According to the National Institutes of Health, having a bedroom around 66 degrees can ensure better sleep while providing an increase in your metabolic active brown fat. So, you don’t sweat, get better sleep, and give your metabolism an extra boost. What else could you ask for?
We all have woken up when we get overheated in bed. A bed should be cool and breezy, yet hold just enough heat to keep you comfortable through the night. That prickly, trapped-heat feeling that often raises your core body temperature is a hallmark that something has gone wrong with your mattress or bedding design.
Changes in the seasons, the weather, and even your own body temperature can change what is “too hot” for your bed setup, but when that happens, you need a bed cooling strategy to get back to good sleep.
Today, we’re diving into the many ways to make your bed cooler, from gel mattress pad to soft cotton pajamas.
1) The Right Sheets for Bed Cooling
Sheets are extremely important for bed heat or cooling for your body temperature. In the winter, you may put on those flannel sheets with a tight, fuzzy weave to keep warm, while smooth percale cotton is the best sheet for the summer months. The sheets determine how airflow moves through your bed, wicking away heat and moisture to keep your body heat at the right temperature. Breathable sheets with a smooth texture tend to be cooler.
Cotton is the most breathable fiber for sheets. Long staple cotton bed sheets tends to be longer. Mid-range thread count is usually the best balance of price, breathability, and softness. If you’re using artificial fibers or alternatives like linen or silk, switch to cotton sheets for your bed on hot nights, especially if you don’t have a ceiling fan.
Loose vs Tight Weave Sheets
Pay attention to the weave of your sheets. Some weaves are much hotter fwhen put with your body heat and some are much cooler. Satin and sateen, for example, are very tight weaves that are very shiny and very hot. The same aspect that makes them lovely and shiny also prevents airflow. This can wreak havoc on your sleep quality.
Percale is the most common sheet weave, and also the coolest. Noted by its long vertical threads, percale is smooth, breathable, and wicks moisture when woven from cotton creating its own air cooling systems.
2) Wear Soft Cotton Pajamas
Your pajamas matter almost as much as the sheets. If you fall asleep in synthetic fabrics and are a hot sleeper, you’re going to wake up sweaty in your bed at night. Even sleeping in bare skin can affect your sleep experience if you wake up damp with heat trapped between your back and the mattress, especially during the summer heat or if you’re having hot flashes.
The coolest pajamas are soft, lightweight cotton. This will moisture-wick and create a small friction space between you and the bed preventing night sweats. Old t-shirts are popular because they are well-worn and the cotton is especially soft and thin for sleeping in creating an effective cooling option especially in the warmer months.
3) Increase Bedroom Airflow
Air can’t flow through your sheets to wick away heat to help regulate your body heat if there is no airflow in your room. Make sure there’s a fan in your bedroom or the AC vent blows with some velocity to help make the bedroom cool. Comfortable sleep in a hot room or on warm nights means air constantly circulating through the room and around your sheets. This makes it possible for your bed to breathe instead of trapping heat and, conveniently, helps when you throw out an arm or leg to cool off during that deep sleep.
4) Pick a Cooling Mattress Topper
Memory foam mattress toppers change the top layer of your mattresses by making the stack a little thicker. Toppers can be a pillow top, egg crate, memory foam, cooling gel, gel-infused memory foam, or a recent temperature-wicking topper as new designs are constantly in development. What you need to know is what you need from a topper.
Moisture Wicking, Temperature, and Airflow
The three elements of a cooling topper are moisture-wicking, temperature lowering, and airflow. If you’re waking up damp, look for airflow and moisture-wicking, among natural materials. These will provide active cooling systems to help keep the bedroom cool. If heat is trapped when you sleep, look for airflow and cooling gel for a cooling solution. If you are personally overheating, possibly due to hot flashes, no matter what the bed does, look for cooling gel. Cooling gel will help with extra cooling as it acts somewhat like an ice pack. Toppers can also, of course, be used to affect softness-to-firmness and topper texture.
