Sleeping hot: it’s not a choice for some people. It’s the norm. While the idea of sleeping hot in cold weather is more than welcome, imagine what it must be like in summer! You wake up in a sweat and try your best to get back to sleep – often, to no avail. But while sleeping hot is certainly uncomfortable, is it actually dangerous? We’re taking a look at the state of sleeping hot and how it might affect your health.
Some people who sleep hot do so because of issues with room temperature or bedding that might be too warm. However, for some people sleeping hot might be a result of a medical condition. In such cases, the only way to sleep cool is to find out the reason and look for good solutions to the problem.
Here are a few conditions that can cause high body temperature and night sweats:
Before looking at how heat disrupts sleep, let’s understand what happens to the body during sleep. The body has a neat ability to thermoregulate, which means it can adjust and maintain its core internal temperature. If this changes, for any reason, the body responds through mechanisms like sweating, vasodilation, vasoconstriction, hormonal thermogenesis and thermogenesis. This helps to get the internal temperature back on track to the normal baseline of between 98 degrees Fahrenheit and 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
Thermoregulation occurs over a 24-hour circadian cycle, an internal process that regulates the sleep-wake cycle. Core body temperature rises during the day, which keeps us awake, and falls as evening comes. This is why we’re alert in the day and sleepy at night. As the body prepares for sleep, it pushes heat towards the extremities so core temperature remains low.
If a room is too warm, the body is unable to shed heat properly and core temperature doesn’t decrease as it should. Even if you manage to fall asleep, you could wake up at night in a hot and sticky mess as your body is too alert to stay asleep. That’s not all; warm ambient temperatures can lower the duration of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. This is an essential sleep stage that benefits learning, memory and mood. In a research published in the International Journal of Neuroscience, it was found that the average REM cycle length decreased when ambient temperature increased from 55 degrees Fahrenheit to 77 degrees Fahrenheit.
If sleeplessness occurs over a long period of time, it can lead to health conditions, some of them quite dangerous. Low libido, slow reactions, forgetfulness, obesity, diabetes and heart disease are a few examples. Instead of being at the mercy of these unwanted conditions, it makes sense to do all you can to get proper sleep.
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Wearing light nightclothes in breathable fabrics like cotton is one way to stay cool when sleeping. They help the air circulate instead of trapping it. Aside from being lightweight and breathable, nightclothes should be loose-fitting. Tight clothes will trap heat and cut off blood circulation.
The ideal room temperature for a good night sleep is between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit. As your body prepares for sleep, your core temperature starts to drop. By turning down the thermostat, you aid the sleep process. If you still have trouble sleeping, wear socks. It will help dilate your blood vessels and adjust your core temperature to one that’s conducive to sleep.
A warm stuffy room is uncomfortable to sleep in. When you get home from work, open the windows for an hour or two to let in the evening air. The room will smell fresher and will be cooler. If you have a fan installed, turn it on for a while.
Along with the tips given above, you should consider using what’s called a cooling mattress. It contains elements that are designed to absorb heat from the body to keep you cool during the night. The Nuvanna mattress is specifically designed to help with keeping your body cool and comfortable at night. It uses cooling gel technology in its top layer to regulate body temperature and prevent you from overheating. Thanks to phase-changing gel particles, it draws out excess body heat and disperses it away. Designed by a materials scientist with over 20 years of experience, Nuvanna features a total of three layers that combine to promote good sleep: the cooling top layer, the motion-isolating middle layers, and the supportive bottom layer. The middle layer isolates motion so you and your bed partner can move without disturbing each other. The bottom layer supports each part of the body and keeps the spine properly aligned.
Temperature is one of the key factors for a comfortable sleep at night. If you find yourself waking up hot in the middle of the night, follow our tips above.