The best way to stay cool at night is to make sure that you avoid anything and everything that could result in night sweats, whether it’s your last meal or your substandard bedding.
If your bed is too hot to allow you to sleep comfortably on and makes you wake up in the middle of the night while you sweat profusely, you could use some help.
Such episodes of sleepless nights actually signal the overheating of your body while you sleep and generally have you looking desperately for that one thing that can help you get rid of it. To sleep restfully, you need to maintain your body temperature somewhere in the 60 degree Fahrenheit’s range. Fortunately for you, we have a few tricks that can help you stay cool at night and achieve the comfortable body temperature.
How to Keep Cool in Bed at Night
You might feel that waking up sweaty and clammy might be your ultimate destiny, however staying cool in bed, even with the scorching summer heat is entirely possible. Simply by making some changes to your everyday sleeping routine, you can tap into the dreamy world of a blissful sleep that helps you wake up in the morning feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. Here is a list of things you need to do in order to stay cool at night while you sleep:
1. Take a Shower
You must be aware of the magically soothing powers that a night shower before sleep possesses. However, what is even more interesting is the ability of the same shower to keep you cool in bed at night. The water that comes into contact with you tends to raise the temperature of your body. When you step out of the shower, the water on your body evaporates to induce a cooling effect. This slight cooling effect causes the release of melatonin in your body that accounts for a peaceful and fitful sleep.
However, the shower before sleep should be taken with lukewarm water only. This is because both cold and warm water tend to stimulate your mind and make you active instead of activating your sleep mode.
2. Invest in Cooling Sheets
There are multiple reasons that might be causing you to wake up overheated during the night. It might be due to the summer heat or a medical condition that causes night sweats. No matter what the reason is, sleeping on a cooling sheet can help you combat night time sweats and enable you to sleep peacefully.
Cooling sheets are made with materials known for their superior breathability, so that heat is allowed to be dissipated instead of being trapped. This prevents you from getting overheated during the night, and waking up all clammy from sweat. Moreover, these cooling sheets tend to have superb moisture-wicking properties, so that they absorb your night sweats to induce a cooling effect while you sleep.
When investing in cooling sheets, do you research on the type of bed sheet materials that can provide you with most benefits. Sheets crafted with a combination of natural and synthetic fabrics are fast becoming a popular choice due to their ultimate cooling properties, made possible by combining the advantages of both types of fibers.
3. Use a Bed Cooling System Like ChiliPad
In order to reach the stage of sleep which initiates the restorative response of your body towards the muscles and bones, sleeping at an optimal temperature is crucial. While your air conditioner can lower the temperature of your room, it isn’t exactly deemed very suitable for health. Also, why would you go through the ominous task of cooling the entire room when you can sleep on a cool bed?
Bed cooling systems have become a favorable alternative to air conditioners and other temperature regulators. One example of such systems is the ChiliPad which makes use of a water based system to cool your bed and regulate its temperature, while you sleep at night. Unlike your AC, these bed cooling systems like Chilipad tend to be much more effective in enabling you to sleep cool throughout the night, since the need to cool the whole room is eliminated.
4. Try a Cooling Pillow
A pillow labelled as a cooling pillow will generally have certain properties which helps it in regulating temperature. It can either be a memory foam, latex, gel-based pillow or one that is filled with some other similar material which possesses the ability to wick off moisture from your body as you sleep.
The pillow’s moisture wicking process has been scientifically proven to induce a cooling effect. Moreover, these pillows tend to be much more breathable than the non-cooling pillows, and hence prevent the trapping of your body’s heat. A cooling pillow can instantly lower the temperature around your head and neck area allowing you to sleep cooler at night.
On the other hand, certain water based pillows are also gaining popularity for their superb cooling effect. These pillows simply make use of the principle of conduction to keep you cool. The heat from your body is utilized by the water to change its state, leaving you certain degrees cooler than before. Utilizing these pillows to keep you cool during the night can work in your favor.
