Do You Get Hot When You Sleep?
Body temperature and sleep are very closely related to one another. In fact, temperature plays a huge role in our sleep-wake cycle.
During the day, our body temperature constantly changes, depending on our activities and the outside environment. On the other hand, it drops in the night, just before we fall our sleep, to induce sleep.
The Role of Body Temperature and Sleep
One of the amazing things about the human body is how it is able to control the body temperature. The body must maintain a healthy temperature for it to properly function, so it adjusts through different mechanisms.
Two obvious ways our body display thermoregulation is when shivering or sweating.
When your body temperature rises, you sweat because it’s the body’s way of cooling you down. On the other hand, you will shiver if it’s too cool. The muscles contract and expand fast to create heat.
We commonly refer to this as cold and hot sweats.
Our body temperature influences the amount and quality of our sleep, to a great degree than previously believed.
Our core body temperature, which fluctuates during the day, drops at night to help initiate sleep. However, the room temperature and density of air needs to be meet certain conditions in order for you to get quality sleep.
What should the room temperature be?
The best temperature for sleep varies because each person has different comfort levels. Typically, cool is better than warm because it aids the drop in your core body temperature. 60-65 degrees Fahrenheit is a common recommendation by sleep experts.
During the night, your core body temperature is maintained at healthy levels to keep you comfortable. During REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, the brain’s temperature regulating system switches off to let the room temperature influence the body temperature. That’s why very cold and hot temperatures tend to wake you up.
How to stay cool to sleep soundly
Adjust the thermostat or open the windows
Let the cool air enter your room to make it more comfortable. If it’s too hot, your body will sweat to try to compensate but it’ll be too uncomfortable for bed.
On the other hand, if it’s too cold, you might find yourself waking up in the middle of the night from shivering. Try to find the right balance, either with the thermostat or your bedding.
Take a warm shower or bath
A lot of people shower at night to feel clean, but did you know it actually helps prepare your body for sleep?
As we mentioned earlier, the core body temperature drops to induce sleep. Soaking or showering in warm water initially increases your body temperature, but as soon as you get out, it drops.
A shower doesn’t work as well as a bath, but it still helps.
However, you don’t want to shower/bathe too close to bedtime. Schedule it around 60-90 minutes before you hit the sack so that your body has time to adjust. Otherwise, you might feel too warm to sleep comfortably.
Choose cool pajamas
The cloth of your pajamas is very important as it can help regulate your body temperature during the night. Some fabrics can keep you more cool than others. You also want your pajamas to be comfortable on the skin.
Consider these facts when choosing your pajamas:
- Cotton is lightweight and soft to touch. It may be able to keep you cool but when the room temperature gets cold, it won’t keep you warm. It also dries slowly or poorly so if you sweat, it can be uncomfortable.
- Silk is probably one of the best thermoregulating material because it can keep you warm when it’s cold, or cool when it’s hot. The downside is that real silk is expensive. It’s very smooth and slippery so it can move around while you sleep.
- Bamboo Materials – Bamboo fabric is soft, silky and is a moisture-wicker so it will keep you cool during the night. It’s also hypoallergenic, so it’s great for those who suffer from allergies.
- Wool and fleece are great insulators and can keep you warm during cold nights. However, wearing them directly on your skin can cause itchiness and irritation.
Avoid Temperature Sensitive Materials
What you sleep on greatly affects how you sleep. Carefully choosing your pillows, mattresses, blankets and sheets is very important because the materials may affect your body temperature.
For instance, memory foam is comfortable and provides great support, but it is very temperature-sensitive. It may retain heat and that can become very uncomfortable and disturb your deep sleep during the night.
Consider these materials that might be cooler:
If you want something more natural, consider bamboo materials. Bamboo mattresses and bamboo pillows are making their way into the industry by offering natural comfort to its customers, with the latter gaining more popularity.
Sleeping on bamboo pillows can benefit those who suffer asthma and lung problems because they are resistant to dust mites and other allergens. Bamboo pillows are also very light and breathable, making it a great choice for warm climates and summer nights.
Aside from pillows and beddings, there are also pajamas that use bamboo fibers.
Latex (Mattresses and Pillows)
Latex mattresses, specifically natural latex, have really good ratings because it supports a natural spine alignment. It uses natural materials from the sap of a rubber tree, which is hypoallergenic, dust mite-resistant and very durable.
Unlike Memory foam, Latex does not give that sinking feeling. It conforms to the shape of your body but it responds quickly. It also doesn’t retain heat and can sleep well through the night.
Nowadays, you can find mattresses, mattress toppers and pillows that use a blend of different materials. For example, you can find a mattress that has a lower layer of Memory foam, but a top layer of latex. You can also find a mattress with Memory foam with a layer of gel for cooling effects.
Blended materials are available to find the best mix of comfort and support. It may also be to match the price of a user. For instance, a manufacturer might mix all-natural-latex with synthetic latex to lower the cost. All-natural-latex is very expensive.
Other tips for a cool night:
- Put a pair of socks in the refrigerator and put them on when you sleep. On the other hand, if your feet gets too cold for you at night, put on a pair of socks to warm you up.
- Consider a cooling pillow or chill your own pillow in the refrigerator.
- If you share a bed with someone, try to keep a distance. Being too close together will increase the temperature.
- During the day, you can keep the blinds close to keep the sun out. This will keep your room from getting too warm.
- Go to sleep in your underwear, if it’s too warm for you to wear sleepwear.
- If you have long hair, you might want to tie it up.
- In the summer it can get really hot. Because heat goes up, you ideally want to stay low. If worse comes to worst, you might want to sleep downstairs or move your mattress on the floor. Unfortunately, this is only a temporary fix.
- If you don’t have an airconditioning unit, use a fan. To make the air cooler, place a bowl of ice in front of the fan.
Sufficient sleep is essential for us to function better and to promote good health. One huge factor that affects our sleep is the temperature of our bodies and the environment.
Our body temperature regulates normally regulates itself and during the night, it drops to initiate the sleep process. In fact, it drops to keep us sound asleep. However, the external temperature also affects our body temperature, therefore affecting how we sleep.
If you are feeling so hot, you might not be able to sleep comfortably. Therefore, find the temperature that is most comfortable for you. Avoid getting too cold or too warm so you can get better sleep and wake up feeling better as well.