Have you had difficulty sleeping with hot weather or because you tend to sleep hot in bed? One of the most common problems that interrupt sleep is overheating while sleeping. If you want to enjoy a more comfortable night of uninterrupted sleep, you’re in the right place. If you want to know how to cool down in bed as well as before you step into bed, you are in the right place. This article suggests 7 tips that will give you a cool and comfy advantage before you doze off. Let’s get into it!
If you are a hot sleeper or really feel the heat and humidity in the height of summer, knowing how to cool down in bed could help with overheating while sleeping. I have written 2 posts on this topic:
- Part 1 – How to cool down in bed before you doze off, getting your body down to a temperature that’s just right for a deep sleep;
- Part 2 – How to cool down in bed after you doze off with the best choice in bedding to maintain that “just right” temperature throughout the night so you wake refreshed and ready to take on your day.
The Consequences of a Poor Night’s Sleep From Overheating While Sleeping
Your body can’t sustain the impact of interrupted sleep when you suffer from overheating while sleeping night after night.
A lack of sound sleep causes havoc in your life.
- It affects your immune system, your appetite, and your hormone balance.
- It also makes you less attentive and less productive on the job.
- Failing to get a good nights sleep can be dangerous when driving a motor vehicle or dangerous when operating machinery.
- You can be at risk of serious health issues like diabetes, depression, hypertension, heart disease, and cancer. How? Your routine circadian rhythm helps to regulate the level of energy of all your body’s cells. Cellular energy shortages lead to a breakdown of your natural defenses.
Whatever you do as your life’s work, your performance is impaired by just a single night of inadequate sleep.
String several of those nights together and it only compounds these problems. Just take a look at the detailed cumulative impact of losing sleep on your body over several nights by viewing the video below.
Regular, quality sleep is vital your health and well-being.
How Much Sleep Do I Need?
“How much sleep do I need?” is a very common question I get asked. If you don’t have time to read my investigation on this topic, you can check out the video from Dr Bobby Lazzara.
In a nutshell, this is what you need you know to optimize your sleep by sleeping the right amount of hours:
- Sleep experts tell us that seven to eight hours of quality sleep is recommended for adults.
- For teens, that number climbs up to about nine hours per night on average.
- Young children need even more.
We Are A Sleep-Deprived Nation
I was shocked to read that high number of adults in the United States (35%), report sleeping for less than seven hours per night on average.
I used to be in that bucket! How about you?
I wonder how many of these folks had their sleep interrupted because of overheating while sleeping? How many of these folks could have benefitted from knowing how to cool down in bed?
If you want to read about how a minimum of 7 hours of sleep each night can revolutionize your life, read my post about my book review of Arianna Huffington’s “The Sleep Revolution“.
Why Quantity and Quality of Sleep Are Important
A good restful sleep is not just about the number of hours or quantity of sleep.
The quality of sleep is just as important.
So how do you optimize those hours you’re lying in bed – the deep sleep – so you wake up fresh and ready to take on the day? Start by cooling down to a comfortable level before hitting the sack.
The 7 Tips On How To Keep Cool In Bed and Before Bed
1. Darken Your Bedroom
Close your bedroom drapes or curtains during the day when the sun is at its hottest.
Drawing your blinds can stop that intense heat stream of the sun from penetrating your windows and overheating your bedroom. During those intensely hot summer days, leave your curtains closed all day long. This will have a significant impact on the comfort level inside your bedroom.
Try it and you’ll see. This may not be enough to find your comfortable sleep zone – but it can certainly help.
2. Cool Down Your Room Before You Get Into Bed
A comfortable and slightly cool room tends to enhance the sleep experience. It helps you fall asleep faster and with a sustained temperature that’s comfortable, they’ll be fewer interruptions to your sleep during the night.
2.1 Get your thermostat to the right setting
Set the thermostat in your bedroom to between 65 to 68°F. This seems to be the optimal temperature for peaceful, restorative sleep.
Ideally, you want to experience a slight dip in your body’s core temperature prior to going to bed. It’s a subtle thing that often happens naturally, without us realizing it. But sometimes we need to enhance the cool down by cranking up the air conditioner or taking a cool shower before bedtime.
Any cooling down of your core temperature signals to the brain that’s time to hit the sack. Once that switch has been flipped – you’ll naturally find it easier to get to sleep
2.2 Cool down with air con
Achieving and maintaining a constant, cool room temperature can make a dramatic improvement in the quality of sleep for a lot of people. But when you are overheating while sleeping, consistency is key. You don’t want to keep it too cool, or you’re going to wake up at some point throughout the night feeling chilly. That’s because any significant shift is felt on the skin. That’s what wakes you up, interrupting an otherwise decent sleep.
Individual room thermostats and central air-conditioning may be the best available option for controlling your indoor comfort levels when it’s hot and sticky outside.
Air-conditioning, in general, is a great way to cool down a room on those hot humid summer nights. Room air conditioners can also work, though they tend to be on the noisy side. It’s also much more difficult to maintain a constant range of temperature with room air conditioner vs. central air.
