How to Sleep Better in Hot Weather, According to Sleep Experts

High temperatures can disrupt your sleep, which in turn can harm your overall health

Key Takeaways
• High temperatures can disrupt your sleep, which in turn can harm your overall health.
• Breathable pajamas and cooling beddings might help keep your body cool at night.
• A warm shower can actually signal your body to cool off. But if it’s too warm, it may just exacerbate sweating and discomfort in a hot bedroom.

Studies show that high temperatures make it hard to fall asleep and stay asleep, which harms the immune system, cardiovascular system, cognitive performance, and mood.23
“Sleep is important for a number of areas of our waking success. It allows us to wake up and be refreshed and productive.
Throughout the night, the body cycles through different sleep stages.4 Because your body’s temperature regulation is less effective during certain stages, a hot room might wake you up so that your body can resume thermoregulation, Robbins said.

“That’s why temperature is such a critical component of a healthy night’s sleep,” she added.
Robbins recommends keeping your bedroom temperature between 65 to 69 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal sleep, which isn’t always possible without air conditioning or increasing your electricity bills. Here are some other strategies that can also help you stay cool and sleep better in hot weather.

Make Your Sleeping Environment Cooler
Thinking creatively about your sleeping arrangements can help, so try to find the place in your home that is the “coolest and has the most airflow,” Robbins said.
Using shutters or curtains and opening windows during the day can help cool off your room before bedtime.5 Using a fan can also help improve airflow during hot summer nights.

Try Breathable Pajamas and Cooling Pillows
Pajamas and beddings made from breathable fabrics like cotton and linen can help keep your body cool, according to Monica Kalra, DO, a primary care physician at Memorial Hermann in Sugar Land, Texas.
Cooling mattress toppers or pillows might also help lower the temperature. “Cooling pillows contain gel overlays which absorb body heat and keep the head and neck cool throughout the night,” Kalra told Verywell in an email.

Putting an ice pack under your pillow isn’t the best option, but you can keep ice on your bedside table to use as needed. Robbins suggested keeping a towel and ice nearby to cool off the hands and the forehead before bed if you’re struggling to fall asleep.
Take a Not Too Warm Shower
While taking a cold shower seems like an obvious way to cool down quickly, studies have shown that hot-water bathing a few hours before bedtime before can make it easier to fall asleep.6

“A warm shower will send your body into cooling mode, which we know can help promote sleep as your body temperature normally falls during the night,” Bazil told Verywell in an email. “But if it’s too warm, it may just exacerbate sweating and discomfort in an overly warm bedroom. In that case, a mildly cooling shower may actually be better.”

Practice Good Sleep Hygiene
It’s not always possible to create the perfect sleep environment, especially in hot weather. Keeping a good bedtime routine is still essential in the summer, as stress and anxiety can reduce sleep quality.
Sleep experts say that general sleep hygiene habits—such as keeping a consistent bedtime and turning off your screens an hour before bed—can help you sleep better, even in hot weather.