Some people are born with the ability to be “hot sleepers” at night. You are not alone if you frequently find yourself tossing and turning at night because you can’t find the right temperature for your room, or if your bedsheets make you feel sticky and sweaty. However, you do not need to be concerned because some solutions can make your bed more comfortable to sleep in. We have tips for hot sleepers, and understanding how your sheets affect your sleep is the first step.
What Does It Mean to Be a Hot Sleeper?
You wake up in the middle of the night, uncomfortable and drenched in sweat. You toss and turn, throw off blankets, but you just can’t sleep again. Most of us have experienced this at least once when the air conditioning went out on a particularly hot summer night. Even when it isn’t too hot outside, this is the reality for hot sleepers. People get hot at night for a variety of reasons, including:
- High room temperature
- Hormonal imbalances like those happen during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause
- Exercise before going to bed
- Neurological disorders
- Illness or medications
Your bedding is another common cause of nighttime warmth. While it’s easy to blame heavy comforters or flannel-lined quilts, our sheets are frequently the root of our hot sleeping problems.
How Bedsheets Affect Your Sleep as a Hot Sleeper
We don’t just sleep under sheets because they’re comfortable. Our body temperature drops a few degrees when we sleep. Our bedsheets trap heat as it escapes from us, keeping us warm. That’s why, if our blanket falls off in the middle of the night, we often wake up shivering.
To keep warm at night, we want to keep some heat close to us, but some sheets are so dense that they trap too much heat. Any moisture on our skin is also trapped, raising the humidity. The temperature rises at this point, and we wake up sweaty and uncomfortable.
Tips for Choosing Sheets for Hot Sleepers
The key to being a hot sleeper is to find bedsheets that trap heat while remaining breathable.
Some materials breathe better than others. Fleece and polyester, for example, are known to trap heat close to the body, resulting in a warmer night’s sleep. A material, on the other hand, can be breathable but not moisture-wicking, leaving you sweaty and hot. If you sleep hot, look for sheets made of breathable and moisture-wicking or absorbent materials, such as:
- Merino wool
- Tencel or lyocell
While all of these materials have advantages, pure cotton bedding is often less expensive and comes in a variety of weaves, allowing you to select the ideal sheet for you.
2. Thread Count
A lot of time is spent discussing thread count about bedsheets without really understanding what it means. Thread count refers to the number of threads woven into a single square inch of fabric.
Many people hear this and automatically assume that a higher thread count must be better. However, the increased thread count per square inch results in a less breathable fabric and a hotter night’s sleep. The lower the thread count, combined with high-quality materials, the better for hot sleepers.
When it comes to determining the breathability of your bedsheets, the weave is just as important as the thread count, if not more so. When it comes to natural-fiber bedsheets, you will most likely come across a variety of weaves. Some of the more common ones are as follows:
Flannel and sateen are heavier weaves, which is why they are commonly used in the winter. Twill is lighter, but the texture is frequently rough and unpleasant to the touch. Because it combines a light, crisp weave with a smooth finish, the percale weave is ideal for hot sleepers.
If you’ve ever walked barefoot outside on a hot summer day, you know the difference between a pale-colored sidewalk and a dark-colored pavement. The sidewalk is warm but not hot, whereas the blacktop feels like you’re walking on hot coals. This is because dark colors absorb heat much faster than light colors.
This is especially important if your bedroom receives any sunlight during the day. If you choose dark-colored sheets, they may retain some heat by nighttime. Crisp, white sheets will usually keep you cooler in the sun. Otherwise, close your drapes during the day to keep your bedroom dark and cool.
How to Keep Your Bedsheets Cool
As a hot sleeper, the type of sheets you use is the most important factor in keeping you cool at night. However, there are some additional things we can do to aid in the process of keeping our bedsheets cooler.
1. Wash Your Sheets
At the end of the day, it’s always nice to slip into some fresh, clean sheets. Taking the time to wash your sheets regularly may also help keep your sheets cool. All of that oil and moisture accumulates if you have spent several nights sweating under the covers. This can result in increased humidity and trapped heat. They will stay fresh if you wash them once or twice a week.
2. Shower Before Bed
Showering before bed is already an excellent way to keep cool at night by lowering your body temperature before you even lay down. However, washing our sheets before bedtime is beneficial as well. Washing prevents dirt, oil, and sweat from getting on our bedsheets. This will keep the sheets clean and the humidity levels under the covers lower.
3. Seasonal Bedding
Sheets are the primary cause of hot nights because they are so close to your skin. However, this does not negate the importance of other bedding. That heavy heirloom quilt that keeps you warm in the winter may keep you far too warm in the summer. If you haven’t already, switch to lighter outer bedding, such as a duvet, during the summer.
Sleep is critical to leading a healthy lifestyle. Fortunately, there are simple guidelines for selecting bedsheets that are appropriate for hot sleepers. There are also ways to keep their bedsheets cool to make them more comfortable.