30 Tricks to Survive Hot Summer Nights (Without AC) (2023)

1. Be creative with fans

If you thought fans were just for blowing hot air around, think again! Point box fans out the windows so they push hot air out. Adjust ceiling fan settings so the blades run counterclockwise, pulling hot air up and out instead of just twirling it around the room.

2. Create a cross-breeze

Even more box fan pro tips: Position a fan across from a window so the wind from outside combines with the fan to make a cooling cross-breeze. Set up multiple fans around the room to make the airflow even more boisterous.

If the noise from open windows keeps you up and the fan noise isn’t enough to cover it, try a sound machine (maybe with forest noises!).

3. Go old-school

Remember when refrigerators were iceboxes that contained actual blocks of ice? Probably not. But this stay-cool trick is straight out of the icebox era.

Make a DIY air conditioner by placing a shallow pan or bowl (a roasting pan works nicely) full of ice in front of a fan. The breeze will pick up cold water from the ice’s surface as it melts, creating a cooling mist.

4. Say no to running electronics

We know that ideal sleep requires cooler temps. Those ever-running computers, the TV you left on, all the gadgets you used just before bed — those electronics generate heat.

If you don’t need it on overnight, unplug it. Just make sure to keep your surge protectors plugged in for storm protection.

5. Release your inner Tarzan

Feeling ambitious (or just really, really hot)? Rig up a hammock or set up a simple cot. Both types of bed are suspended on all sides, which increases airflow.

6. Get low

Hot air rises, so set up your bed as close to the ground as possible to beat the heat.

(Video) 12 Ways to Escape the Heat If You Don’t Have an Air Conditioner

In a one-story home, haul the mattress down from a sleeping loft or high bed and put it on the floor. In a multifloor house or apartment, sleep on the ground floor or in the cool basement instead of on an upper story.

7. Turn off the lights

This tip is pretty self-explanatory. Light bulbs (even environmentally friendly CFLs and LEDs) give off heat. Fortunately, in summer it stays light until 8:00 or 9:00 at night.

Take advantage of natural light as much as possible. Keep rooms cool after dark by using lights minimally or not at all (romantic candlelit dinner, anyone?).

8. Keep the light out during the day

If the daytime sun is turning your home into a toaster oven, that heat will linger at night. Keeping your drapes and blinds closed during the day will keep your room cooler and allow it to cool down more quickly when you hit the hay.

9. Hang out

Cool a whole room by hanging a wet sheet in front of an open window. The breeze blowing in will quickly bring down the room’s temperature.

10. Keep the stove off

Summer is not the time to whip up a piping hot casserole or roast chicken. Instead, chow down on cool, room-temperature dishes (salads are clutch) to avoid generating any more heat in the house. If hot food is in order, fire up the grill instead of turning on the oven.

11. Camp at home

Got access to a safe outdoor space like a deck, courtyard, or backyard? Practice those camping skills (and stay cooler) by pitching a tent and sleeping al fresco.

12. Choose cotton

Save the ooh-la-la satin, silk, or polyester sheets for cooler nights. Light-colored bed linens made of lightweight cotton (Egyptian or otherwise) or linen are breathable and excellent for promoting ventilation and airflow.

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In the heat, cotton jammies will help you fall asleep faster. And according to research, they’ll soothe you into the deepest, most restorative sleep stage better than bulkier fabrics like wool.Shin M, et al. (2016). The effects of fabric for sleepwear and bedding on sleep at ambient temperatures of 17°C and 22°C. https://www.dovepress.com/the-effects-of-fabric-for-sleepwear-and-bedding-on-sleep-at-ambient-te-peer-reviewed-fulltext-article-NSS

13. Feel the (freezer) burn

Stick your sheets in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes before bed. (Place them in a plastic bag first — unless eau de frozen pizza is your fave aromatherapy scent.)

Granted, this won’t keep you cool all night, but it will provide a brief respite from heat and humidity.

Pro tip: Freezing your socks is another good cool-inducing trick.

14. Get cold comfort

Here’s a year-round tip for keeping utility costs down: Buy a hot water bottle. In the winter, fill it with boiling water for toasty toes without cranking up the thermostat. During the summer, stick it in the freezer to create a bed-friendly ice pack.

15. Sleep like an Egyptian

Those Nile-dwellers knew how to do it right. The “Egyptian method” involves dampening a sheet or towel in cool water and using it as a blanket. Place a dry towel under your body to avoid soaking the mattress.

16. Get loose

Less is definitely more when it comes to summertime jammies. Pick a loose, soft cotton shirt and shorts or underwear.

Going full nude during a heat wave is (unsurprisingly) controversial. Some people believe it helps keep them cool. Others claim going au naturel means sweat stays on your body instead of being wicked away by fabric.

