How To Stay Cool When Sleeping

too hot to sleep cool sleep

Do you find it difficult to stay cool when sleeping? Do you toss and turn in an effort to get comfortable? You are not alone! Although we all know that getting adequate sleep is critical for our physical and mental health, so many of us also experience difficulties falling and staying asleep. One of the factors that get in our way is heat.

You may know the drill. When you finally settle down to go to sleep, you become acutely aware of the temperature. What’s not right? Is it your bedclothes, pillow, sheets, room temperature, humidity? It could be all of them; it could one. In any case, once you become aware of the factors that can affect your ability to get to sleep and stay asleep, you can make changes. Let’s explore those possibilities.

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Pamper your head

Did you know your head is one of the hottest parts of your body? Sleeping on a small, firm pillow is cooler than resting your head on a fluffy one. You can also try a cooling pillow, which wicks away moisture, promotes airflow, and dissipates heat. 

Control your temperature

What’s the temperature like in the place where you sleep? Research indicates that a temperature of around 65 degrees F is ideal for sleeping. One fact that supports this suggestion is that your body temperature drops as you get sleepy and reaches its lowest point around 5 AM. If the air temperature is too high, then you may find it difficult to sleep. Turn your thermostat down at night!

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Don’t forget humidity

Achieving the optimal level of moisture in the air (humidity), along with temperature, also affects your sleep. Your goal? Between 30 and 50 percent humidity. Running an air conditioner can help eliminate excess moisture. If you don’t have an air condition, use fans to boost airflow. If you live in a humid environment, a dehumidifier can suck the moisture out of the air in your room. If dry air is a problem, then a humidifier next to your bed can be helpful. Remember to use distilled water and change the water every three days. You can determine the humidity in your bedroom using a hygrometer if your humidifier doesn’t already have one built-in.

Location, location, location

This is true in the bedroom as well as with real estate. Heat rises, so the lower your bed is, the cooler you’ll be. If you have a hammock, sleeping suspended allows airflow over and under you to keep you cooler.

Sleep solution system

Try a solution you can add to your bed to keep you cool. An example is BedJet (full disclosure- we love this product and own one ourselves), a system that combines technology that allows you to set your own individual sleep temperature, depending on your needs. It both cools and warms your sleep experience while also whisking away sweat. One study found that 85 percent of women who had night sweats got significant relief when using this system.

Get a cool pad

A cooling mattress pad (also called a cooling mattress topper) sits on top of your mattress and helps regulate your temperature while absorbing excess heat. It may be made from cooling gel memory foam, foam infused with graphite, or buoyant latex, among other materials.

Back to basics

Simple solutions can work as well. Freeze a damp flannel cloth or a hot water bottle filled with water and take it to bed with you. Or use both! Placing them on your pulse points—wrist and ankles—can really cool you down. You can also place your feet in a pan of cool water before going to bed.

Lighten up your linens

Sheets matter: choose lightweight, light-colored sheets made of bamboo, high thread count cotton, or linen, as they are the coolest. 

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Invest in a bed cooling system

If a cooling mattress pad isn’t enough for you, there are various bed cooling systems available. These systems actively work to lower the temperature of your bed using fans or ventilation devices that transport air underneath the sheets or into a cooling blanket or circulate cold water through a mattress topper or cooling pad. 

Keep it loose

Your night clothes should be loose and made of cotton. You may also choose to go au naturel!

Be a wet head

If you are willing to go to bed with damp hair, you may find it helps keep you cooler.

Try frugal AC

Place a pan of ice cubes in front of a fan. As the cubes melt, the breeze from the fan will be cool.

Bottom line

Getting a restful night’s sleep can be challenging for anyone and for many reasons. Too much heat is one of the main reasons. A relaxing, cool sleep can be yours if you incorporate one or more of the suggestions on how to stay cool when sleeping noted here.

Sleep Foundation. Humidity in your bedroom. 2020 July 28
Sleep Foundation. What temperature should your bedroom be? 2020 July 28
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Deborah Mitchell
Deborah is a freelance health writer who is passionate about animals and the environment. She has authored, co-authored, and written more than 50 books and thousands of articles on a wide range of topics. Currently, she lives in Tucson, Arizona.