Now that summer is in full swing, you might find yourself tossing and turning as you try to fall asleep on warm nights. Perhaps you wake up slick with sweat because your bed is too hot. Unfortunately, age, medications, medical conditions and illnesses can make you feel even hotter at night. Fortunately, you can take a few steps to control temperature, get a better night’s sleep, and wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day.
The Mattress Makes the Difference
Most companies advertise models that will help you sleep cooler, and you can often feel the difference as soon as you place your hand on the mattress. However, you don’t need a cooling mattress specifically to enjoy a more comfortable sleep. Instead, you just need to know which mattress designs and materials promote a cool sleep.
For example, if you’re a hot sleeper, you might want to think twice about buying an all-foam mattress, memory foam mattress, or traditional memory foam as they tend to trap body heat accelerating your body temperature. Traditional coils improve airflow, which helps you sleep better. Some beds made from foam also include perforations to promote airflow. Although air beds are designed to ensure you can find the perfect firmness, the pockets of air can also lead to a cooler night’s sleep.
When it comes to materials, look for those that wick moisture from your body and release heat from the mattress or are breathable fabric. Everything from the coins to the foam to the cover can be created with materials that perform these duties. More specifically, consider latex foam instead of polyurethane memory foam, which conforms to the body and retains your body heat. Finally, gel-infused mattresses may be more comfortable for those who sleep hot as they don’t always trap your body temperature.
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Keep a Cool Head When Accessorizing
For further temperature control, consider a mattress pad or mattress topper. Choose latex, gel, and other cooling materials to keep yourself cool at night, as well as preventing hot flashes. Follow the same advice when choosing a pillow. After all, your head is pressed against it all night long. If price is no option, you’ll find electric mattress pads that can cool as well as heat.
As you can guess, your linens also make a difference in how comfortably you sleep, too. Many people need to be covered, even if they also need a cool environment to sleep in, so going without isn’t an option. Like with mattresses, you don’t have to look far for bedding created with hot sleepers like yourself in mind, but they’re not your only options.
Natural fabrics are best for regulating your temperature as you sleep because they’re breathable. Silk and bamboo bed sheets, in particular, are common, and both are considered more sustainable fabrics than some because they require less water and time to produce and are biodegradable. Bamboo wicks away moisture, while silk is antibacterial, which may help if you struggle with acne.
Companies also make cotton percale, sateen, microfiber, linen, and even eucalyptus sheet sets for hot sleepers as these materials are all considered to be breathable materials. This gives you plenty of options for finding comfortable linens that match your aesthetic, mattress size, and budget.
Once you’ve picked your sheets, the comforter comes next. A duvet stuffed will wool is perfect for wicking moisture away from your body at night and letting you sleep more comfortably. A linen duvet is another excellent option for hot sleepers.
Following the same fabric principles when choosing sleep clothes can further lower your temperature and keep you from waking in a pool of sweat at night.
Hack Your Way to a Cooler Sleep
If you’ve tried all the other suggestions in this guide but still need something a little more to cool you down enough to get a good night’s sleep, we’ve got a few suggestions.
- Toss your top sheet into the freezer and take it out before bed. The instant coolness may help you fall asleep as it brings down your core temperature which will allow your bed (and you) to be the ideal temperature. You may also be able to do this with small pillows or blankets. Try freezing a hand towel or washcloth and laying it on your pillow or using it as a cold compress if space is at a premium. Some people even freeze their socks to wear before bed!
- Spritz your bed with a cooling spray before climbing in it. Choose one with lavender, which is known for its calming properties and is often suggested as a bedtime scent. This can work especially great if you don’t have an air conditioner.
- Take a cool shower immediately before bed, and let a fan evaporate the moisture from your skin.
- Apply a cooling lotion or spray to your body and face (aloe and menthol are both known cooling ingredients). Then, boost its cooling ability by lying directly in front of a fan.
- Place ice packs in your bed, especially against the back of your neck or “pulse points”– your knees, elbows, ankles, and wrists. A frozen water bottle can also work in a pinch. Cooling face and eye masks are a great addition to your sleep routine.
- Keep your hair off your body with a silk scrunchie, headband, or hair bonnet. These products can also do double duty by preventing tangling and frizzy hair, especially if you’ve got curly locks.
- Switch your ceiling fan to counterclockwise during the summer to circulate cool air.
- Invest in a personal cooling device such as the Ember Wave, which looks like a bracelet or watch and helps regulate your temperature even if your room or bed is warm–especially if your partner prefers it that way.
- If you don’t have air conditioning, place a container of ice cubes in front of your fan. As the ice melts, the fan will blow the cool air over you.
Keep in mind that any sleep hack involving moisture works best in dryer climates. If your bedroom is humid, adding more moisture to the air can make you feel warmer–and stickier–because the air is already full of moisture and cannot easily absorb more. You can find out the best quality bedding and how it can help.
With this advice in mind, you might finally find the peaceful rest you’ve been looking for, perhaps making summer more bearable. You can also enlist some of these cool sleeping hacks when camping, spending the weekend in a cabin, or visiting loved ones who keeps their homes warmer than you find comfortable.