Wouldn’t it be great if you could stay cool and sweat-free during hot summer nights?
I used to ask myself all the time, “Why do I get so hot when I sleep?”
Adding the fact that our body temperature has a very big impact on our sleeping quality, I knew I must solve this issue.
I found out there are many potential causes, making it hard to put my finger on just one real cause right away.
I did some research on this topic and found some techniques that are proven to beat the intolerable night heat.
Beat the Night Heat:
- Try the easiest 1 – 2 techniques to implement from the following guide.
- If it is still too hot during the night, implement the next easiest step.
- Repeat the process until you feel cool enough during the night.
- Sleep and relax in a cool environment throughout the night.
Easy Tricks to Cool Yourself
The thermal environment is one of the most important factors that affect our quality of sleep.
Increases in temperatures during the night amplify self-reported nights of insufficient sleep.
The most recommended room temperature for sleeping is 15 – 20 degrees Celsius (60 – 68 degrees Fahrenheit).
Babies might need a little bit of a warmer temperature.
Researchers found that wearing a cooling cap at night could help insomnia patients to fall asleep.
However, you don’t have to sleep with a cooling cap in order to keep yourself cool during the night.
Here are three tricks you can use to cool your bedroom:
1. Cool the Air with Ice
Get a bowl or two buckets of ice and put it in front of your fan.
This is a great solution in case you don’t have an air conditioner or you simply just want to save electronic bills.
2. Get Some Cooling Plants
Potted plants on flat roofs have great potential in reducing the temperature indoor.
Those plants can drop the indoor temperature by 0.21°C to 1.73°C.
However, you don’t have to have a roof…
There are some plants you can put inside the bedroom in order to cool it down.
In general, plants with larger green leaves are more effective for cooling the room down.
Woody plants on the other hand are the least effective.
The cooling plants are also good for improving air quality, maintaining humidity, and reducing anxiety.
The most recommended plants for the bedroom are:
- The snake plant.
- Aloe Vera.
- Areca Palm.
- Spider plant.
I love the Areca palm because it creates a tropical atmosphere in the bedroom. I love the snake plant as well since it is the easiest to maintain.
If you are interested in knowing more about plants in your bedroom, you can read more about this subject in my other article, “The Perfect Bedroom for Sleep”.Potted plants on flat roofs have great potential in reducing the temperature indoor Click To Tweet
3. Take a Warm Bath
Take a warm bath for 20-30 minutes about an hour and a half before going to bed.
Your body temperature will drop about 90 minutes after the bath, which will help you fall asleep.
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Get the Right Mattress and Pillow
The best mattress types to keep you cool are:
- Latex. Drive out heat and moisture.
- Innerspring. Has a lot of space for air to flow through the coils.
- Hybrid. Allows airflow through the bed and tends to be very comfortable.
The worst mattress type to keep your body cool is memory foam.
It is supportive and comfortable but it traps your body heat.
Another thing about a memory foam mattress is that it emits toxic gasses, such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), especially those with polyurethane foam.
Those gases can create some health issues, such as cancer, headaches, allergic reactions, and kidney damage, especially for children.
If you are still going for a memory foam type of mattress, go for a mattress with open-cell technology and gel infusion.The worst mattress type to keep your body cool is memory foam Click To Tweet
You can also use a cooling mattress topper.
A cooling topper is great for those who suffer from night sweats only during the summer.
Then, during the winter, it is possible to not use the topper and enjoy a warm bed.
During the summer, I also use a pillow with cooling gel.
The cooling gel keeps your head cool for about 20 minutes.
Since I usually fall asleep in less than 20 minutes, this is good enough for me.
However, if my head is warm, it might take me more than 20 minutes to fall asleep.
Use Moisture-Wicking Bed Sheets
The best sheets types to keep you cool are:
- Cotton. Absorb sweat well and cool the skin.
- Bamboo. Soft, breathable, and cooler to the touch.
- Tencel. Good at absorbing moisture
- Silk. Super soft. Keeps you cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
Some people claim that silk can also warm you during the summer, so keep that in mind.
The worst sheets types to keep you cool are:
Avoid Sugars before Bedtime
Eating a meal with high sugar might cause you a sugar crash within hours.