17. Tie up your hair if it’s long

If your hair is long, you’ve probably felt the warm scarf it can create while you’re sleeping. Tie it back with a hair-friendly scrunchie that won’t cause breakage while you sleep. Your now-cooler neck will thank you.

18. Pamper your pulses

Need to cool down stat? Apply ice packs or cold compresses to pulse points at your wrists, neck, elbows, groin, and ankles and behind your knees.

Keeping a spray bottle of water nearby can soothe your balmy skin when you get up to pee too.

(Video) 5 Cool Tricks to Survive Hot Summer Nights

19. Chill in bed

Try a cool pad pillow topper. It’s energy-efficient and adds an extra-plush, super cushy layer to your bed. Research has shown that these toppers have enough of a cooling effect to put a damper on hot flashes, so it makes sense that they’d do the same for ambient heat.

20. Take down the pillow fluff

If you usually smoosh your head onto a big, fluffy pillow, consider swapping that pillow for a lighter, less dense version. Your head tends to retain heat, and surrounding it with fluff can keep heat from escaping.

21. Turn that unfluffy pillow

Wake up soaked? Get in the habit of turning your pillow to that sweet, sweet cool side when you feel it’s gotten too toasty.

22. Dress light

The right bedtime ensemble is key. Cooling PJs are made with moisture-wicking fabrics like cotton and bamboo or high-tech synthetics like CoolMax that prevent nighttime overheating.

23. Fill up the tank

Get a leg up on hydration by drinking a glass of water before bed. Tossing and turning and sweating at night can result in dehydration, so get some H2O in the tank beforehand. (Pro tip: Just 8 ounces will do — unless you’re really into those 3 a.m. bathroom runs.)

24. Soak in it

When you’re sweat-soaked, the last thing you might want to do is soak in a warm bath. But surprisingly, it works, according to a 2019 study.Haghayegh S, et al. (2019). Before-bedtime passive body heating by warm shower or bath to improve sleep: A systematic review and meta-analysis. DOI: 10.1016/j.smrv.2019.04.008

The warmth of the water sends a rush of blood to your hands and feet, where the veins are right under your skin. This lets off extra heat and cools your bloodstream. Ideally, hop in the tub 1 to 2 hours before bed to give your body time to cool off before you slip between the sheets.

Of course, if you’re too sticky to sleep, a cold shower could be more appealing. Standing under a stream of cool H2O brings down your core body temperature and rinses off sweat (ick) so you can hit the hay feeling cool and clean.

When you’re sweat-soaked, the last thing you might want to do is soak in a tub of warm water. But, surprisingly, it works.

25. Avoid the “meat sweats”

Instead of big, heavy meals, go for smaller, lighter dinners, which are easier to metabolize. It takes a lot more energy for your body to break down protein than fats or carbs. So swap that huge steak for a platter of fruits, veggies, and legumes.

Also avoid eating heavy meals and consuming alcohol for 2 to 3 hours before bedtime for optimal cool potential.

(Video) 5 Tricks To Survive The Summer Heat! 😱☀️

26. Move your workouts away from bedtime

Exercise has been shown to help you sleep better. But if you’re apt to get active late in the day or evening, consider moving your Jazzercise earlier in the day so you don’t bring that hot bod to bed before it cools down.

27. Hog the bed

Sleeping alone has its perks, including plenty of space to stretch out. Snoozing in spread-eagle position (with your arms and legs not touching each other) is best for reducing body heat and letting air circulate around your body.

Hit the hay in this sleep position to keep your limbs from getting super sweaty.

28. Keep the critters in their own beds

This one can be a challenge if you’ve got cuddly pets waiting to snuggle up with their big, hot bodies. If you can resist their puppy-dog eyes, try to have them sleep in their own separate beds (or at least at the bottom of yours).

29. Go rustic

When temperatures soar, trade in that extra-comfy mattress for a minimalist straw or bamboo mat. These all-natural sleeping surfaces are less comfortable, but they don’t retain heat like a puffy, cloth-covered mattress.

30. Get creative with grains

Rice and buckwheat aren’t just for eating! These cupboard staples can also keep you cool on hot nights.

Stock up on buckwheat pillows, which don’t absorb heat like cotton or down. For a cold compress on really hot nights, fill a sock with rice, tie it off, and stick it in the freezer for an hour or so. The compress will stay chilly for up to 30 minutes — definitely enough time to nod off.

Sleep is essential for your health. And higher temperatures can lead to insomnia.Bjorvatn B, et al. (2018). The association between insomnia and bedroom habits and bedroom characteristics: An exploratory cross-sectional study of a representative sample of adults. DOI: 10.1016/j.sleh.2017.12.002 If your nighttime routine starts to feel like Joe vs. the Volcano, it’s time to get your cool bedtime strategy in gear.

