House and Home

6 Ways to Sleep Well Without Air Conditioning


For better or worse, most Americans worship at the altar of air conditioning: All summer long, every restaurant, office, car, and public space is numbingly frigid, which feels fabulous until you start shivering like you’re hiking the tundra, rather than sitting at your desk.

Plus — apart from being generally aggressive and uncomfortable for some people — freezing manufactured air can also cause lingering summer colds, stiff limbs, and exposure to pesky particles and mold. All are frequent reasons why not everyone chooses to install AC in their home — something that might not be such a big deal until it’s time to go to bed.

Luckily, there are things you can do to get a good night’s sleep during the summer if you’re without air conditioning, and they’re all remarkably simple. Read on to cool off!

#1. Always buy 100 percent cotton sheets.

Much like wearing cotton clothing during the dog days, your sheets also need to be made from the ultra-breathable fabric. Be sure to read labels, as many sheet sets are made with a cotton-polyester blend, which won’t be nearly as cool.

Right now, we’re can’t get enough of Boll and Branch, which offers affordable sheets in sizes ranging from twin to California king, and each are made from 100 percent GOTS-certified organic cotton and eco-friendly, non-toxic dyes, and are grown and woven in fair-trade certified farms and mills. Oh, and they’re insanely comfortable.

#2. Position your fan differently.

Obviously, we all think of a fan being most effective when it’s facing us, but try pointing it toward an open window. This “sucks” hot air out of your room, and pulls in cooler air in from outside.

#3. The old ice trick.

One of the oldest tricks in the book: Place a bowl of ice in front of your fan, which will cool you off as the ice melts and evaporates. However, as Real Simple points out, this trick works better in hot, dry climates, rather than humid ones.

#4. Shut the blinds, shades, or curtains during the day.

While you’re at work, be sure to keep your bedroom as dark as possible. In fact, closing curtains and blinds (ideally with sun-deflecting white on the window side) can reduce the amount of heat that filters into your home into your home by as much as 45 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Same goes for windows — if it’s warmer than 75 degrees outside, keep it closed.

#5. Sleep in loose cotton — not naked.

If you’re really sweltering, you might think sleeping naked is the ticket, but some folks claim sleeping sans clothing keeps sweat on your body and in your bed, as opposed to being wicked by cotton. An oversize cotton T-shirt or tank top will keep you cool and comfy all night.

#6. Shut down.

Before bed, unplug or shut down appliances that give off a lot of heat, like your laptop or other big-ticket charging devices.