More people sleep hot than sleep cool, and possibly that’s due to the amazing amount of work your body does while sleeping. Let’s discuss how to stay cool while sleeping, amidst all that repair work your body is doing during the night!
You might think sleep is just to rest your brain and body, and prepare for another day of work. But there’s so much more going on than just getting some restful dreams. Your body is working hard to create both sleep-inducing and growth hormones, as well as releasing collagen into the body for skin repair. It also releases melatonin to help you fall asleep. This then triggers antioxidants to fight inflammation, cancer and brain decline.
We offer 10 Tips you can try at home to answer the question ‘How to stay cool while sleeping’. Even if you can only accomplish a few of them, you may be on the way to sleeping cooler through the night. Better sleep equals waking more rested.
Sleep on Naturally Cooling Bed Sheets
Fibers that are breathable, or allow air to pass through, offer the best cooling benefits. Natural fibers such as bamboo, cotton and linen do this best. BedVoyage Bamboo Sheets not only allow air to pass through, but they literally feel cool to the touch. As you move during the night; you’ll always find a cool place to rest a leg or arm. This is because bamboo fibers have micro-gaps and holes that allow air to pass through easily. BedVoyage calls them ‘Smart Sheets’ because they adjust to your personal temperature-needs. They let hot air out if you are overheating, or keeping warm air in if you are chilled. They also wick and absorb moisture from your body, then evaporate if off three times faster than cotton.
Pay attention to thread count as this can be very important while sheet shopping. Sheet snobs may often search for the highest thread counts, thinking this equates to softness. But although they may indeed be soft, they will also make you sleep much hotter as the fibers are woven so tight to get that thread count that they will not allow any air to pass through. BedVoyage has found the sweet spot for sheets to be at a 300-thread count. They’ll still have an amazingly silky-soft feel but allow more air to flow, keeping you cooler when sleeping.
Wear Loose Fitting Pajamas that Help Regulate Your Temperature
Air also needs to circulate around your body while sleeping, and tight-fitting leggings or work-out tops will not allow that air movement. Try sleeping in a loose-fitting set of pajamas that don’t hug your body. A fabric that has the ability to absorb then quickly evaporate that moisture will keep you cooler too. Check out Cool-Jams line of thermal regulating pajamas, they come in options for men and women, and you can buy sets or separates in everything that suits your personal sleepwear choices. They’ve engineered their materials for maximum moisture management, as well as quick-drying, longer-lasting fabrics. Their fabrics feel as soft and comfortable as cotton yet will help you sleep much cooler and drier.
Keep Windows Open for Cross Ventilation
Allowing a breeze to flow into your bedroom, or even over your bed, will greatly reduce heat while you’re sleeping. Cross ventilation is a process in which heat wants to displace cold air inside a structure, so it leaves the warm room to try to raise the temperature of cooler rooms. If its colder outside than inside; you can even create a breeze!
The best windows to open to create this ventilation are windows on opposite sides of the house. If you can even open 3-4 it will further enhance the ventilation. No need to stress if you don’t have opposite windows, at least open ones that are not on the same wall or side of the house. To maximize the effects; you can use 1 or more fans to push the air. Surprisingly, you want to face the fan out the window, instead of in. This will draw the cooler air into the room and will also bring in fresh outdoor air that can help you sleep.
Take a Cool or Cold Shower Before Bed
If your body temperature tends to run hot day and night; you could benefit from a cool shower before bed. No need to do the whole scrub from head to toe or shampoo your hair (especially if you have long hair and would need to blow dry, that counteracts the point of the cool shower!). Just stay in the cool shower long enough to feel your body start to cool down. At about the time you feel the chill and would normally want to turn up the hot water; it’s time to get out. As an added bonus: you’ll feel all nice and clean and relaxed when you slip into your cool sheets.
Try Meditating or Deep Breathing to Fall Asleep
Some people’s brains just don’t slow down easily, and everything you forgot to do during the day starts running through your mind. Its easy to let your mind wander and then soon see it’s been 1-2 hours since you tried to fall asleep. This only makes you anxious as you count your remaining hours of sleep, assuming you fall asleep quickly. If you can try practicing meditation, or deep breathing exercises, you may find that you relax your mind and body faster. There are many wonderful mediation recordings, audio devices, and books to help you determine which one will suit you best.
