We Aussies know real summer heat. Those hot, stuffy nights that make it nearly impossible to get to sleep. And of course, we don’t want to have the air conditioner running all night. That’s not good for our bodies or our back pockets.

If your family is struggling to sleep through the heat, we’ve got some tips for you. Go the natural way at night where possible, and leave your air conditioner for those sweltering days when you need it the most.

How to sleep during hot summer nights

You don’t have to use so much energy during summer running that air conditioner 24/7. Follow these sleep improvement tips to get some more shut eye.

  1. Wear cotton

    Cotton is light and it breathes. It’s an excellent fabric for encouraging ventilation and airflow in the bedrooms. Leave your satin, polyester and silk sheets for winter. Make sure you wear loose summertime pjs.

  2. Cool your extremities

    Remember when you were a kid and your mum used to pat your head with a damp towel? It worked wonders when you were sick. Need to cool down? Use the same trick. Wet a small hand towel and pat it on your forehead and neck. The same goes for your feet. They’re sensitive to temperature, so grab another towel just for your feet.

  3. Create a breeze

    Go back to the simple days of a room fan. Whether it’s a ceiling or a pedestal fan, it doesn’t matter. If it’s on your floor, you can place it so it pushes out hot air from your room.

  4. Turn off lights and electronics

    Light bulbs give off heat, we all know this. If you’re reading a book in bed, look for alternative options to produce natural light. Keep your room as cool and dark as possible right before you plan to go to sleep. Turn off all appliances when they’re not in use.

  5. Stay hydrated

    When you’re moving around in bed and sweating, you become dehydrated. Give your body a leg up and drink a glass of water before bed. Re-fill it and keep it next to your bed in case you get thirsty during the night.

A few more tips:

  • Be aware of your entire house, not just the bedrooms. How can you keep it cooler? Even simple strategies like opening your bedroom doors and shutting others while the air conditioner is on can make a difference.
  • Remember that heat rises. The higher you are, the hotter your building will be.
  • Waking up often happens during summer. It’s important to learn effective ways of getting back to sleep. Strategies such as meditation and taking deep breaths can help your mind relax again.

If you find you’re sleeping less during summer, try these tips and you’ll stay as cool as a cucumber.