Summer is here. That means long, warm days of lounging lazily and having fun with family and friends. Of course, it can also mean long, sweltering nights of tossing and turning while you try unsuccessfully to get some much-needed shut-eye. Sound familiar?
The truth is, it’s just plain tough to sleep in the heat. According to Dr. Ron Grunstein, Professor of Sleep Medicine at the University of Sydney, the body has a natural rhythm that expects a drop in temperature around dinnertime, and when that doesn’t happen, “it can really disrupt things.” The recommended temperature for optimal sleep is around 65 degrees Fahrenheit. A rise above this as bedtime approaches can have a negative impact on your sleep.
Solutions beyond cranking up the AC.
On the bright side, the conveniences of modern life have given us many ways to sleep comfortably in all climates—even as the mercury climbs endlessly higher, and even if you don’t have air conditioning. When temperature-proofing your sleep, one of the primary places to focus is (duh) your own bed. This is, after all, your immediate environment when you’re trying to nod off. The temperature your bed retains and transmits back to you can have a huge impact on your body temperature and, in turn, your sleep quality. Plus, making your bed as cool as possible means you won’t have to resort to other impractical cooling ideas like leaving a bowl of ice water on the floor.
When it comes to the temperature of your bed, what matters most are the materials. And that doesn’t just mean sheets—we’re talking mattresses and pillows, too.
Looking under the sheets. And into them.
Let’s start with the sheets. First, if it’s hot enough to be an issue, toss the blanket. Let your top sheet serve as a light, cool cover instead. When choosing your sheet fabric, avoid hot materials like flannel or satin. Instead, opt for breathable cotton or heat-wicking linen. Or better yet, take advantage of some of the new fabric technologies specifically designed to keep you cool when the heat is on. For instance, Reverie’s Luxe Performance sheets are breathable and moisture-wicking, made to help you keep your cool. They’re made with RevTek™ cool knit fabric, which is designed to be temperature-regulating
Mattresses and heat retention.
Though your skin doesn’t come in direct contact with it, your mattress can actually have the biggest impact on your temperature throughout the night. Because your mattress is so large and dense, its temperature greatly affects the heat level of what’s in contact with it, so make sure to consider temperature when making your choice. There are lots of mattress types to choose from, and some definitely allow for more comfort during warm weather than others. For instance, mattresses and comfort layers made from 100% memory foam tend to retain heat. There are some who like that, but it’s definitely something to consider if you struggle with being hot while you sleep. Recently, hybrid mattresses have come on the market. They provide the sink-in comfort of memory foam in a top comfort layer but balance it with latex layers and springs underneath for breathability. For the coolest sleeping experience, all-natural latex is the best choice. Latex comfort layers are made with pinholes that allow air circulation and will keep you cool and dry. Some mattresses are also made with individual latex cells, for even more air circulation within the mattress itself.
Pillows. How to keep a cool head.
As far as pillows go, keep in mind the same guidelines as you do for mattresses. A synthetic down pillow with a cotton pillowcase is a good, affordable way to stay cool, because cotton is breathable and synthetic fill doesn’t retain heat. Counter-intuitively, wool is another good choice, as it regulates temperature well, helping you feel cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Another, lesser known choice is buckwheat hulls, which are wonderful for maintaining a cool temperature all night long. In terms of newer fabrics, our Cool Down Pillow uses Rev-Cool technology to stay cool-to-the-touch all night long (plus it’s ambient temperature on the other side, which makes it a versatile pillow to in any weather).
Whatever combination you use, be sure to think carefully about your sleep environment, your partner, and your own personal sleep needs before making an investment. After all, sleep is a pleasure best enjoyed year-round.
Wishing you sunny days and cool nights this summer!