If you are hot while sleeping, it can severely ruin your sleep quality. For optimal sleep, you must be cool. Your body actually drops to about 96 degrees when you are sleeping. Therefore, your outside temperature needs to match that. Your sleeping environment should be anywhere from 66-70F degrees. If you feel very hot when you sleep, continue reading to learn possible causes, and what you can do.
Hot and Humid Room
One reason you may be too hot at night is because your room is too hot and humid. Even if your room is the perfect daytime temperature, it may be too hot for your room. Increased heat at night can increase wakefulness and decrease slow-wave sleep and REM.
Humidity is the increased moisture in the air. It can reduce your sweat's ability to evaporate if there is too much moisture in the air.
Stuffy Bedding and Pajamas
Your bedding is like an insulator. If it is too thick, then it can trap more heat than thinner bedding. Thicker sleepwear, such as wool and cotton, can also lead to increase body temperature and overheating.
The different types of fabric can actually change the way your body gets rid of heat. One study showed that cotton had slower sleep onset than wool, but also promoted deeper sleep. There was no difference between the two different fabrics and sleep quality.
Too Stimulated Before Bed
The activities that you do before bedtime can affect your body temperature and make it more challenging to sleep. One activity is exercise. Evening exercise does help one get to bed, but sleep onset can be impaired if you vigorously exercise within 1 hour of bedtime.
If you consume caffeine before bedtime, this can make you more alert, and can also increase your core body temp.
Stressful activities can also increase your body temperature as stress causes your blood vessels to constrict.
Finally, sex, although good for sleep, can actually raise your temperature if vigorous enough.
Your sleeping partner(s)
Significant others, kids, and pets can all increase the temperature of your sleeping area. Bodies constantly give off body heat, and the more you have in one space, the warmer the room will be.
There is a long list of medications that can raise your body temperature and disrupt your ability to regulate temperature. Some medications include:
- beta-lactam antibiotics including penicillin and cephalosporins
- diabetes medication
- diureticsTrusted Source (water pills), especially combined with angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors or angiotensin II receptor blockers
- hormone therapy medications
- pain killers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or aspirin
- SSRI or tricyclic antidepressants
- steroids such as cortisone or prednisone
- drugs such as MDMA, ecstasy, cocaine
Imbalances in your hormones can lead to hot flashes, especially when you are perimenopausal or menopausal. A decrease in estrogen and progesterone can cause your body to go out of whack and have strange temperatures.
Night sweats and hot flashes are some of the most common symptoms of menopause.
Pregnancy is another condition that creates fluctuating levels of estrogen and progesterone, and can lead to a raise in body temperature.
Hyperthyroidism is and obstructive sleep apnea are two other conditions that can cause changes in your internal body temperature. These conditions can all be confirmed or denied with blood levels.
Illness or infection
When you are sick, your body often raises your temperature to try and thwart off bacteria and viruses. These can include conditions like:
- strep throat
- other bacterial infections
- coronary heart diseaseTrusted Source
- chronic stress
If you are experiencing any of the above changes, here are some things that can help you get your body back on track. If your room temperature is too high, lower the heat, open a window, use a fan, or a dehumidifier to create an optimal sleeping environment.
If your bedding or pajamas is the issue, then choose lighter bedding and fabric.
If your pre-bed activities are the issue, then try and complete your exercise at least an hour before bed, avoid caffeine late in the day, minimize stress prior to sleeping, and avoid vigorous sexual activity before bed.
If sleeping with other people is the problem, then try and use a different blanket. Not only will that help cool you down, but could also reduce disturbances from movement. Also, consider keeping a window open or door to remove some of the heat.
If medical conditions or medications are the issue, then talk to your doctor about the best options for you so you can get good rest, while also managing or treating your conditions.
If you are struggling to get a good night's rest and need more direction, please click the orange button below to take a free online sleep test and talk with one of our sleep health professionals.