The dog days of summer might be over but if you live or camp in the South you can still run into a hot tropical climate. If you're someone who loves to camp, hike, or spend time outdoors, you know that dealing with the heat can be a challenge.

One of the hardest things about spending time in the great outdoors during hot weather is trying to get a good night's sleep when it feels like it's a million degrees outside. If you're struggling to stay cool at night, check out these five tips.

1. Use a cooling mattress pad or pillow.

If you don't have air conditioning in your tent or RV, a cooling mattress pad or pillow can make all the difference in the world. These pads and pillows are filled with gel or liquid that helps them stay cool to the touch. Just put one on your bed before you go to sleep, and you'll be surprised at how much cooler you feel.

You can also select a sleeping bag made for hot weather - most can be unzipped and just used as a sleeping pad or a light blanket.

2. Stay hydrated during the day.

This one might seem obvious, but it's important to drink plenty of water during the day so your body can stay cool at night. Avoid alcoholic beverages, which will cause you to feel warmer.

3. Use a fan.

If you have access to an electric fan, point it towards your bed at night to help circulate air and keep you cool. If you don't have a fan, open all the windows in your tent or RV to create a cross breeze.

4. Wear loose, breathable clothing to bed.

Tight clothes will trap heat against your skin and make it harder for your body to cool down at night. Instead, opt for loose-fitting shorts and a tank top made from breathable fabric like cotton.

5. Sleep on your stomach or your side.

Sleeping on your back allows heat to radiate from your body into the air around you, making it harder for you to stay cool. Stomach and side sleepers don't have this problem because heat has nowhere to go but down into the mattress itself.

Sum It Up

If you're struggling to stay cool at night when sleeping in the heat, try using a cooling mattress pad or pillow, staying hydrated during the day, using a fan, wearing loose-fitting clothing made from breathable fabric, and sleeping on your stomach or side. With these five tips, you'll be sure to get a good night's sleep no matter how hot it is outside.