One of the symptoms of having a sugar crash is excessive sweating.
It’s not surprising that low fiber and high saturated fat and sugar intake are associated with lighter and less restorative sleep with more arousals.
Fortunately, there are foods that you can eat before bedtime that will help you sleep better.
Kiwi is a good example:
Eating two kiwi fruits for four weeks an hour before going to bed can make you fall asleep 35.4% faster and improve your sleep quality.
You can read about more different kinds of food that will help you fall asleep in this post.
Buy Some Blackout Curtains
When your bedroom is in total darkness, it stays cooler.
Too much light in the bedroom may cause sleep onset problems. Too much light in the morning may cause early morning awakenings.
According to UCSB, fabrics made out of thick and dark materials absorb more heat, which results in more heat trapped in your bedroom.
Studies demonstrate that medium-colored draperies with white plastic backings can reduce heat gains by 33%.
Therefore, you better go for curtains made of linen with neutral colors.
Sleep With the Right Clothes
The best pajama materials to keep you cool are:
- Cotton. It’s the coolest sleeping material and feels very soft.
- Bamboo. A natural moisture-wicker. Pull sweat away from your body.
In general, the pajama should be baggy and should not cover your sweaty areas such as the neck and arms.
If it’s too hot, you can try to sleep naked.
If you and your partner are both sleeping naked, the skin-to-skin contact will stimulate oxytocin release, which will make you feel relaxed.The pajama should be baggy and should not cover your sweaty areas such as the neck and arms Click To Tweet
When you are stressed, your body temperature goes up, which might lead to excessive sweating.
I have created a definitive guide about how you can relax easily.
In case you don’t have time to go through my stress management plan, here’s a quick hack:
10 – 20 minutes of a power breathing session will help you feel more relaxed.
If you don’t know how to power breath, here’s a video to guide you through it:
Distance Yourself from Your Partner During the Night
The math is simple: Two bodies create more heat than one.
So in this case, make sure your bed is big enough to have some distance between you and your spouse or pet.
It might comfort you to know that having a dog sleeping in the bed disturbs your sleep less than a human or cat do.
But still, dogs are active for about 20% of the night, and humans are 4.3 times more likely to be awake during dog activity than during dog inactivity.
The subjective findings are very different from the objective results – humans rarely reported their dog interrupting their sleep.
It’s worth mentioning that if your dog is in the bedroom but not on the bed itself, it may not disturb your sleep at all.
Co-sleeping also has some benefits…
A dog in the bed is associated with stronger feelings of comfort and security.
So decide what is more important to you, cooling yourself or feeling the comfort and security of your loving dog.
When it comes to a human partner, skin-to-skin contact induces oxytocin release.
Oxytocin is linked to increased levels of social interaction, well-being, and anti-stress effects.
Now that you know the pros of co-sleeping, consider whether it outweighs the cons.
Turn Off the Lights
Since light creates heat, turn off the lights in your bedroom whenever they are not in use.
Whenever you do use lights in your bedroom, prefer low-temperature light sources, such as a salt lamp or candles.
You can learn more about it in the post “What is the best light for sleep?“
Certain medical conditions might increase the sensitivity to temperature and make you sweaty.
Some of those medical conditions are:
- Thyroid disease
- Sleep apnea
- Cancer and cancer treatments
- Infections and fever
- Neurological disorders (e.g., parkinsonism)
- Medications (e.g., antidepressants)
Here’s how to handle some of the most common medical conditions that make you sweaty during the night:
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a very common breathing disorder during the night.
It might cause the posterior part of your tongue to block your airways every time you are going into a state of deep sleep.
It causes you to go back from the deep sleep state to the previous sleeping state.
Because of that, you might not get enough amount of the deep sleep your body needs.
Many people that have this issue are not aware of it.
All they know is that they sleep enough but still feel tired during the day.
There is a great book about it called “The 8-Hour Sleep Paradox: How We Are Sleeping Our Way to Fatigue, Disease and Unhappiness“.
Since this book covers the issue completely and is one of the best ones I encountered on such topics, I highly recommend reading it.
Sleep apnea can also make your body temperature rise during the night.