You can hop around on the internet watching and reading free information before you invest in a book or device that helps you sleep. One process that has truly worked for me, a life-long sufferer of insomnia; is deep and consistent breathing. Not just ‘breathing’ like I take a breath in, and exhale as in normal everyday life. This is more practiced. I take a breath in that lasts for 3 seconds, then exhale for 3 seconds with the exact same pressure or exertion. I continue to do this, while at the same time I am gently telling myself the words ‘breathe’. Don’t allow other thoughts to enter your mind, just push them out as they start to enter, and keep up the breathing. Within just a few minutes you can fall asleep and stay asleep.It’s truly rescued many from sleepless nights!
Reduce Alcohol, Spicy Foods or Caffeine Before Bed
Food and drinks that have an acid-base or are high in capsaicin’s can cause sleep disturbances like overheating, indigestion, or heartburn. Certain spicy foods can even cause your body temperature to rise during the night, such as chilies and mustards. Some studies do show that drinking something with calcium, such as Almond Milk or warm-milk can help you sleep better. So if you did eat something spicy, try to get a little calcium in before bedtime.
I think we all know that drinking caffeinated drinks after 5:00 pm can keep you awake at night. If you love a hot drink in the evening, there are dozens of wonderful decaf coffees and teas to choose from. As well, that nightcap or glass of wine before bed may sound enticing, and may even make you feel sleepy, but once your head hits the pillow; that REM sleep could elude you. Tossing and turning from indigestion or heartburn will make for a really restless night. Limiting those items, and sleeping in cooling sheets should help you fall and stay asleep better!
Keep the Blinds or Drapes Closed All Day
The Department of Energy says that you can reduce heat gain by up to 77% by keeping window coverings closed during the day. If you have south-facing windows this is particularly important. The less see-through your window coverings, the better. If you have great black-out blinds, or wood shutters, or heavy draperies; you’ll get the best heat reduction. Having a darker home during the day may not be fun, but it will absolutely keep your rooms cooler. If you like a bit of light in the morning while you’re getting ready for your day, just close them all before you leave for work. You’ll arrive back to a much cooler home at night.
Buy a Cooling Mattress and Pillows
If you tend to sleep hot, suffer from night sweats or are going through menopause; a cooling pillow or mattress can make all the difference to your sleep. There are many great options on the market for mattress pads, mattresses or pillows that have cooling benefits. You can read the various studies done to determine which pillow brand could work best for your specific needs. Some people like shredded latex, while others may prefer buckwheat, memory foam or soybeans. Some mattress pads even have built in air-conditioning which will literally release cool air into your mattress during the night. This sounds like heaven to super-hot sleepers!
Make a DIY Air Conditioning Unit
Did you know you can easily make your own air conditioning unit? Check out these 10 ways to make your own at home! They range from as simple as having a fan blow across a tray of ice cubes, to attaching soda bottles filled with ice to your fan. You can go as complicated as taking a waxed milk carton and attaching a computer fan with 12V adapter, using a hot glue gun and soldering iron. You can also make a few different variations of using a cooler or large bucket, with a small fan and some tubing attached.
Sleep in a Lower Level in Your Home
One of the simplest ways to sleep cooler is to move into a lower-level room in your home. If you have a 2nd or 3rd floor bedroom with many windows that heat up the room, it may be difficult to sleep when you’re hot. Sleeping in the basement, or ground floor room during the hottest part of the year may help you sleep a lot cooler. Homes on slab concrete do tend to have cooler rooms on the ground level, so why not mix it up! It could be fun to swap your office for your bedroom during the summer, of permanently if you just can’t sleep upstairs due to any type of heat. In warmer climates, some people even have sleeping-porches to move to in the summer. It’s a screened-in porch that allows the cool evening breeze to pass over them while sleeping. You can also strip your bedding down to simply a fitted sheet with a flat sheet to cover your body, less weight equals cooler sleep.
I hope you learned how to stay cool while sleeping, and that some of these tips inspired you!