Hot vs Cooling Foam Toppers
Foam toppers can be hot, cold, or neutral. Some types of foam topper are notorious for trapping heat, but there are a variety of products, so be sure to read the product description before purchasing. Now there are cooling foams to wick heat and a special design called rippled foam to improve airflow. Some toppers have two to four layers to achieve multiple goals when installed on the bed surface.
Cool Gel Toppers
Cooling gel is one of the more popular choices for a bed cooling mattress topper. This is gel designed to stay cool under your sleeping body, even if you and the covers heat up or your skin has hot flashes, or your sleep environment around you gets warmer. This counteracts any heat being trapped and reflecting from the mattress and gives you a cooler base to sleep on.
5) Sleep On a Cooling Pillow
You can also keep your head, shoulders, and chest at a cooler temperature with a cooling pillow. Traditional cooling pillows contain smooth grains like buckwheat pillows. There are also many artificial fillers that help induce comfy support and airflow at the same time. There are gel pillows for those who prefer the firm-flexible type of pillow or synthetic puff pillows if you like a fluffier sleep.
6) Cool Your Feet
Don’t tuck your bedding into the end of the bed. While making your bed looks neat and tidy, kick those covers free before you go to sleep. Give yourself the freedom to kick out a leg to cool off or let your feet uncover themselves in the night. This is called a radiator technique and helps a lot during days of summer.
Radiators are cooling fins for electric and steam-powered technology. The cooling fins dissipate heat over a wide surface area using highly heat-conductive metals. When thrown out from under the covers, your leg, foot, or arm becomes a radiator – dispersing trapped heat over a wide surface area of skin in the cool bedroom air (it’s like your own personal air conditioning). This is a great way to help your with temperature regulation.
7) Lightweight and Weighted Blankets
Blankets are a big deal to sleep cooler, and not everyone has yet mastered the blanket game. When you’re sleeping too hot, you need to reduce blanket insulation, though you can still keep some blanket weight. Insulation is how much hot (and air in general) is trapped inside the blanket when enclosed over the bed. Comforters are insulating with air, but can be made of breathable materials. Tight woven winter blankets are also insulating because they trap heat.
If your blankets are too hot, it’s time to triage.
Remove Insulating Layers
Remove the thick layer of blanket from your bedding. If you, like many hotels, have a tight-woven or thick fuzzy blanket between the sheet and comforter, remove it. This is an insulating layer for cold nights and create a higher bed temperature. If you have more than one blanket at all, pick your favorite and push away the other.
Weighted Summer Blankets
If you just kick off your winter blankets, you wind up with only the sheet. Your lightest blanket may even feel too light, not heavy enough to sleep comfortably. This is why weighted summer blankets are important. You may have noticed that summer throw-blankets, quilts, and even comforters are made to have some weight but still be highly breathable for a preferred temperature.
Pick a cotton knit blanket or flat cotton quilt for your summer blanket or choose a true weighted blanket of summer insulation thickness to sleep well without overheating.
Year-Round Fluffy Duvets
Duvets are year-round fluffy comforters that are often covered like a giant pillowcase. First, pick a percale duvet cover just like the sheet. Second, only use breezy duvets in the summer. The fluffy blanket can be a good summer blanket, but only if the insulation isn’t too heavy and the blanket is breathable and allows sufficient air circulation that will complement the current room temperature rather than trapping in excess heat.
8) Breathe Easier
Breathing profoundly affects your quality and heat of sleep. If you snore or have sleep apnea, your body can heat up with the greater effort to keep your lungs full of air. So reduce that stress by clearing your breathing passages. Before bed, have a hot shower and breathe in the steam. Just a little menthol will go a long way to help open and clear your sinuses. When you can breathe fully through both nostrils, you oxygenate your brain and reduce the danger-stress on your sle
In other words, clear breaths can help you achieve deeper and more continuous sleep.
IIs your bed too hot and impairing your sleep? Learn about the 6 common types of mattresses and how they could help. We know just what to do. Contact us today to find out more about sleeping comfortably and improving your quality of sleep.