A study found that people with sleep apnea suffer from frequent night sweats 3 times more than the general population.
If you are snoring and/or breathing through the mouth while sleeping on your back, there are chances that you are suffering from sleep apnea.
How to fight sleep apnea?
There are free sleep recording apps in the app store that you can use to record yourself when you sleep.
Those apps will record only when you make noises during the night.
Set the threshold so the app will record every important noise, but at the same time will not be triggered by small unimportant noises. It might require some trial and error.
Look for sounds like snoring, gentle chokings, or any kind of noise that indicates that your breathing is not smooth.
If you can hear any of those noises, play it to your doctor to convince him to refer you to do a sleep test.
According to the sleep test results, the doctor will recommend the most appropriate treatment for you.
In case you don’t suffer from issues that prevent you from breathing through your nose, such as septal fracture, I recommend you to read “The Oxygen Advantage“.
It contains training programs and tricks to transform you from a mouth breather to a noise breather, which reduces the risk of sleep apnea.
In case you don’t have time to read it, you can listen to the audible version.
You can check yourself for TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) by getting simple blood work.
In case you find there is an issue with the thyroid, you should consult with your doctor.
Weak immune system
It is much easier for your body to deal with some of the medical conditions that make you sweaty when your immune system is strong.
Strengthening the immune system deserve an article on its own, but until I write one, I will share some of the data I have collected so far here.
It’s important to mention that there is no one magic solution that will keep you disease-free forever.
Let’s say for example you eat garlic every day but have a severe deficit in vitamin C, then your protection against diseases might be poor anyway.
So here’s a combination of techniques that worked for me:
Take cold showers
Cold showers are part of the Wim Hof method, which helps you to hack your immune system.
It sounds crazy, but doing cold showers helped me to stay sick-free during the winter.
According to a study, swimming 150 meters at 6 degrees C⁰ increases white blood cells (the cells of the immune system) by 40%.
However, I’m not sure that a cold shower is a good idea if you are already sick as it won’t help you to recover faster.
I take a 2 minutes cold shower around 20 minutes after I wake up.
It makes me feel focused and alert during the day more than coffee does.
How to start doing cold showers:
- Better to start in the summer when the water is not too cold.
- If you start in the winter, don’t use the coldest water yet.
- In the first week, start with showering your warmest area of the body (probably the thighs) for about 30 seconds.
- Each week, use a little bit colder water than the week before, and/or add another area of the body for more than 15 seconds.
- The final goal is to be able to shower your whole body for 2 – 3 minutes using the coldest water.
Another approach is to do a hot shower and then gradually switch to cold water.
Test and see which approach works best for you.
Always start the shower from the lower body before moving to the upper body.
Never start by showering your head first when doing a cold shower. I read that in some rare cases it might cause a stroke.
Cold showers in the summer
The cold water is not really that cold during the summer where I live.
Therefore, I put 2 – 3 packages of ice cubes in the bath and fill the bath with the coldest water.
When the bath is full of water, most of the ice has already melted, but the water is freezing.
I found it very enjoyable as the outside of the water is too hot, but freezing inside.
I do that twice a week for 2 – 4 minutes each time.
The issue is that ice cubes are very expensive, so I try to freeze water inside a huge container.
However, when I try to put the huge piece of ice inside my bath, I couldn’t move the ice outside of the container.
So if you have a solution, please let me know and I will write it here.
Laugh out loud
As I suggested in the stress management plan, laughing can strengthen your immune system.
A study found that if you laugh out loud while watching a comedy, it would strengthen your immune system.
It also reduces stress levels and decreases depression.
So when you hear a good joke, don’t hold back. Just laugh!
Eat the right nutrients
Deficiencies in specific micronutrients and/or macronutrients might lead to impairment of the immune.
The deficiency of single nutrients results in an altered immune response, even when the deficiency state is relatively mild.
Micronutrients with the strongest evidence for immune support are:
Aid in enhancing the epithelium/skin barrier function.
How much of it do we need? 90 mg a day for adults.
How to get the required amount? 2 Kiwis or one raw red bell pepper a day. During winter, I eat 2 bell peppers.
What is the upper limit? 2,000 mg a day.
Symptoms of deficiency: Dry skin, fatigue, weak immunity, muscle and joint aches, and scurvy.
