July 21, 2021 7 min read
Blissful silence, happy dreams and cosy beds ... the best nights are made of these! But, more often than not, these perfect moments are fleeting. Suddenly, a warm prickly sensation travels along your body, you kick off your sheets and wake up drenched in sweat, in the middle of the night. Goodbye sweet dreams! If this sounds familiar, you may be one of many people who get hot when you sleep. The increase in body temperature plays havoc with sleep cycles and affects moods, behavior, attentions spans in the long run. In addition, it severely impacts both physical and mental wellbeing.
You might be wondering why this happens, and what you can do to get better sleep at night. Well, here at Moona, we have you covered! We did a deep dive into the issue that is a pain point for so many people, so that you can find out why you get hot at night, and what you can do to get the best sleep possible.
Why do I get so hot when I sleep?
Our core temperatures are determined by our circadian rhythms, which are set by our natural body clocks. Body temperatures drop in the evenings as we get ready to end our day . It rises again in the mornings, as it prepares us to wake up. Some people are unusually sensitive to this change and end up waking up in the night, because they feel too hot.
Some people may not be able to take the advantage of great sleep due to interrupted circadian rhythms , and end up wondering, “Why do I get hot at night?” This naturally leads us to question : What is the best temperature for sleep?
Our circadian rhythms follow a 24-hour cycle, where our core temperatures rise and fall, prompting us to wake up and sleep. In most mammals including human beings, the rate at which the body temperature begins to fall, as the day comes to an end, is linked to the time it takes to fall asleep. Research has also shown that during the night, our temperature drops by around 1 deg C, and our body hits the lowest temperature in its biological cycle, in the early hours of the morning. About 2 hours before we are meant to wake up, our core temperatures start climbing and it continues to rise throughout the day, reaching its peak in the early evenings.
Considering that an increase in temperature is tied to waking up, it stands to reason that in order to get good, uninterrupted sleep, our bodies need to be able to maintain lower temperatures and figure out how to stay cool at night . That means that we need to determine ways to lose heat effectively, but safely.
Our brains are effectively in clean-up mode when we are asleep, removing toxin build-up that occurs when we are awake and active. This has proven to greatly improve brain function the next day, helping us to learn, think and concentrate better.
Our metabolic rates drop when we are asleep, allowing us to save almost 35% of our energy levels.
Our cells and muscles need this rest time for growth, regeneration and repair.
When we get enough sleep, our brain responds to stressful situations more calmly and productively. When we are sleep deprived, our responses are often exaggerated and we tend to overreact.
Considering the way temperature affects our sleep as well as how important our sleep is for both physical and mental wellbeing, we need to get to understand why our bodies get hot at night.
Regulating the temperature of the environment around us as we wind down at the end of the day, is extremely important. This ensures that we don’t wake up sweating in bed asking, “Why is my body so hot at night?”
A poll taken by the National Sleep Foundation , found that 4 out of 5 respondents experienced that cooler room temperatures, provided them with great sleep.
The best bedroom temperature for sleep is approximately 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18.3 degrees Celsius). This may vary by a few degrees from person to person, but most doctors recommend keeping the thermostat set between 60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit (15.6 to 19.4 degrees Celsius) for the most comfortable sleep.” The Sleep Foundation
Temperature control either through regulated thermostats and air conditioning, is required to feel cool during the night. However, sometimes really simple routines like airing out the bedroom in the evenings, putting on the fan or keeping a window open for some natural breeze may also work wonders.
This is also why Moona lets you enjoy the sleep you deserve. The unique system provides tailor made temperature regulation through its smart programmed pillow pad, that cools down to help you sleep faster and maintains a low temperature to help you get good quality sleep without interruptions die to heat spikes. Gently and slowly increasing the temperature at the end of your sleep cycle also ensures that you wake up naturally, feeling refreshed and rejuvenated after a cool nights sleep.
For those of us who wake up wondering why we get so hot when we sleep, should consider if it tends to occur when we have someone in bed with us , sleeping very close. This could be a partner, a spouse, a child or a pet. Studies have shown that double the body leads to double the body heat. Keeping some distance between yourself and anyone else in the bed, could help you drop the temperature of your immediate surroundings, and help you sleep better at night.
While cosy beds and warm sheets work well in the winters, summer months call for a change in bedding. Of course, for some hot sleepers, the seasons rarely matter and they require pillows and bedding that are going to keep them cool as well as help them sleep better at night.
While removing extra blankets or sheets and wearing less clothing to bed will reduce layers and make the sleeping environment less stuffy, it’s also important to keep in mind the TYPE of materials you surround yourself with. Substituting artificial fabrics for natural materials like linen and cotton has also been known to provide comfort.
Novel sleeping solutions like Moona, provide a temperature regulated pillow pad that uses water cooling to regulate the temperature of the head and neck area, with a customisable cooling pillow technology. It comes with a bedside device that controls the temperature of the pillow pad. It also provides an AI based mobile app, backed by sleep science, that helps you track your sleeping patterns through non-invasive sensors.
Female hormones are often to blame when it comes to temperature regulation. Studies have shown that women’s core body temperatures tend to increase in the days leading up to their periods. While this pre-menstrual period is normally not a pleasant time, with mood swings and stomach cramps, the additional troubles faced due to the rise in body temperature, are also responsible for disturbed sleeping patterns. Just before their monthly periods, women tend to feel hotter under the covers.
Unfortunately, fluctuating hormone levels affect women of all ages, not just in their child bearing years. Women going through menopause or perimenopause may often experience hot flashes. This incredibly uncomfortable feeling is due to erratic oestrogen hormones, that cause sudden dilatation or widening of the blood vessels present close to the surface of the skin. Blood rushes through these vessels and causes the skin to flush and heat up. As you can imagine, it’s a strange and uncomfortable feeling for women who have to go through it.
I don’t have hot flashes. I have short, private vacations in tropical-like conditions.” Unknown
Women who suffer through hot flashes at night, are looking for new ways to stay cool and get a good night’s sleep. Our research showed that women above the age of 45 years who used Moona as a solution for their hot flashes, experienced 38 minutes of additional sleep.
Several conditions cause you to feel hot at night, and often it is because your body is trying to say that something is wrong.
a. Whether you’re suffering from a minor cold or a more severe infection, the body’s response while fighting off the infection is to increase its core temperature, felt as a fever., which may also be accompanied by shaking or chills.
b. Common infections that cause night sweats in particular are tuberculosis, bacterial infections like endocarditis (inflammation of the heart valves) and osteomyelitis ( infection in the bones).
c. HIV and lymphoma are other serious conditions associated with excessive sweating.
d. There is a condition known as Idiopathic Hyperhidrosis, where the body continuously produces excess sweat, without any known cause.
e. In addition, certain medications also lead to sweating and increase in body temperature. 8% to 22% of people taking antidepressant drugs have night sweats. Commonly used drugs like aspirin can make you feel hot after you take it.
f. Hyperthyroidism due to an overactive thyroid gland and hypoglycaemia or low blood sugar are other common conditions, that can disrupt temperature regulation causing you to feel hot at night.
With a multitude of reasons to explain why you feel so hot at night , it is important to first evaluate that you aren’t going through something that may worsen if ignored, like medical conditions that require appropriate treatment. Feeling hot at night is uncomfortable and does cause disrupted sleeping patterns that have long term effects on our health.
If you are looking for a way to get relaxing and rejuvenating sleep, check out Moona, the world’s first active cooling pillow pad, that controls your body temperature as you rest, by keeping your pillow, head and neck comfortingly cool. Thanks to Moona, this dream is definitely within your reach!
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