Wednesday, July 6, 2011

How to Sleep During a Hot Night

Yeah, I hear your angry moans of hate as you flip in your bed shaking your fist at the horrible heat. In fact, I've done the same for the past two days. It's been hot! Well, it's about time to tell nature who's boss! Nature doesn't tell us when to sleep, we tell nature when it sleeps. *Puts on sunglasses*

If your bed looks like this, you may want to lose a few pillows.

Note: We are assuming you cannot/don't use/own an air conditioner.

"Active" methods. These methods will get you cooler quicker but will last only for a pre-determined amount of time.

1. Simulate "AC". Purchase a bag of ice, or make your own, then place ice into a shallow bowl. Place the shallow bowl in front of a fan facing your direction. The ice will surprisingly decrease the air temperature as the fan blows the newly cooled air towards you. While it won't make the temperature suddenly become -55 degrees, it'll be a lot cooler.

2. Cool the bed itself.

  • "Egyptian Method". Take a bath towel or a sheet that is large enough to cover your body, and either damp it with water. (Damp, not dripping wet.) Take a dry sheet/towel and sleep on top of it. Use the damp towel/sheet as a blanket. The damp sheet will keep you cool, and the dry towel will keep your bed dry. To maximize "coolness", place a fan at the foot of your bed facing towards you, which will simulate "AC" but shorten the time before the towel/sheet dries off and stops the cooling process.
  • Chill your pillowcase. You know what? Forget it, chill your blankets, bed coverings, pillowcases, darn everything. If it fits in your fridge, do it.
3. Alternatively, on very hot blistering days, you can dampen a shirt and insert it in the refrigeration, when it's time to sleep, put the shirt on.

4. Buy/use a bamboo mat. Bamboo won't retain the heat as much as your bed mattress now. Although, you will have to deal with the bamboo "stickiness" as you begin to sweat. (If you don't sweat that much, then this won't apply to you)

Don't know any shops? Better get busy.

5. Dampen a towel, and place it on top of your pillow, and sleep on the towel. Flip/dampen as needed.

6. Before you sleep, wipe your entire body with a damp towel from head to toe then stand in front of a fan. This will simulate sweat evaporating from your body, on a larger awesome-er scale.

"Passive" methods. These won't make you "cool as ice" instantly, but will certainly help you deal with the heat.

1. Increase air circulation. Generally, the air around you is a lower temperature then your body. Your body being around 97 degrees gives you a large range to temperature in which it will realistically benefit you to increase air circulation. If the temperature is higher then your body temperature, this method may not work. Turn on your fan faced towards your body as you sleep, as simple as that.

2. Sleep downstairs. Cold air goes down, while hot air goes up. Try sleeping closer to the ground if possible.

3. Sleep with your body parts spread out. This way, your body parts (i.e. arms and legs) won't touch each other, increasing sweating and heat transfer.

  • Don't drink caffeine before bedtime
  • Take advantage of the "cool side" of the pillow.
  • You lose heat the most from your extremities, keep your feet and your hands uncovered.
  • Drink plenty of water

  • Spending A LOT of time in front of a fan may lead to dehydration
  • Don't take too hot or too cold showers. A luke-warm shower will benefit you more then a luke-cold shower.

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