Have you ever been trying to get a good night of rest but find yourself tossing and turning because you are too hot to be comfortable? Chances are the answer is yes. If you are a hot sleeper, this can be a chronic issue that impedes the quality of your sleep if it is not addressed. In order to understand how temperature affects your sleep, it is important to understand the relationship between sleep and body temperature, as well as the environmental factors that can affect your temperature during sleep. From there, there are a number of different tips and tricks you can implement into your nightly sleep routine to help make sure that you get a restful night of sleep and aren’t stuck sweating in your sheets unable to get to sleep. To help you get a cooler night of sleep, we have compiled an introductory guide to the connection between sleep and body temperature, environmental factors that can be contributing to your hot sleeping, and cooling tips to help you get a restful night of sleep.
The Relationship Between Body Temperature and Sleep
Many people do not realize that there is a direct connection between body temperature and sleep. During the day, your body temperature is held between roughly 98.6-100.4 degrees by your circadian rhythm. However, this temperature can shift when you sleep dropping as low as 96 degrees for periods of times. The reason for this shift in temperature is that human beings, and many other mammals, lose much of their ability to regulate their body temperature when they are asleep.
In addition to this correlation between sleep and body temperature, there is another direct relationship in how body temperature affects sleep. The lower your body temperature is, the more sleep you subsequently become. As you fall into a deeper sleep, your body temperature will continue to decrease accordingly. In addition to an initial dip in body temperature when you first fall asleep, as your body continues in its sleep cycle and reaches Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, the body ceases to produce its own heat. This means that to maintain a restful night of sleep, it is important that your surrounding environment is supporting an ideal temperature for facilitating sleep. Ideally, your surrounding environment will keep your body warm enough that you do not wake up from being cold but will ensure your body temperature is low enough to remain in a restful sleep cycle.
Environmental Factors That Can Contribute to Hot Sleeping
Your body temperature as you sleep is significantly affected by your surrounding environment. Many individuals unknowingly cause their body temperature to rise as they sleep due to environmental factors. One of the most common environmental factors that contribute to hot sleeping is keeping the room you are sleeping in too hot. If you are a hot sleeper, it is important that the room you are sleeping in be kept cool. In addition, many people cover their bed with blankets and comforters that are too thick, which can create a hot environment that will raise your body temperature. Hot sleepers should pare down their bedding to thinner, breathable fabrics to help promote air circulation that will have a cooling effect on the body.
Another environmental factor that many individuals do not realize can contribute to hot sleeping is the material your mattress and pillows are made out of. Mattresses and pillows that are made out of polyurethane memory foam can sometimes lead to an increase in body temperature for sleepers. In addition, electronics are another environmental source that can promote an increase in hot sleeping because of the blue light they produce. As your body’s circadian rhythm attempts to lull you to sleep, the blue light emitted by electronic screens has the ability to interfere with melatonin levels in the body. The blue light of electronic screens can sometimes cause melatonin levels to decrease if viewed too closely or for an extended period of time, which can affect your body temperature as you sleep and your sleep quality. These are just a handful of different environmental factors that are capable of causing your body temperature to rise and may negatively affect your sleep patterns.
Cooling Tips for a Restful Night of Sleep
If you find yourself too hot at night to get a comfortable, restful night of sleep, then it is important that you take proactive measures to help improve your sleep. Sleep is extremely important in order to have ideal mental clarity and for your body to function correctly. We have put together a number of different cooling tips to implement into your nightly routine to help reduce your body temperature and get a cool, restful night of sleep.
Choose Your Pajamas Carefully
If you are a hot sleeper, it is important that you pick the right types of pajamas to sleep in to help reduce your body temperature and promote cooling air circulation. Target pajamas that are made from light, breathable fabrics like cotton and that have a loose fit. Looser fitting pajamas will allow more air to travel in between the fabric and your body, which helps to keep your body temperature cooler throughout the night. However, if you experience night sweats, then it may be better to try a lightweight clothing, which will wick moisture away from the skin. If you are a hot sleeper, avoid pajamas made from fabrics like flannel, wool, and fleece, which can promote overheating.
