It’s no secret that restorative sleep is the crucial factor behind the healthy functioning of our body and mind. There are a lot of factors that impact our sleep cycle. One of them is body temperature. It’s not uncommon for a person to wake up sweaty, or feeling hot flashes. However, if it happens frequently, it’s important to investigate the reasons behind that and find a way to sleep cooler. This article will help you cool down during the night and get more restorative sleep.
What is the Normal Body Temperature When We Sleep?
The normal body temperature through the day is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit (or 37 degrees Celsius.) For babies and children, this temperature is a little lower, 97.9 degrees Fahrenheit (36.4 degrees Celsius.) Our temperature may change a little throughout the day, due to a change in environment, hydration, or depending on what we’re wearing. The same happens in the night, where our temperature changes by one or two degrees, usually going lower, as our body is resting. Heat loss also helps us fall asleep.
However, certain factors that depend on a person specifically can affect our body temperature. If our body can’t get rid of the excess heat it generates, we will have difficulties falling or staying asleep. Furthermore, some external factors also account for our body temperature.
How Does Our Body Regulate Temperature?
Our body has its temperature regulator and thermostat called the hypothalamus. It’s a small part of our brain that controls the optimal temperature for the proper functioning of our body. It helps regulate the temperature of our skin and its sweat glands, while also controlling the heat flowing through our blood vessels. It will help you warm up in the cold winter nights or when you’re underdressed, and when it’s too hot, it will let you sweat to cool down.
Why do I Heat up When I Sleep?
In this section, we’ll list the reasons why you may be sleeping hot. This goes different for everyone, so keep an eye on the list and see whether you resonate with some of the reasons listed.
Irregular Workout Routine
Various research has shown that exercising is good for sleep. However, if done too near the sleep, our body temperature may be too high to be properly regulated just before they sleep. With that in mind, our body will trigger mechanisms like enhanced metabolism, better blood circulation, and other factors that may hinder our sleep. Exercising also causes our thyroid to release more hormones. While that’s normal during the day, it may affect sleep routine in the night.
A good way to fix or minimize this problem is to stop exercising so late in the evening to the point it may prevent you from sleeping. If it’s impossible to exercise earlier in the day due to work or school, try with lighter exercises that won’t put too much strain on you.
A study says that men have 23% faster metabolism than females, which also accounts for men losing more weight than women. The downside is that this can affect men’s ability to sleep soundly. The reason for that is because as our metabolism burns our calorie intake and turns it into heat, our body temperature rises. As one has a higher metabolic rate, their temperature may rise too.
While men have higher body temperature due to faster metabolism, it’s important to note that women aren’t spared from the high-temperature rise when sleeping. The culprit is the hormones. Usually, women experience higher body temperature a few days before their period starts.
During pregnancy, the same can happen and women can experience heating up while sleeping. Lastly, perimenopause and menopause can also affect the estrogen (female hormone) levels, resulting in faster blood circulation and a temperature rise. The simple proof of that is that a lot of women who are in menopause say they experience hot flashes from time to time. This can play with our body temperature, causing sleep disruptions.
Even though certain prescribed medicines and drugs for both our physical and mental health can benefit us, certain drugs are known for causing sleep disruption. Some medicines for mental health, while beneficial for sleeping, can cause a rapid temperature rise during sleep.
The thyroid is a gland that regulates pretty much everything in our body, primarily our metabolism. Cancer is also known as the reason why hormone disruption may cause, hindering our metabolic rate and temperature. Our body, as a result, may have more extreme reactions due to higher temperatures, causing excess sweating and hot flashes. Oftentimes, this can get worse at night.
Other Reasons Why do I Heat Up When I Sleep
Sound sleeping requires a healthy and soothing sleep environment. One of the factors that influence the ability of our environment to keep us asleep soundly the most is the room temperature. Keeping your room cool, especially in the summer can help with keeping body temperature at fresh levels.
With the exponential development of the sleep industry, there are a lot of mattresses with great temperature regulation features. Mattresses with organic compounds like natural latex and cotton can help keep you cool during sleep. However, an all-foam mattress can trap your body temperature, as a result of synthetic materials and high-density memory foam that can trap the heat and reflect it to you.
Even if you have a mattress with proper temperature regulation and materials, the bedding and comforter you use can cause excessive heating and sweating during sleep. If you use non-breathable bedding, a memory foam mattress topper, or a protector without the proper cooling materials, you’re likely to experience hot flashes in the night.
You don’t Sleep Alone
You may be surprised by how much heat we may absorb by sleeping next to our sleeping partner. During cold winters, that can be a good thing. However, during the summer, sleeping close to your partner can lead to an uncomfortable heat transfer when one of you, or both may get extremely hot.
How to Cool Down During Night?
Now that we highlighted the reasons people most get hot during sleep, we also dug into the ways to cool down during sleep.
Cool Shower – There’s nothing better than a cool shower during summer evenings to regulate your temperature and get ready to sleep. A lot of people practice this as it can restart our biological thermostat and put our temperature back to normal, especially if we’ve been exercising and working outside.
Eat Lighter Meals Before Bed – As summer approaches people like to shift to healthier and leaner nutrition to feel lighter. Eating heavy and high-caloric food before bed can lead to the higher activity of our digestion system and metabolism. Research has shown that food intake influences our body temperature. Our body rises temperature to process the food which may lead to sleeping hot. Avoiding caffeine, refined sugars, saturated fats, and carbs and swapping them for fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins can fix that. Eat more fruit and vegetable salads and less fast food.
Install a Cooling System – One of the best solutions to having hot flashes during the night is installing a cooling system for your bedroom. While air conditioners may be the most effective solution, it’s not always possible. Additionally, a study from 2017 found that sleeping with an AC can disrupt sleep quality despite sleepers feeling more comfortable. Other solutions include bed fans, as well as air or water-based cooling systems like ChiliPad or a whole cooling mattress like Eight Pod, which is considered a little heftier investment.
Cooler Bedding – We highlighted that memory foam mattresses can absorb more heat and lead to overheating. Gel memory foam and Bio Foam infused mattresses have a much better temperature-regulating base, creating a more suitable sleep environment.
Stay Hydrated – National Sleep Foundation found that drinking too much water before bed can have dire consequences on your sleep hygiene and health. However, staying hydrated throughout the day can be beneficial to your health and sleep cycle.
Use Proper Bedding – Linen and cotton have shown to be the best sheets to regulate the body temperature. Using a polyester or another synthetic material may end up trapping more heat.
Wear cotton clothes – During summer, everyone prefers sleeping light. Wearing clothes made out of material like cotton will give you an even lighter sensation when going to bed. It’ll also help your body not trap excess heat and make the night sleep breezier.
As you can see, the reasons for sleeping hot can be vast. However, you shouldn’t ignore the body signs if it’s happening too frequently. High body temperature during the night can hint at the presence of some infection or potential more serious health problems. Some of the alternative ways to cool your bedroom include:
Placing a bowl with ice bags under your room fan (if you have one.)
Sleeping with a wet towel under your head or pillow.
Keeping shutters and dark curtains down through the day, if you live on the side that faces south.
Use a night body moisturizer rich in aloe vera or coconut.
If you don’t suffer from dust or dander allergies, move your mattress to the floor. – This is especially effective if you sleep on a traditional memory foam mattress.
What are your ideas? Please let us know!