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Here’s the lowdown on the best approach to sleeping in the heat:

  • Make your bed a haven of chill with fans, extra airflow, and low light.
  • Stay on lower levels in your home and minimize heat from electronics and ovens.
  • Opt for light clothing, bedding, pillows, and mattress pads to keep things cooler.
  • Maintain some space away from pets, sleep partners, and even your own hair.
  • Stay hydrated and avoid heavy foods and alcohol right before bed.
  • Use DIY techniques like water bottles, spray bottles, showers, and a DIY air conditioner to hack your space for maximium cool potential.


How do you survive a hot summer night without AC? ›

Use box fans

The outdoors can pull the hot air from your home, leaving a cooler temperature or bringing in the breeze. Just be sure to close windows as the sun comes out, then open them when the weather is cool again.

How can I make myself cold at night? ›

If you tend to get hot in your sleep, try incorporating some of the below tips into your nightly routine.
  1. Take a warm shower or bath. ...
  2. Freeze a washcloth. ...
  3. Eat smaller meals close to bedtime. ...
  4. Freeze a water bottle. ...
  5. Cool off pulse points with ice packs. ...
  6. Keep the blinds shut during the day. ...
  7. Limit alcohol before bed.
22 Jun 2020

How can I survive a hot night? ›

Here are some tricks to cool down the heat spell which can make a difference if you can't stand another restless night in bed:
  1. Go with Cotton. Forget the fancy satin or silk sheets. ...
  2. Dust Off the Hot Water Bottle. ...
  3. Water, As Always, Is A Lifesaver. ...
  4. Load Shed Yourself. ...
  5. Get Cold Feet. ...
  6. Be a Bed Hog. ...
  7. TOP TIP.
15 Jan 2019

How can I keep my room cool without AC? ›

  1. Cover Windows. Leaving your windows uncovered during the sunniest hours of the day lets in a considerable amount of heat. ...
  2. Optimize the Use of Fans. ...
  3. Turn on Exhaust Fans. ...
  4. Turn Off Lights. ...
  5. Skip Heat-Producing Appliances. ...
  6. Open Windows at Night. ...
  7. Heat-Proof Your Bed. ...
  8. Get Low and Sleep Low.
1 Jun 2022

How can I make my body cool fast? ›

Tips to reduce body temperature
  1. Drink cool liquids. ...
  2. Go somewhere with cooler air. ...
  3. Get in cool water. ...
  4. Apply cold to key points on the body. ...
  5. Move less. ...
  6. Wear lighter, more breathable clothing. ...
  7. Take heat regulating supplements. ...
  8. Talk to a doctor about thyroid health.

How do you cool yourself down fast? ›

You can quickly cool yourself down by putting your hands and feet in cold water. Wrists and ankles have lots of pulse points where blood vessels are close to the skin, so you will cool down more quickly.

How do you cool a room with a fan and ice? ›

Combine ice and fans

It might look like a strange solution, but it can be very effective for cooling the air quickly. Position a shallow bowl of ice, ice packs or a frozen hot water bottle behind your fan, and it will soon spread the cool temperatures around your room.

What is the fastest way to cool down a room with a fan? ›

'First, keep your windows, doors and blinds shut during the day to avoid hot sun beating down into your house. Then, during the evening, open your windows and place one fan facing out of your window, so it pushes the heat out,' they advise. 'Use a second fan, placed inwards, to circulate cool air into the room.

How do you put ice in front of a fan? ›

Place a towel on the surface in front of your fan and then put the bowl of ice on top of it so that the fan is blowing air into the stack of ice and then outwards towards your desired location. For the coolest possible air from your fan, try and pile the ice cubes up so they are sitting above the rim of the bowl.

How can I make a homemade air conditioner? ›

$8 Homemade Air Conditioner - Works Flawlessly! - YouTube

Which fruit is very cold for body? ›

Kiwi: Kiwis have an equal amount of Vitamin C as compared to oranges. Since, they come in the category of exotic fruits, kiwis are a delight to the taste buds. They are one of the best fruits for summer as they have a unique cooling effect on the body and packed with Vitamin E, potassium, and fibre as well.

Which food is cold for body? ›

Here we have listed a few cooling foods that you should definitely add to your diet to fight against the hot climate effects.
  • Watermelon Watermelon, a seasonal summer fruit comes for a reason. ...
  • Cucumber. ...
  • Curd. ...
  • Coconut water. ...
  • Mint. ...
  • Green leafy vegetables. ...
  • Onions. ...
  • Melons.
7 Nov 2017

Which drink make your body cool? ›

One of the best ways to cool your body temperature is to drink lots of water that also helps keep it hydrated in sweltering summers.