Create Your Own Breeze
Bedroom temperature should be set for between 65 and 72 degrees. Placing a fan in your room will also help to create air circulation that will cool your room down without the high price tag of air conditioning. Depending on where you live, there may or may not be a cooling nighttime breeze you can use to your advantage throughout the night to help you keep cool. If you do live somewhere where it is cooler outside, open a window and place a fan in front of it positioned towards the bed to help create a cross-breeze that will boost the airflow in your room and drive your body temperature down. Don’t be afraid to have a few fans places strategically throughout your room while your sleep to help keep you cool, especially during the warmer summer months.
Lose the Lights
Many people do not realize that light bulbs emit heat, which can cause the temperature in the room the rise. Even environmentally-friendly light bulbs produce heat, so be sure to turn your lights off when you want to start cooling down for the night before sleep, especially during the summer months when it stays light out for longer. Utilize natural light instead and embrace the darkness while you sleep to get a cooler night of sleep.
Repurpose Your Hot Water Bottle
If you own a hot water bottle, it can help you to keep warm during the cold months, but did you know you can also use it to stay cool while you sleep during the warmer months? Simply fill your hot water bottle with room temperature water and stick it in the freezer until it is completely frozen. From there, use it as you would a hot water bottle, but it will function as an ice pack driving your temperature down instead of causing it to rise. This can be a cost-effective method to keep your utility charges down so that you aren’t relying solely on air conditioning to keep you cool as you sleep.
Take a Cold Shower
How you feel when you lay down to go to sleep at night can have a tremendous impact on your quality of sleep. If you lay down for bed with a layer of sweat on your skin that is making you feel damp and warm, chances are that you will not get a restful night of sleep. To combat this, take a cold shower each night before you go to sleep. This will help clean the sweat off of your body from the day, and the cold water will help to decrease your core body temperature, which will better prepare you to get a cool, relaxing night of sleep. This shower does not need to be long or drawn out, just long enough to get your feeling cool, clean, and ready to rest.
Turn Off Your Electronics
If you want to get a cool night of sleep, be sure to unplug your electronics at night before you go to sleep. Similar to light bulbs, electronics and other small appliances can emit heat even when they are turned off, which can drive the temperature up. In addition, you will likely be able to fall asleep much easier without the presence of electronics since many individuals find that using electronics before bed affects their ability to get a restful night of sleep due to the blue light it emits.
Drink a Glass of Cold Water Before Bed
Hot sleepers often find themselves tossing and turning throughout the night. In some cases, tossing, turning, and sweating at night may occur as a result of dehydration. To prevent this, be sure to drink a glass of cold water before bed. Not only will the cool water help to reduce your body temperature, but it will also hydrate you so you can get a better night of sleep. Keep in mind that just one eight-ounce glass of water should do the trick. Otherwise, you may end up having to get up in the middle of the night to use the restroom, which could further disrupt your sleep pattern.
Invest in High-Quality, Breathable Bedding
If you are a hot sleeper, just as you need to be judicious in choosing the right clothing to sleep in, you must also be thoughtful about what bedding you sleep on. The bedding you sleep on is an important factor in staying cool throughout the night and getting a better night of sleep. When selecting sheets, look for high-quality cotton sheets since they will be much more breathable than other fabrics like flannel, polyester, satin, fleece, and lycra. Essentia’s organic sheets & mattresses are made from high-quality certified organic cotton that is supremely soft and will help to promote airflow to keep you cool throughout the night. Once you have found the right sheets, the next step is to find the right mattress.
When looking for the right mattress, target an all-natural mattress that is made from cooling components that will help you to sleep cooler throughout the night. Essentia’s mattresses are made using the world’s only natural memory foam that helps you to sleep cool during the night. The latex-based natural memory foam pulls heat away from the body and out through the mattress, it has been proven that you can sleep up to seven degrees cooler than your body temperature on an Essentia mattress over an eight-hour sleep cycle. While many mattresses that use memory foam can promote hot sleeping, natural mattresses promote a cool night of sleep because of their unique engineering, design and conscientiously chosen materials. The natural elements used to make Essentia’s mattresses sleep cooler than other materials, which will help you to get the cool night of sleep you are looking for.