For some people, air-conditioning of any kind feels too cool. If this is you, I recommended to cool down the bedroom prior to sleep time. So in this case, instead of learning how to cool down in bed, it’s all about before bed. Once that 65 to 68-degree range has been found, shut the air conditioning off. See if that cools the room sufficiently throughout the night. With a programmable thermostat, you can have the air con turned on only as the temperature rises above the ideal sleeping zone.
2.3 Cool down with a fan
A portable electric fan is another option for slightly cooling the air inside your bedroom. Technically, all you’re doing is moving around warm air, yet it’s this movement that creates a breeze, giving you a slight cooling effect from a fan.
Fans are portable, so you can move them around until you find a location that delivers the best results. It’s a cheaper option than air conditioning that works for some people.
This is a very affordable way to share with your friends on how to cool down in bed when their sleep interrupted through overheating while sleeping.
Keep These Practices Consistent in Winter
Even in winter, you’ll want to maintain a slightly cooler bedroom. Turn the heat down in your room a few hours before bedtime. Open a window if you can. There’s nothing like having fresh clean air to breathe as you’re trying to get to sleep.
3. Put Your Mattress on the Floor
If your bed is elevated off the floor, try sleeping on a quality foam mattress – like the Leesa – and place it directly on the floor.
The mattress will provide just as much comfort as it does on your bed frame.
But, since the warmer air in a room rises towards the ceiling, you’ll be closest to where the air is at its coolest point. The difference is slight, but it could be enough for you to fall asleep instead of tossing and turning. This is a great tip in knowing how to cool down in bed.
4. Shut Off Electrical Devices
Shut off all electrical devices. Every electrical appliance of any kind emits some heat. When it’s uncomfortably hot outside, this added heat source only makes conditions worse.
Don’t cook dinner in the oven, or even on the stove top. Opt for salads, sandwiches and other raw foods you don’t have to cook instead on those really uncomfortably hot and humid nights when overheating while sleeping is a real risk for you.
Switch off screens that aren’t being used – including your smartphone. Not only will you have a slight cooling effect on your indoor temperatures, you’ll save a little bit of money as well.
5. Take a Shower Before Bed
Try taking a cool shower before bed.
Showers are just morning refreshers, they can help you cool down your body to a comfortable level prior to sleep. If you haven’t tried this method in working out how to cool down in bed – give it a shot. It can make a difference in your life.
A cool shower brings down your core body temperature. So it can help you fall asleep faster.
Just be sure you shower just before you retire and no sooner. If you shower an hour before bedtime, your body will naturally warm up again – making sleep more difficult so there’s a greater chance of overheating while sleeping.
6. Use Your Hot Water as an Ice Pack
Another effective way to cool down when you’re feeling overheated is to use your hot water bottle as an ice pack. Simply fill it with cold water place it in the freezer. Then when you’re ready, wrap your ice pack in a towel and take it to bed with you to help cool you down. Alternatively, try tossing a stuffed animal in the freezer a few hours in advance and then take it to bed with you. Anything that can help cool you down is worth trying.
Alternatively, try tossing a stuffed animal in the freezer a few hours in advance and then take it to bed with you. Anything that can help cool you down is worth trying.
7. Ice-Cold Water on Your Face
Another tactic that works well is to place an ice-cold washcloth on your face. Also, allow cold running water to pour over your wrists for a 30 seconds or so, prior to bedtime. This can have a cooling effect on the body making you slightly more comfortable when you need to get to sleep.
This is my favorite tip. It is such a simple way of knowing how to cool down in bed.
Healthy Lifestyle Habits Mean You’ll Better Sleep
Exercise every day
Exercise is of course, important to one’s health. But you should do it long before bedtime and preferably in the morning.
Exercising every day can help you sleep better at night.
‘But exercise just before bedtime means you’ll probably have difficulty getting to sleep. Try having your workouts at those times of day when it’s not quite so hot. Mornings work best for a lot of people. That way, your body has all day to recover and cool down n advance of sleep time.
Try to stick to a regular bedtime – even on weekends. Waking up at approximately the same time every day helps your body stay in rhythm. If you normally wake at 6 am Monday to Friday, but prefer sleeping in on Saturdays and Sundays – you’re disrupting your body’s internal clock. This makes it more difficult to readjust sleep times to suit your schedule.
Two Kinds Of Sleep You Want To Engage In: REM and Deep Sleep
Getting a sound night’s sleep involves two levels of sleep – REM and deep sleep. These are two different stages of the sleep cycle and both are important to the way we function as human beings.REM sleep is that stage of sleep in which we are dreaming. This has mental benefits that help you in your decision-making, improves concentration, and organizes things that you’ve learned. It also helps to consolidate your memories.
These are two different stages of the sleep cycle and both are important to the way we function as human beings.
REM sleep is that stage of sleep in which we are dreaming. This has mental benefits that help you in your decision-making, improves concentration, and organizes things that you’ve learned. It also helps to consolidate your memories.
Deep Sleep is that level of rejuvenation that helps the body fight off diseases.
It also repairs muscles and strengthens ligaments.