If you don’t have the budget for a cooling pillow, here are some budget-friendly DIY ideas to keep your pillow cool.
5. Turn Your AC On a Few Hours Before Bed
Your air conditioner is going to take its time in cooling your room and dropping internal temperature to the value you specified. Now you wouldn’t want to waste your crucial sleeping hours in waiting for the room’s temperature to drop. However, the chances of you reaching the REM stage of sleep in a hot room are quite low.
So, the ideal thing to do is to turn your air-conditioner on a few hours before you hit the hay so that when you actually lie down, the room’s internal temperature is optimum. Doing so will also help your body in acclimatizing to the temperature inside your room so that when you finally fall asleep, the temperature of your body matches that of the room.
6. Improve Airflow in the Bedroom
Any form of activity that you carry out within your room during the day is bound to dissipate heat. In case, your room is not well-ventilated while you sleep, the stale air will start getting warmer with the trapped heat. Before you know it, you will find yourself sweating profusely. In order to allow this heat to leave your room and get exchanged with a cooler breeze, you need to improve the airflow within your bedroom.
If you are not a fan of air conditioners, open up the windows and doors to your room, so that cross-ventilation is enabled. The hot air which leaves from one side of the room is replenished with a slightly cooler air from the other side of the room. Installing multiple fans can make the process of ventilation even more efficient by keeping the air within your room in constant motion.
Since warm air tends to rise upwards, having attic vents will allow this warm air to leave you room and be replaced with a cooler one.
7. Sleep in Light Clothes
Ever heard of the benefits of sleeping naked? It’s most definitely not a myth!
The explanation is pretty simple; the more layers you wear or the heavier your night attire’s fabric is, the more likely you are to enable your body’s heat to get trapped and keep you warm. Your skin needs to breathe in order to help with the regulation of your body’s temperature. Wearing tight fitting clothes becomes a barrier for your skin, making it impossible for you to sleep comfortably.
When you sleep in lighter clothes, your body tends to maintain your body temperature even more efficiently. Since an optimum lower body temperature is related to a more peaceful sleep, you sleep better. Having your clothes made of a moisture absorbing fabric offers the additional advantage of preventing night sweats.
8. Opt for a Lightweight Comforter
Ever been trapped in a situation where sleeping without the comforter makes you feel too cold, whereas sleeping with one tends to overheat you through the night?
When you find yourself kicking off the covers from your body in the middle of the night, understand that it’s time to replace those bulky duvets with a lightweight soft comforter.
Where heavier comforters tend to be made with multiple layers of fabrics, they are generally crafted to trap your body’s heat and provide superior insulating properties which make them an ideal choice to be used in harsh winters. The lighter comforters however showcase breathability and allows for the flow of air, so that you sleep relatively cooler. Moreover, ditching that extra weight off your body also allows you to relax fully and reach the REM stage of sleep.
9. Turn Off the Lights
Lights, pretty much like all other electrical appliances within your home, give off heat when in use. This heat gets trapped and causes an increase in your room’s internal temperature, thus making it difficult for you to fall asleep. The remedy is simple; you need to switch off the lights to your room when trying to sleep.
While most people tend to fall asleep with some sort of light coming into their rooms, this should however be avoided. If you are not accustomed to sleeping in the dark, what you can do is gradually reduce the brightness in your room before sleep and give yourself time to get accustomed to it.
Regardless of whether it’s daytime or night, the effect of light to induce a feeling of alertness and energy stays the same. At night, you need to feel cozy and lazy, instead of being alert. Which is why, turning off the lights to sleep comfortably and let your body temperature drop becomes necessary.
10. Keep Blinds Closed During the Day
The sun beats against your house everyday during the summers, heating up the walls and windows. Keeping your windows open will allow warm breeze to enter within your home, and increase your room’s internal temperature. Even if the windows are closed, without sufficient barrier, heat still gets transferred inside the rooms.
