How to Cool Down Your Room this Summer
Written by: Stacey Kelleher
Summer is coming and for many people, that means long sleepless nights spent tossing and turning while trying to get cool.
According to research compiled by the Sleep Foundation, higher external temperatures interfere with the body’s natural temperature cycle that occurs during sleep. When that cycle is disrupted, we are more likely to wake up frequently, and less likely to get all of the restorative sleep we need to feel refreshed the next day.
Fortunately, there are ways to lower the temperature in your bedroom without spending a fortune on air conditioning. Learn how to make your room cooler and have a restful night’s sleep during hot summer nights.
Give your bed a summer makeover
Because we spend an average of 7-9 hours per day in bed, it makes sense to start here. Believe it or not, there is a difference between a “winter” bed made to retain warmth and a “summer” bed which, with the right bedding, can actually help you stay cool. Here are some ideas for how to make a summer bed.
Best fabrics to make a summer bed
When giving your bed a summer makeover, choose pillowcases, sheets,quilts, and duvet covers made of natural fabrics like cotton and linen which are more “breathable” than synthetic materials. Cotton also soaks up sweat from the body, allowing you to stay cool and dry.
Lightweight layers are easy to remove
If you share a bed with someone or just seem to wake up hot or cold during the night, consider layering with lightweight throw blankets and comforters you can each pull up or remove individually. We recommend a cozy cotton throw and natural cotton comforter or quilt to give you more options as your temperature changes during sleep.
Best pillows to stay cool
For some sleepers, it’s their hot pillow that keeps them up all night. How many times have you turned your pillow over and over, looking for the “cool” side?
Like your sheets and bedding, choose cotton pillows, pillowcases, and shams that soak up sweat and encourage airflow. You can also try putting a gel cooling mat between the pillow and pillow cover for added comfort.
Use a ceiling fan or whole-house fan
Ceiling fans circulate air to lower the temperature in the room. Make sure your fan is turning counterclockwise in the warmer months.
Another option costs a bit to install, but can go far in energy cost savings and long-term comfort. A whole-house fan installed in a home’s attic pulls hot air in and releases it through the attic and roof. According to the United States Department of Energy, some whole house fans are so efficient they can actually substitute for an air conditioner in milder climates.
Create a cross breeze
A continual cross breeze is another way to keep air flowing throughout the bedroom to keep you cool on summer nights. Create a cross breeze by placing two floor fans, tower fans, or box fans on either side of the bed facing each other. To reduce energy costs, opt for fans with a timer you can preset to turn off automatically after a few hours.
Unplug unused electronics
Electronic devices give off heat, even when they aren’t being used. To save energy and reduce heat in the bedroom, unplug any unnecessary appliances and electronics before turning in for the night.
Wear cotton pajamas
Like the sheets, pillows, and comforters that are best for warmer weather, natural fabrics are best for summer pajamas as well. Polyester, nylon, and acrylic keep heat close to the body, making you sweat -- and toss and turn.
Use light-blocking curtains
Sunlight is a considerable source of heat in bedrooms with lots of windows. Keep the sun out with insulated, blackout curtains. They’re available in a wide variety of styles, colors, and lengths. Because they insulate against hot air in the summer and cold air in the cooler months, you can leave them up all year long.
Take a cool shower
A cool shower or bath before bed will lower your body temperature and help you feel more comfortable before nodding off. Just be sure not to make the water ice cold. That will trigger your body’s natural reaction to produce heat. The ideal water temperature is just a bit lower than room temperature.
Switch to LED lightbulbs
LED light bulbs offer numerous benefits in contrast to compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs) and traditional incandescent bulbs. Not only do they last longer and use less energy, they also run much cooler than the other types of lightbulbs. Switching to LEDs in warmer months will help keep your bedroom cool and trim your energy bill too!
Add some houseplants
Indoor plants can also help you stay more comfortable this summer. Plants which are actively growing evaporate water through their leaves in a process called transpiration. That added humidity cools the surrounding air (while purifying it too - another great benefit of houseplants!)
Here are some of our favorite houseplants to help you cool down your bedroom: