Restorative sleep is not only bliss—it’s crucial to living a healthy, happy and productive life. Nearly all of us experience sleep deprivation at some point but one of the top culprits—sleeping too hot—is totally fixable. Here are 7 specific reasons you might be experiencing night sweats, and what to do about them.
Your exercise routine affects your temperature.
Along with increasing your heart health and core body strength, exercise is one of the best ways to boost your metabolism. However, sudden changes to your exercise routine—or even the intensity of your workouts—can cause your thyroid to release more hormones in support of more activity. Both the increase in metabolism and the shift in hormones can lead to night sweats.
Two tips for reducing these unwanted side effects are to ease slowly into any new exercise regimen, and to try exercising earlier in the day.
You have a higher metabolism.
We’re mostly looking at you, men. That’s because a male’s metabolism, on average, is 23% higher than that of a female. Metabolism is measured by the rate at which you burn food to fuel your body. The very process of fueling your body with energy causes your temperature to rise. Naturally, a higher metabolic rate will coincide with a higher body temperature.
One surefire way to ensure a good night’s sleep is to invest in a mattress with cooling technology, particularly an advanced cooling mattress that moderates your skin temperature to an ideal 88 degrees Fahrenheit.
You’re losing the thermostat war.
Even though men have a higher metabolism than women, females generally have a higher core body temperature. That seems counterintuitive on so many levels—for one thing, women are far more likely to feel cold sooner. The fact is, because women are accustomed to feeling that warmer internal temperature, they will nearly always be more sensitive to external cold. Women are also ultra-efficient when it comes to conserving energy. Females pull heat to their vital organs first—one of the reasons why women’s hands and feet tend to be three degrees colder than men.
These physiological differences account for some intense thermostat wars! One of the best ways to ensure both of you are comfortable is to invest in the right pillows—choosing different materials for your individual sleep needs. Latex pillows are naturally breathable while cooling gel pillows provide relief at the neck, one of the most influential areas for lowering or raising body temperature.
Your hormone levels are fluctuating.
Any changes in reproductive hormones can impact the hypothalamus—your body's thermostat—resulting in changes in body temperature. While approximately 75 percent of women who experience menopause also experience hot flashes, women of all ages can be subject to hormonal flux.
You can ease night sweats related to hormonal fluctuations by sleeping with not only fewer covers, but also by using sheets that are inherently breathable and cooler to the touch. Sheets derived from cotton and bamboo are among the best choices. Bamboo sheets are particularly known for their softness and lightweight hand. Turning on a standing fan or ceiling fan for localized cooling can also bring immediate relief.
You live in the sun belt (or it's summer).
Living in the southern third of the United States can make you the envy of the rest of the nation in January, but triple digit temperatures or high humidity in the summer months can leave you feeling hot and sticky 24/7. Even if you live in a cooler climate, summer months require some extra measures to beat the heat.
Few in hot climate areas can afford to adjust the thermostat to the optimal temperature for every hour of the day. Perhaps that’s why Phoenix, Arizona-based Brooklyn Bedding developed advanced cooling technology for mattresses in the first place.
Beyond the bed, anyone looking for a chill sleep environment should close or pull down all window treatments during daytime hours and keep the thermostat about three degrees higher than comfortable when away from the home. Turn down the thermostat when you return and at least a few hours before going to sleep—this technique will not only cool down the house, but also save on utilities without overworking your AC unit.
You don’t sleep alone.
Allowing children or pets to sleep in your bed is a hot topic of debate—with a rise in temperature being one of the more literal side effects. If none of you are ready to give up the emotional security, then cooling technology is the next thing you should add to the mix. Surface cooling infusions are now available in a number of mattresses (including the advanced cooling Brooklyn Aurora). Look for cooling infusions that react to and help moderate your body temperature, as well as foam treatments that draw heat out and away from your body.
You sleep on an all-foam bed that lacks cooling or breathability.
The invention of the bed-in-a-box gave rise to the all-foam mattress—with its compressibility, ship-ability and ever so comfortable sleep-ability. One of the chief complaints of all-foam beds, though, can be the way some models absorb and trap heat. If you’re in the market for a mattress, there are a few ways to ensure a more comfortable, cooler night’s slumber.
First, if you’re set on an all-foam bed, look for foam mattresses featuring open cell technology, breathable smooth tops and foams with cooling properties, including cooling surface infusions. Second, understand the difference between all-foam beds and hybrid beds. Hybrid beds feature coils instead of high density base foams. Hybrid mattresses with individually pocketed coils provide not only added comfort and support but also greater airflow, allowing heat to dissipate while you sleep.
Regardless of the mattress you sleep on, the proper foundation—including an adjustable base, which also allows great air circulation—is ideal for chilling.