Deficiency in vitamin D is associated with increased autoimmunity as well as increased susceptibility to infection.
How much of it do we need? 20 mcg (800 IU) a day.
How to get the required amount? About 20 minutes of skin exposure to midday sunlight, fermented cod liver oil, or liquid d3.
What is the upper limit? Even consumption of 100,000 IU/week was found to be safe.
Symptoms of deficiency: Fatigue, bone pain, muscle weakness, and depression.
Has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
How much of it do we need? 11mg for men and 8mg for women daily.
How to get the required amount? 2 oysters or 100 gram steak a day. For vegans: 5-gram chlorella + 15 gram nutritional yeast + 100 gram buckwheat/lentils.
What is the upper limit? 40mg a day
Symptoms of deficiency: Slow healing of wounds, hair loss, acne, lack of appetite.
Prefer real foods over supplements
Micronutrients may not act efficiently in isolation but together with compounds in the food matrix may have synergistic effects.
A study found that adequate intake of vitamin A, vitamin K, magnesium, zinc, and copper was associated with reduced mortality, but only if those nutrients came from food.
The same study found that taking a supplement of more than 1,000 mg calcium a day is associate with an increased risk for cancer death.
Another study found that supplements of antioxidant mixtures and niacin (with a statin) might increase the risk for all-cause mortality.
When should you use supplements?
Some supplements might be useful in specific situations, such as preexisting deficiency or pregnancy.
Another example is low-quality evidence for the preventive benefits of folic acid and B-vitamins for stroke and total cardiovascular disease.
The only vitamin/mineral supplements I use are liquid vitamin D and vitamin B12.
I take vitamin D as a supplement because it’s hard to get enough of it from food and it’s not always sunny enough outside.
I take 3 drops of 1,000 IU daily.
My blood test results show that my vitamin D levels are normal so I guess it’s working.
Since there are several factors that might decrease vitamin B12 absorptions, it could be hard to get enough of it only from food.
Therefore I take b12 as a supplement and it also seems to work.
Use immune booster herbs
Plants that are rich in flavonoids, vitamin C, or carotenoids can enhance immune function and might possess mild anti-inflammatory action.
Herbs with strong evidence for immune support are:
Health benefits of garlic:
- Reduces the severity of cold and flu symptoms
- May help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease
- May help prevent cognitive decline
- Protects DNA against free radical
- Protect against acute damage from aging and long-term toxic damage
- Can contribute to the treatment and prevention of pathologies such as cancer
This list is only a part of its benefits.
Recommended consumption of garlic
Consult your doctor before taking garlic in case you:
- Have surgery in two weeks.
- Are taking blood clotting medications, antidiabetic drugs, or saquinavir.
- Have low blood pressure as garlic might make it even lower.
Heating the garlic destroys its active allyl sulfur compound formation that relates to its health benefits.
The most consistent benefits were shown in studies that used aged garlic extract (AGE).
Garlic powder tablets on the other hand are way less effective.
In case you use fresh garlic, chop or crush it before eating. Read the next couple of lines to understand why it’s important…
A clove of fresh raw garlic contains the constituent alliin and the enzyme alliinase.
After you chop/crush the garlic, the alliinase converts the alliin into allicin.
The allicin gives the garlic its stinky odor, but also exhibits antioxidant activities.
If you insist on heating the garlic, in order to prevent the total loss of its anticarcinogenic activity, chop it, and wait 10 minutes before moderate cooking it.
I would stay away from garlic oil as it might have some side effects such as botulism.
How much garlic should you consume?
You can enjoy some health benefits even if you eat raw garlic only twice a week like lowering the risk to develop lung cancer by 44%.
Alternatively, you can use aged garlic extract in order to reduce the colds and flu days by 61%.
Make sure to follow the use instructions of the manufacture.
Another benefit of aged garlic extract is that it is odorless.
The AGE that I link to above also contains oregano extract, which is an effective natural antibiotic against some types of bacteria.
Take into account that high doses of garlic could be dangerous or even fatal to children.
A safe dose of garlic is 0.25 g for each kg body weight a day.
Some health benefits of oregano oil:
- A natural antibiotic.
