A/C on the Fritz? Sleep Well Anyway!

Having landed on this blog, it’s likely your A/C has died. If you rely on air conditioning to sleep, you may be panic-stricken. You can put your worries to rest. Here are ways to stay comfy so you can sleep with ease.

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1. Block the sun’s rays.

During the day, use window treatments to prevent heat from penetrating glass. By closing blinds, shades, curtains, and drapes, you can drop room temperature up to 20 degrees.

2. Use fans to best advantage.

Drape a wet sheet between your bed and a portable fan. Or, fill a roasting pan with ice, and place it before the fan, tilted upward. As the ice melts and water evaporates, the fan will blow a soothing jet stream.

Is the outdoor air cooler than your bedroom? If so, open a window, and place a fan across from it, channeling a cross-breeze. If there’s strong wind outside, hang a wet sheet in front of the open window.

If your bedroom has a ceiling fan, make sure the blade direction suits summer use. Set the blades to spin counterclockwise, as viewed from below, looking up at the fan. With this setting, the blades will push air downward, rather than just moving it around the room.

If your home has an attic, keep its windows open, to release trapped heat. Even better, install an attic fan. If your kitchen is equipped with an exhaust fan, put it to work after cooking.

3. Turn off technology.

Electronic devices generate heat, even when off. When not in use, unplug technology, such as a television, computer, laptop, iPad, smartphone, and game console. Since light bulbs emit heat, keep the lights off in your bedroom until retiring for the night. You can also reduce heat output by replacing incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent types.


1. Optimize eating.

If possible, avoid using the stove, and eat light meals. Heavy foods are harder to digest, increasing your body temp. Instead, consume hydrating foods that will cool your core. Ideal fruits are apples, berries, citrus, grapes, pineapple, and melon.

Veggies with a high water content are cucumber, kale, spinach, radishes, romaine lettuce, and tomatoes. Yogurt is a cool source of protein, and coconut water is a delicious thirst quencher, high in electrolytes.

Space dinner and bedtime at least two hours apart. Going to bed with a full tummy keeps your body working when it wants to rest.

2. Reduce skin temperature.

For a quick way to cool down, target your extremities. Hold your wrists under a cold tap for three minutes. Or, soak your feet in a basin of cold water. An ice pack on your neck or thighs will also cool you pronto.

Before bed, take a lukewarm shower. A tepid bath enables your system to reach the ideal sleep temperature. Avoid dousing your whole body with cold water since the bracing effect is too energizing.

After bathing, smooth on aloe gel. While evaporating, it will lower your skin temperature. Keep aloe refrigerated, and it will be even more effective.

Another option is misting your skin with a mixture of witch hazel and lavender essential oil. Witch hazel is cooling, and inhaling lavender is calming. Fill an 8-ounce spray bottle with 2 teaspoons witch hazel, 10 drops lavender oil, and water. Then, spritz your neck and wrists.

When ready for bed, pour ice water into a hot water bottle, with which to cuddle. Alternatively, enclose an ice pack or bag of frozen vegetables in plastic. Then, wrap the frozen pack in a pillow case, and hit the sack.


1. Sleep on summer bed sheets.

Cotton wicks away perspiration. Avoid high thread counts, which are woven tightly, trapping body heat. Instead, buy sheets with thread counts between 200 and 400.

Tencel, made from eucalyptus trees, is eco-friendly, with antimicrobial properties. Bamboo is another renewable material, cooling skin on contact. With a soft drape, bamboo is absorbent and breathable.

2. Cradle your head on a cooling pillow. (Find out the top 10 products here –

A cooling pillow lowers body temp by conduction, evaporation, or phase-changing materials.

Conduction pillows transfer body heat into gel or water. Some combine gel and memory foam, providing ventilation and good neck support. Others are solely gel-filled, with a dense rather than fluffy feel. Another style is a gel pad, placed on top of a pillow.

Evaporating pillows are ventilated, averting perspiration with air flow. Examples of aerating fillers are buckwheat hulls and shredded memory foam.

Phase-changing materials adjust to your body temperature. When you’re hot, they absorb heat. When body heat drops, they release the stored warmth. Phase-changing beads may be combined with memory foam.


Until your air conditioner is repaired, employ these sleep-friendly methods. Cool your house with window treatments and strategic use of fans. Unplug electronic devices since they emit heat, even when turned off.

Cool your body by eating chilled and hydrating foods. Reduce skin temperature through contact with cold water and ice packs. Or, take a tepid shower. Afterward, treat your skin to aloe gel or witch hazel mist.

Now, you’re ready for bed. Prevent perspiration with sheets made of cotton, Tencel, or bamboo. Lastly, cradle your head with a cooling pillow.

Then, ease into dreamland!

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