What is the Egyptian method to cool down? ›

The so-called Egyptian method is a nighttime technique that involves stretching out between damp, cool sheets in an effort to lower the body's temperature and provide a cool, relaxing environment.

What to do when it is extremely hot? ›

Everyone should take these steps to prevent heat-related illnesses, injuries, and death during hot weather:
  1. Stay in an air-conditioned indoor location as much as you can.
  2. Drink plenty of fluids even if you don't feel thirsty.
  3. Schedule outdoor activities carefully. ...
  4. Take cool showers or baths to cool down.

Which helps keep the body from overheating? ›

Sweating helps your body cool down. When you exercise in the heat, your cooling system has to work harder. Your body sends more blood to your skin and away from your muscles. This increases your heart rate.

How do you sleep when it's hot without a fan? ›

Open all the doors in your house to keep air circulating, unless you have rooms you wish to avoid and seal off. Take a cold shower or bath right before bed. Getting your hair and head wet (without shampooing) can help reduce core body temperature. Use your ceiling fan like a pro.

How can I keep my room cool in the summer without AC and cooler at night? ›

Best portable cooling devices
  1. Close the Curtains During the Day, and Use Dark Ones.
  2. Open Windows and Interior Doors at Night.
  3. Place Ice or Cool Water in Front of a Fan.
  4. Adjust Your Ceiling Fan According to the Season.
  5. Sleep Low.
  6. Let the Night Air in.
  7. Upgrade All of Your Incandescent, Fluorescent, and Other Light Bulbs to LED.
27 May 2022

How hot is too hot for sleeping? ›

Sleeping too hot

“Heat is a huge disruptor for REM sleep,” Dr. Drerup says. With the heat of the room, your body temperature will also rise, thus undoing the sleep initiation process entirely. If your bedroom temperature is above 70° F, it's too hot.

Is it bad to sleep in the heat? ›

The ideal temperature for sleep is about 65°F (18.3°C), give or take a few degrees. Our body temperature naturally drops a little during sleep, and a cool — but not cold — sleeping environment is ideal to have a good night's sleep. When it's too hot, you're more likely to toss and turn, which disrupts your sleep.

Can you live without AC? ›

Most people know that air conditioning is a necessity during summer, but some people actually live without it. That's typically because they think it's too expensive for them to have their A/C system repaired or replaced.

What is the fastest way to cool down a room with a fan? ›

'First, keep your windows, doors and blinds shut during the day to avoid hot sun beating down into your house. Then, during the evening, open your windows and place one fan facing out of your window, so it pushes the heat out,' they advise. 'Use a second fan, placed inwards, to circulate cool air into the room.

How can I reduce heat in my room naturally? ›

Try these tricks to push warm air out and let cool air in for nearly instant comfort.
  1. Switch to CFL or LED Bulbs. ...
  2. Hang Dry Clothes and Handwash Dishes. ...
  3. Limit Hot Meals. ...
  4. Invest in a Misting Fan. ...
  5. Shut Off Computers and Screens More Frequently. ...
  6. Switch to Insulated Curtains or Honeycomb Blinds. ...
  7. Create Natural Convection.
8 May 2018

How do you cool a room with ice? ›

Position a shallow bowl of ice, ice packs or a frozen hot water bottle behind your fan, and it will soon spread the cool temperatures around your room. Too keep cool at night, you can mimic this fan and ice technique with a small fan on your bedside table and a spray bottle of chilled water.

What is the best sleeping position? ›

Specifically, sleeping on the side or back is considered more beneficial than sleeping on the stomach. In either of these sleep positions, it's easier to keep your spine supported and balanced, which relieves pressure on the spinal tissues and enables your muscles to relax and recover.

What to do when it is extremely hot? ›

Everyone should take these steps to prevent heat-related illnesses, injuries, and death during hot weather:
  1. Stay in an air-conditioned indoor location as much as you can.
  2. Drink plenty of fluids even if you don't feel thirsty.
  3. Schedule outdoor activities carefully. ...
  4. Take cool showers or baths to cool down.

Is sleeping naked better for your health? ›

Ultimately, what you wear to sleep is a personal choice. “There's no proven benefit or harm to sleeping naked,” says Dr. Drerup. “Just do what feels right and then rest easy with your decision.”

How hot is too hot in a house? ›

Hot temperatures of 78°F (25.56°C) or over are too hot for inside a house. It's recommended to maintain around 72°F (22.22°C) to stay comfortable indoors for long durations. If your house is too hot consistently, this could lead to health problems such as heat stroke, heart attack, and dehydration.


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