How to Stay Dry and Cool on A Summer Night- Perfect for Hot Sleepers
Getting hot while sleeping is very normal and is something that many people experience every summer night. The ideal temperature for sleeping is between 60°F and 67°F. When the temperature is higher than this, it can be difficult to fall asleep.
Entering deep sleep is associated with a cool body temperature; too much heat can harm your ability to enter and stay asleep. Regulating and managing your body temperature is an imperative part of healthy sleep hygiene. So, why do you get hot at night? And how can you maintain a cool temperature overnight except by using air conditioning? We've rounded up the most helpful suggestions and strategies to help you figure it out.
Why do you get hot at night?
Can’t seem to sleep at night in the heat? You are not alone. No matter how many blankets you throw away or how high you blast the fan, you’ll find it impossible to lower your body temperature. This is why you cannot sleep comfortably and peacefully. Most of us feel relatively cool as soon as we climb into bed. However, we wake up a few hours later feeling uncomfortably warm or even suffering a severe case of night sweats. But what are the reasons why we sleep hot? Those can vary from person to person, depending on a variety of health and environmental factors.
A hot and humid bedroom can be an obvious reason why you sleep hot. Your body temperature naturally decreases as you get ready for bed, but it can quickly rise if you sleep on mattresses and sheets that trap heat. One study of young men found that the high ambient temperature at night leads to less total sleep time, more frequent awakenings, and greater shifting between sleep stages. High humidity can also impact the body’s ability to regulate its temperature, which can make it difficult to fall and stay asleep.
Another reason is high metabolism. When the body burns food to fuel itself, body temperature naturally rises - so it is logical that a higher metabolic rate will lead to an increase in overall body temperature. As a result, people with a high metabolism are more likely to overheat at night. This is especially true for males, whose metabolism, on average, is 23% greater than that of females.
Will it be better to sleep cooler?
We often don't think about the temperature of our bedrooms unless it's the middle of summer and we want to do everything we can to make ourselves comfortable. What you may not have considered is that keeping your bedroom cool at all times of the year can be beneficial. Not only does it help to improve the quality of your sleep, but it also prevents disease and slows down the aging process.
Fall asleep quickly - As nighttime approaches, our body temperature naturally drops, signaling that it’s time to slow down and get some rest. By keeping your bedroom cool, you're reinforcing your body’s instinct to sleep. If the room is too hot, it could potentially block that signal and cause it to take longer for you to fall asleep.
Better sleep quality- If you’ve ever woken up in the middle of the night drenched in sweat, you know how disruptive that can be. If you keep your bedroom cooler and regulate the temperature throughout the night, you’ll find that your sleep quality improves. Sleeping in a cool room can help you combat insomnia by lowering your body temperature, which then slows down your metabolism rate. As a result, you don’t spend as much energy during sleep, and you’re less likely to wake up in the middle of the night.
Mood enhancement - Sleeping in a cold room can improve your mood in several ways. The first and most obvious reason is that because a cooler room improves the quality of your sleep, you wake up more rested and feeling better. Another reason is related to the link between melatonin and serotonin. Serotonin is known as a mood enhancer and it is also a precursor to melatonin, meaning that melatonin is made from it. When we have enough of these two hormones in our brain, we are better rested and feel happier.
Anti-aging- Keeping your room cold can improve the quality of your rest by stimulating melatonin production. In addition to promoting sleep, melatonin is also a powerful anti-aging hormone. Other benefits of increased melatonin production are regular menstrual cycles, enhanced moods, weight loss, cancer-fighting properties, and increased brain health.
How to make your bedroom cooler?
- Start with a cooling mattress
The smartest way to stay cool at night during the summer is to have a mattress with plenty of airflow and built-in cooling technology. There are a variety of temperature-regulating mattresses made of soft, breathable materials.
If you sleep on a memory foam mattress, you may find that it traps heat and makes you hotter. The good news is that you can find cooling mattress toppers to help with this problem. In many cooling foam toppers, gel is infused to regulate the body's temperature. A superior alternative to memory foam if you prefer a more comfortable night's sleep.
A PE mattress is another excellent option to cool you down while sleeping. PE fabric has a unique fiber structure that draws sweat and moisture away from the skin quickly. This makes it excellent for moisture wicking. PE cooling toppers have a Qmax of 0.42, which is much cooler than any other breathable fabric.
- Choose a cooling comforter/blanket
For the summer, put away heavy duvets and replace them with cooling comforters. There are a few incredibly breathable bed materials that can help hot sleepers stay cool throughout the night.
Bamboo comforters: These are made from a natural fabric that comes from the pulp of bamboo grass. Bamboo fabric is soft, breathable, and does a great job of wicking away moisture.
Cotton blankets: Breathable cotton blankets are a smart pick for the warmer months, as they naturally help you sleep cooler. The NSF recommends a thread count of 400 or less for the comforter cover, particularly when it's hot outside. That's because a higher thread count traps body heat.
Chunky cooling blanket: Chunky blanket offers the same high-quality breathability as the bamboo comforter. They tend to be soft, cooling, and ultra-durable.
- Switch out your pillow
Just like you want your mattress and bedding to have cooling properties, you want your pillow to keep you cool as well. Look for pillows that are temperature-regulating and have breathable materials. Pillows are made from various materials, so you can find ones with memory foam, down, down alternative, latex, and more. Each model has unique features like an open-cell structure, gel infusions, and a cooling cover that help keep the surface cool to the touch.
Just try to avoid memory foam pillows, which can trap heat, and stick with pillowcases made from linen, cotton, or bamboo.
Other methods for sleeping cool
After you select a cooling set of bedding and a breathable mattress, there are still a few more things you can do to stay cool while you snooze.
Get strategic with your fans
A fan can help regulate the temperature of your bedroom while also circulating air. Another reason to sleep with a fan on is that the air will help evaporate any sweat that forms on your body while you’re sleeping. Here’s an advanced hack: fill a mixing bowl with ice or an ice pack, and then put it at an angle in front of your fan. The fan will create an icy cold and refreshing blast of air. However, avoid leaving the fan pointing directly at you all night as this can result in morning aches.
Open your window
You’ll want to keep your windows closed during this. However, as temperatures drop in the evening, crack open a window and let the fresh air cool your room. An open window also helps circulate air, similar to using a fan. Another benefit of leaving your window open has to do with carbon dioxide levels. According to a study conducted at Eindhoven University of Technology. The lower carbon dioxide levels present in rooms with open windows caused subjects to sleep more deeply and efficiently while also experiencing fewer awakenings.
Invest in a blackout curtain
Any light that you’re exposed to after bedtime will interrupt melatonin production, and we already mentioned how critical melatonin is for your sleep. Blackout curtains also prevent heat from entering your bedroom during the day and in the morning.
Take a warm shower
You may think showering in cold water is the proper way to cool down your body temperature before bed, but that's not correct. Cold showers are very stimulating for your body and can keep you up longer. Showering in warm water, on the other hand, can help you relax before bed. Your body temperature may rise at first, but it'll eventually cool down once you get out of the shower.