Overheating At Night - You’re Not Alone
Do you keep waking up at night soaking with sweat? If so, you’re not alone. Let’s explore why you may overheat during the night — and what you can do to fix it and start sleeping better.
Why Does My Body Get So Hot When I Sleep?
There are several reasons why you could be overheating in your sleep.
First, your choice of blankets or sleepwear could be at fault. A recent study showed that different bedding and sleepwear materials influence your sleep in various ways at different temperatures. For instance, cotton provides deeper sleep at temperatures of 72°F (22°C), but the same is true for wool at temperatures of 63°F (17°C).
Sleeping with someone else in the bed can also influence your body temperature throughout the night. Because mammals constantly emit heat, having someone (or a pet) close by could be raising your body temperature.
Scientists have studied the effects of heat during sleep, they’ve found that temperature is one of the most important factors that can influence the quality of your sleep. Too much exposure to heat can make you more wakeful, but it can also decrease the amount of REM and slow-wave sleep you get.
Some medications and hormones can also cause people to overheat. For instance, night sweats are a common menopause symptom.
Finally, what you do before you go to bed can have an impact on your body temperature. For example, consuming caffeine too close to your bedtime is associated with a higher body temperature during sleep. Stress can also cause you to overheat.
How To Stay Cool While Sleeping
Here are some best practices to stay cool and avoid overheating during your sleep:
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed: Both alcohol and caffeine can reduce the quality of your sleep (and make you overheat). If you’re thirsty before bed, stick to water or try one of these soothing drinks.
- Try a lukewarm shower or bath: While it sounds counterintuitive, taking a warm shower or bath right before bed can help keep you cool. Just avoid making your dip too hot. And too cold won’t be good either — the cold water can stimulate you instead of helping you relax before bed.
- Close the blinds in your room during the day: If it’s hot outside, keep the blinds closed in your bedroom to keep the temperature low.
- Exercise earlier in the day: Exercising can promote better health (and better sleep!), but exercising too close to bedtime can increase your body temperature and make you sweat during your sleep.
- Try sleeping closer to the ground: Heat rises, which means you’ll feel cooler if you’re lower to the ground. Try a Japanese floor mat as a mattress alternative to keep cool.
- Watch what you eat before bed: Enjoy your late-night snacks? Some people find that sugary or fatty foods make them feel hotter. Take note of how different snacks make you feel, and avoid those that trigger hot flashes before bed.
- Implement a relaxing bedtime routine: Avoid stress in the evening by implementing a relaxing bedtime routine. Try adding meditation, reading, journaling, or other relaxing activities right before bed.
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