, even if only a temporary fix may allow you to drift off to sleep.

Did you know your body has eight pulse points—the back of the neck, behind the elbows and knees, the inside of the wrists, the top of the feet, the insides of the ankles, the inner thighs, and the temples. Cooling down these areas will cool off your blood, lowering your body temperature and enabling you to sleep through the night.

5. Lower your core body temperature

It's a contentious issue that is frequently debated, does drinking cold water cool you down? If you are into sports and fitness, you will drink ice-cold water to maintain your core body temperature, which is a reasonable assumption. 

While others suggest Iced water or other iced drinks do not help, They cool that part of the body in contact with the cold, but the rest of the body then kicks in, shutting off some functions to warm the cold parts up to body temperature, providing no relief from the heat.

We do no one thing; being hydrated is critical, so drink cold water if it makes you feel cooler, and if you don't feel there is a benefit, then at least you have taken on extra hydration.

6. Exposed feet and toes

With your feet and ankles having two pulse points, it seems feasible that leaving your feet and ankles exposed while sleeping will indeed keep you cooler.

It is said Aside from being hairless (and thus likely more sensitive to temperature changes), our feet also hold unique vascular structures that make them an exit point for your body heat. When we want to noticeably lower our body temperature without having to be uncovered, exposing even one foot can make all the difference.

7. Ditch the frumpy PJs

When the bedroom is hot and stuffy, modesty is the last thing on your mind. If possible, strip off and sleep naked. You will feel invigorated and much cooler than sleeping in Pajamas. If you have kids around the home, returning to nature may not be possible, so wear lightweight pajamas, short sleeves, and shorts to ensure they don't hug your body. You want to feel free, letting the air waft where it usually doesn't!

8. Avoid big meals

Adjust your diet during a heat wave to remain cooler at night, try not to eat after 6 pm, and make your meal a salad with a small amount of protein like salmon or tuna. Avoid spicy food; spicy food can be hard to digest and metabolize and could cause heartburn adding to your sleep problems.

9. Take a warm shower before bed

It may seem like a contradictory step to take before sleeping, but taking a warm shower will make you feel fresh and clean while at the same time opening your blood capillaries. When your capillaries are open, it's the body's way of managing internal core heat, thus making you feel cooler.

Final thoughts

Some tips will keep you cool and save money on your electricity bill, such as maintaining your air conditioning unit. A drop of 50% efficiency is enormous. The advice given is sound and based on empirical evidence, not researched fiction.

Sleeping in a stuffy bedroom is the thing of nightmares. To keep cool takes planning and preparation as you would for heavy snowfall. Being hot is the opposite of being in the grips of a winter storm. However, the same mindset must be in place.