Both REM and deep sleep are important elements in a quality, restorative, reinvigorating sleep experience.
We simply cannot be healthy without both types of sleep on a regular basis. But if you’re constantly waking due to discomfort, you won’t reach these essential levels of sleep for any sustained periods.
Waking up drenched in sweat is uncomfortable and inconvenient. It can easily disrupt an otherwise quality sleep experience. Surprisingly, this is all too common among both men and women. Some of the causes include sleeping in a room that’s excessively warm, your mattress makes you feel too hot, side effects from medications, and hormonal imbalances.
Leaving the air conditioner or a fan running on low can help. So too can leaving a window wide open. But on the hottest of nights, opening a window has little, if any effect.
You should avoid bundling up. Resist the temptation to wrap yourself in a blanket on the couch as you unwind before bed. It’s natural for the core body temperature to lower and you want to take full advantage to obtain a better sleep. Consider using organic cotton or polyester sheets. Polyester tends to draw the moisture away from the body and cotton is lighter, cooler, and more breathable. Avoid a heavy flannel or any dense fabric.
It’s also important to pay attention to what you eat. Some spicy foods can raise the body’s temperature and cause night sweats. Avoid eating for up to a couple of hours before bedtime as the process of digestion itself can raise one’s body temperature.
You should also avoid hot beverages or alcohol before bed. Both can trigger an increase in body temperature, making getting to sleep a more challenging feat.
If you’re on any medication, it’s important to beware of side effects. Check with your doctor to learn if night sweats could be one of the side effects. If so, you might seek out an alternative.
Mattresses And Body Heat
It’s recognized that memory foam mattresses make people who are prone to night sweats or sleeping hot, much worse. Even people who don’t sleep hot can find that memory foam retains their body making sleep very uncomfortable. If your current mattress has indentations or patches where you get “stuck”, this could also make your hot sensations even worse. This is just one sign that it may be time to replace your old mattress.
Near the age of forty, many women experience symptoms of menopause that keep them awake at night. Health concerns, declining hormone levels, and other midlife issues can affect one’s sleeping cycle. Symptoms may include night sweats, hot flashes, various aches and pains, and sleep apnea – which can be related to changing estrogen levels and gaining weight.
Stress is a huge issue for many people. But it’s common in menopause and often an underlying trigger in one’s lack of sleep. Everyone has issues to deal with from time to time but these tend to be compounded in women in mid-life. It’s at this point where they are most often dealing with health issues of their own, aging parents, difficult teens, job and economic concerns, as well as other issues.
A healthy diet and daily exercise can have a positive impact any everyone – including menopausal women. Eat more healthy foods like fresh garden vegetables and fruits, seeds, nuts, and legumes. Exercise need not require going to the gym every day. Brisk walking can work wonders if it’s done on a regular basis and over a considerable distance – for example, two miles – each day.
Practice slow, deep breathing throughout the day. The power of breath is an amazing thing that anyone can benefit from. But most of us don’t remember to breathe deeply and frequently throughout the day and evening. But just a few minutes of invigorating breathing it can be tremendously relaxing – and that in itself can help you sleep better. Self-hypnosis and visualization are other tools that can come in handy as well. In both cases, it gets your busy conscious mind off the issues of the day and into a deep state of relaxation. With a clear mind, you can plant mental seeds that help facilitate a wonderful night of sleep.
Let Cooler Heads Prevail
When the room temperature heats up and it feels like there’s no air movement at all – that’s a recipe for insomnia, or at the very least, a night of constant waking and fidgeting. There’s nothing worst than feeling the heat – particularly around your head. Being able to keep your head nice and cool is essential to a good nights sleep. Traditionally, pillows were always made of materials that retained heat – making you increasingly uncomfortable as the night wears on. Nowadays, much better pillows are available on the market. If your current pillow leaves your head feeling overheated, it’s time to look at the alternatives – like these highly-rated cool-comfort pillows.
What Can Fibromyalgia Sufferers Do?
Fibromyalgia causes sore, aching muscles and an overall feeling of fatigue. It affects concentration and comfort levels making achieving a peaceful sleep next to impossible. But there are some other tips sufferers can try, in addition to those previously mentioned.
Self-massage with a tennis ball can be helpful. Even better is placing three tennis balls inside one sock and using this for massage. Press up against the tennis balls next to an open wall. lean into it to feel a deeper massage with whatever body part is causing you the most discomfort. This works particularly well on both the upper and lower back. For legs and arms, you may find it easier use these socked tennis balls on the floor.
What If You Cool Down and Still Can’t Sleep?
So you still can’t sleep? Read about The 9 Things Not To Do Before Bedtime. These things can really help get you to sleep and then ensure that sleep is optimized so you feel rested and fresh the next morning.
What about trying some slumber snacks before bed? These are yummy foods that help you sleep through the night.
Are you into music? Why don’t you hook into some sounds for sleep? Read Does Music Help Your Sleep?
I would love to hear from you in the comments below if you have tried any of the 7 tips I’ve shared above on how to cool down in bed or before bed? Do you have any additional suggestions to manage overheating while sleeping?