April 22, 2021 8 min read
Are you having trouble sleeping? Do you feel too hot to sleep uninterruptedly? Well, we all have been there at some point of time in our lives. However, for some people, it is a more severe condition than for others. A compromised sleep time can take a toll on your health if left untreated. So, here is a comprehensive guide that can help you effectively ward off overheating problems in bed.
Deep sleep is closely linked with a cool core during the night. It is completely normal to feel a high body temperature while asleep, but it requires intervention if it happens frequently enough to disturb the sleep quality. While sleeping, the core temperature is usually between 60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit, 65 degrees to be precise, as per the National Sleep Foundation.
While it may be a common problem related to hot climate, it also has to do with the kind of clothing you wear, what you eat, the activities you do before bed, and past medical and drug history. According to the MayoClinic, night sweats may be exacerbated by several medical conditions, including anxiety disorders, neuropathy, hyperthyroidism, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and tuberculosis. Before moving on to management, it’s important to rule out these diseases. It may also be a consequence of therapy, such as anti-hyperglycemic or antidepressant treatments. Sugar-laden snacks, hydrogenated fats (found in fried foods), spicy foods, alcohol, and caffeine are all believed to trigger nighttime sweating.
As we know, the deep sleep stage correlates with dropping body temperatures at night; this is attributable to circadian rhythm (the natural biological sleep-wake cycle recurring every 24 hours). As the night sets in, the cycle naturally comes down to the point of decreasing body temperatures when we approach bedtime, hence the coincidence. This sleep stage transition is greatly affected by the sleep environment around us. The constant physical motion out of distress and uncomfortable setting (hot weather, uneasy clothing, late meals, etc.) interrupt the sleep cycle and impact its inter-stage changeover in a longer run. It is a 90-minutes cycle, spread across three stages, that must repeat 4 to 5 times at a minimum to optimize the sleep quality and its benefits.
In order to assess the impact of sleep quality on daily routine, studies were carried out on subjects, half of whom were legally under the effect of alcohol, and half were sleep-deprived. It was concluded that both categories of people were equally cognitively impaired hence substantiating the importance of a complete and proper sleep at night. Hence, if not conservatively managed, irrespective of the etiology, one must seek medical advice to restore their homeostasis mechanisms to stay cool at night.
The formula of a good night’s sleep is ways to keep your body cool plus ways to keep your surroundings cool. Read on to know more about it.
Do you have a bedtime routine yet? Well, if not, then it is about time you make one, immediately. The last activities before you fall asleep decide what your body would feel the rest of the night. Make it a habit to take a warm shower, which might initially raise your body temperature, but eventually falls and leaves a soothing and relaxing sensation behind. An extremely hot or cold bath can prove to be unsettling because of the sudden alteration in the body’s temperature and surroundings.
Night sweats are the worst thing you can experience without an underlying etiology. You would just not want to wake up sweating, with your bed sheets all soaked up. This evokes restlessness and grumpiness in you. If persistent, you must see a doctor instantly! Mayo Clinic states that night sweats can be caused by a variety of medical conditions, ranging from anxiety disorders, neuropathy, hyperthyroidism, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, to tuberculosis, among several others. It is important to rule these diseases out before you get on to management. It could also be a result of medicinal use, such as the usage of anti-hyperglycemic drugs or antidepressants.
Ice packs to the rescue! If you are suffering from overheating issues in bed on an infrequent basis, it is ideal to use cold compresses for temporary and quick relief. A cheaper hack is to refrigerate or freeze a wet washcloth and apply it on areas with the highest tendency to sweat, e.g., the nape of the neck, under the thighs, or under the armpits. It is also suggested to cool off the pulse points by placing them in the crook of your elbows, wrists, or ankles. A regular application for about 20 minutes can greatly help regulate the body temperature.
Regular exercise is one of the best ways to promote health and a healthy lifestyle. However, it is never the best idea to exercise before going to bed. A vigorous regimen intensifies the body’s metabolic rate by the generation of heat through constant muscular contractions. Hence, did not conclude the day with an exercise routine. Another factor that contributes to an overactive metabolism includes having a meal right before sleep time. The food is instantly worked upon by the system, thereby leading to greater heat production in the next couple of hours until the food is wholly digested. So, adjust your meals accordingly.