- May be effective also against some bacteria with the potential for antibiotic resistance, such as Helicobacter pylori.
- Possesses antioxidant, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic properties.
- Has a positive effect on gastrointestinal health.
- Can lower your bad cholesterol.
Recommended consumption of oregano oil
Do not consume it in case you are:
- Pregnant or breastfeeding.
- A young child or a baby.
- Allergic to basil, lavender, mint, sage, thyme, marjoram, or hyssop.
- Two weeks before surgery.
- Taking blood clotting medications, antidiabetic drugs, or lithium.
- Consult with your doctor in case you take any other prescription drug.
Use the oregano oil in intervals…
For example, use it for 3 weeks, then stop using it for a week or two.
That is because there are not enough studies that were done to say whether it is safe to use it for a long period.
Important: make sure that the oregano oil you use is food grade, like this one, meaning it can be ingested.
Dilute it in liquid before ingesting.
I dilute 6 drops of oregano oil with 0.5L (34 ounces) of water.
Start with 1 -2 drops a day to see whether you experience any side effects, such as mild gastric distress.
If it’s all good, gradually build up the recommended dosage given by the manufacturer.
Unlike oregano oil, oregano essential oil (the word essential is added) is inedible!
Oregano essential oil is recommended in case you prefer to use it topically, or inside a diffuser/oil burner.
In case you use it topically, dilute it with at least one teaspoon of fractionated coconut oil or olive oil for every drop of oregano essential oil.
Some health benefits of ginger:
- Capable of inhibiting allergic reactions and preventing allergic diseases.
- Might induce pain and inflammation 24 hours after a workout.
- Can be beneficial adjuvant therapy in patients with acute renal failure.
- Improves fasting blood sugar in type 2 diabetic patients.
- Decrease hunger.
Recommended consumption of ginger
Consult your doctor before consuming ginger in case you:
- Have a heart condition.
- Suffer from gallstones.
- Two weeks before surgery.
- Pregnant or breastfeeding.
- Taking blood thinners.
Consume 2 grams of ginger powder a day.
You can add ginger powder to a smoothie, tea, pasta, dip, or whatever makes it tolerable to you.
In case 2 grams feels too strong, you can split the 2 grams into smaller portions and consume them during the day.
You can also make ginger shots:
It is possible to consume ginger as a supplement, but it’s more expensive than ginger powder.
Don’t consume more than 4 grams a day.
Are You Still Asking Yourself ‘Why do I Get So Hot When I Sleep?’
Have you tried the techniques above but couldn’t find the cause of your night sweats and a solution to it?
Still asking yourself ‘why do I get so hot when I sleep?’
I hope at least some of the techniques above are able to reduce the severity of your night sweats.
In addition, if you have checked yourself for sleep apnea and/or thyroid-stimulating hormone, your doctor has probably given you a lot of advice and insights about night sweats.
I recommend trying any solution that your doctor suggests.
In general, consulting your doctor is the smartest thing you can do.
He can diagnose you face to face and probably has already helped people in the same situation as you in the past.
I wrote this article because many of the techniques here are not something they teach in medical schools.
In addition, many people won’t go to the doctor unless they have to.
In case your doctor was not able to find a solution to your night sweats, you probably should go for a more expensive solution.
For example, keep the air conditioning working all night long.
It is expensive, you might wake up with tight muscles, it can freeze your spouse, and it won’t solve the cause of your night sweats.
However, I believe that the disadvantages of a bad night of sleep are worse than the disadvantages of using air conditioning.
Therefore, if there is no choice, set the air conditioning to 15 – 20 degrees Celsius (60 – 68 degrees Fahrenheit) and sleep like a baby.
It’s hard to fall asleep when you are hot and sweating.
When you are unable to fall asleep due to night sweats, it creates a lot of anger and frustration during the night and the day after.
In case you use to ask yourself, “why do I get so hot when I sleep?”, consider giving some of the techniques on this post a try.
Sleeping should be a relaxing activity, not a stressful one. I hope I was able to help you to achieve that.
Some of your friends and followers are probably also asking themselves, “why do I get so hot when I sleep?”
Would you like to help them find a solution and help this blog grow at the same time?