To prevent overheating of your house and especially keep your room cool that faces the sun, you need to keep the blinds on your windows closed for the most part during the day. Closing off the blinds to these windows will help keep your bedroom cool in summer by blocking a major proportion of the heat from the sun that falls directly on your window. These deflected rays will therefore be unable to conduct heat within your house, thus helping to keep your house and rooms cooler.
11. Stay Hydrated
During the sweltering summers, your body loses its ability to control and regulate its own temperature, resulting in overheating and sweaty nights. However, drinking a lot of water can help keep your body’s temperature regulation in check. This is because water has been known to deliver a cooling effect in your body, which will come off as a respite from the hot summer nights.
However, avoid drinking lots of water just before heading to bed, especially if you want to stop the recurring trips to the washroom. Instead, keep a water bottle with you and drink water throughout the day, without waiting for feeling thirsty to do so. Staying hydrated also enables your heart to pump blood more easily without having to do extra work to circulate it.
In case you are waking up dehydrated in the morning, you can keep a water bottle by your bed and drink water at night when you feel thirsty.
12. Avoid Alcohol and Caffeine Before Bed
While bedtime coffee might be an important part of your routine, however chances are that it is the sole culprit behind the recurring episodes where you wake up feeling overheated and sweaty. Caffeine is a proven stimulant, which is why it helps keep your body active when you take it during the day. However, when taken just before sleep, it signals your heart to beat faster in an attempt to boost your metabolism. This is precisely what you don’t want just before going to sleep.
When your metabolism gets faster, your body produces more heat and thus you feel overheated and stuffy. Alcohol tends to have a similar effect. Intake of alcohol causes your blood vessels to dilate in order to increase your body’s metabolism. This too produces heat against your skin, making it feel warm and eventually causing overheating.
As a rule of thumb, avoid drinking alcohol or intake of caffeine at least 4 hours before going to bed, if sleeping cool is your primary concern.
13. Avoid Heavy Meals Before Bed
Did you know, meals containing a large amount of carbohydrates, fats and proteins can take a long time to get digested? During the day time, you need your metabolism to be fast and so digesting heavy meals is more or less not an issue. However, when you take such meals close to sleep time, the chances of you waking up all sweaty and clammy can be very high.
Such heavy meals require your body to produce a lot of energy in order to be digested. The production of energy as well as the process of digestion gives off heat. This heat gets trapped within your body, causing your internal body temperature to rise.
So there should be at least 2-3 hours gap between your heavy meals and you hitting the hay. Lighter meals that can be digested within a shorter period of time can however be taken closer to sleep time.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do I get so hot at night when I sleep?
As part of your circadian rhythm that helps you control your sleep wake cycle, your body’s temperature keeps fluctuating throughout the night. However, people with the tendency to wake up feeling overheated experience trouble regulating their body temperature.
It might be due to an imbalance of hormones in women, in days leading to their periods or during menopause, or it can be a result of some sort of medication. However, it can also be a result of sleeping in a room with a high temperature during summers. Intake of alcohol, caffeine, sugary drinks and heavy meals before going to sleep can also cause your body to overheat while you sleep at night.
Do fans actually cool a room?
No fan, on its own, has the ability to cool your room for you. All they do is help lower your body temperature so that you feel a slight cooling effect. A fan simply circulates the air within the room, preventing it from getting stale. When the air is made to move past your skin, it causes your sweat to evaporate and thus leaves your body certain degrees cooler than before. However, by placing a fan right next to a window from where a cold breeze ensues, you can cool down your room. If there is no cold breeze outdoors, you can place ice in a pot in front of your fan to cool the air before it reaches you.
How to stay cool at night without AC?
There are quite a lot of ways to cool yourself down at night, with the primary ones involving replacing your bed covers, comforters, pillows and mattress with breathable materials. You can also use a bed cooling system which will help you regulate the temperature of your bed as per your preference. Avoid caffeine and alcohol intake before going to bed and make sure that your room is well ventilated.