Everything goes to waste if you are not drinking right. Are you even hydrated well enough to let you sleep in peace? Adequate fluid levels of the body boost healthy circulation, resolves digestive issues or abdominal cramping (muscular contractions lead to heat production), and assists in the riddance of toxins by the excretory methods. The direct effect of drinking water sufficiently is to cool down the body instantly, let alone produce a condition of a high body temperature during sleep. So do not go to bed without sipping a glass of water.
Avoid wearing tight clothing
Avoid body-hugging and tight clothes at night as it tends to constrict the blood flow to the extremities and, in turn, increase the body temperature while in bed. With chances to sweat and concomitant feeling of uneasiness in tighter clothes, you must think to switch your nightwear material to cotton. It is going to be your instant savior! Because nothing beats the feeling of changing into a loose, airy pair of cotton nightwear after a long day of work, all dressed up, tired, and sweating. This pleasure is exactly what we seek to sustain to pull us through the uncomfortable nights where we end up overheated.
The few downsides of drinking alcohol are night sweats and hot flashes. It so happens because alcohol is a vasoactive substance. The dilated vasculature allows a greater blood flow to the skin that implies increased sweating. Instead, choose self-love over the fleeting pleasure of alcohol and make ice water your friend to get you through the restless nights.
As much as it is essential to monitor your bodily changes, it is also significant to ensure the environment around you is in a neutral state to restore homeostasis. Ensure to have a well-ventilated house if you live in a tropical region; open the windows early morning, or at night or at any time of the day when it is relatively cooler, this would let the hot and humid air out of the house and establish a good airflow system. Avoid opening up windows during the extremes of heat because you surely do not want to give hot air some refuging in your house.
Good blackout curtains mean better and cooler summers are coming ahead! Blackout curtains and shades are an excellent alternative to invest in because they help keep the excess heat out of the house by absorbing it; many sellers claim that they avert about 24 percent of the heat away.
Switching off electronics
As petty as it might sound, switching off additional electronics and unnecessary lights and fans is an effective method to cut down on the heat circulating inside the house. Electronics that are plugged in, such as mobile phones, laptops, and televisions, can cause unanticipated warming up of the room. This is especially true if lamps and overhead lights are used. A laptop can surprisingly generate 50 watts of heat energy at a time. Hence, leaving extra lights, fans, and other electronic gadgets open, can add to the hot air currents in the house and induce an increase in the core temperature.
As soon as the summers kick in, you must find yourself spending on the right bedding and bedroom accessories. Using a slatted bed frame instead of a solid divan bed base may help with temperature control. Pure cotton or linen bedsheets help a lot as opposed to a polycotton one. It is the perfect sweat-wicking material to use during summers to keep the body cooled off. It is even better to think of if you find your clothing in this particular fabric.
It is essential to provide the hot air in the house with an escape route. An exhaust fan serves the purpose way too well. For those who still have not, install an exhaust in your washrooms and the kitchen over the stove. Switch it on after both hot showers and cooking sessions to let the hot air currents out of the house.
Sleeping on Cold Sheets
Doing it the Egyptian way! The practice of sleeping on sheets soaked with cold water but not wet enough to drip dates back thousands of years ago. It was a common practice amongst the Egyptians back in the time. It can be done much rapidly today using a washing machine hence a quick hack.
The advancing technology has become able to produce extremely useful electronics in recent times that are thoroughly relevant, convenient, and compatible. Brands like MOONA, manufacturing and selling cooling pillows and other devices, are becoming increasingly popular with time.
Some of the other pillow options include the Bamboo Sweetnight, Original Hullo Buckwheat pillow, Mediflow Water pillow, among other breathable, hypoallergic, and orthopedic pillows.
Tossing and turning in bed out of distress from high body temperatures at night is one of the most commonly faced problems even by healthy people. It can carry multiple causes (medications, clothing, climate, etc.). It can be incapacitating if persistent hence it must be medically diagnosed first for the etiology to devise the management plan accordingly.
If you are someone who has just developed this problem and suffering from sleep deprivation downsides, you must reach out to a doctor if you have a past medical history or just get on to implementing the tips and tricks discussed above.
The positive implications of these conservative remedies are instantaneous. The techniques might not be able to fix the thermoregulatory mechanisms of the body permanently. However, they can surely alleviate the problems associated with unhealthy sleep patterns or a disturbed circadian rhythm.