As the seasons change and summer approaches, night sweats, or idiopathic hyperhidrosis in medical terms, can become an all too common occurrence. From feeling slightly stuffy to waking up soaked, getting hot and bothered in the night can really interfere with your sleep and leave you feeling groggy and irritable the next day.
So, here at Sleepbear we’ve done some digging on the subject, to help you to stay cool, calm and collected for more successful snoozing.
1. Room Temperature
A National Sleep Foundation study suggests that the ideal temperature for slumber is 18°C. This is because your body regulates its own core temperature as you sleep, keeping it naturally low and gradually increasing as an alert when it’s time to wake up. By keeping the temperature of your bedroom fairly low, you’ll help your body stay in tune with its natural signals. If your room is too hot, it can interfere with the process and cause overheating, and tossing and turning in the night.
To survive an English winter in true hygge style, thick, cosy bedding is an absolute must. However, when the nights suddenly become warmer, this can sneak up and cause seasonal stuffiness. As a general rule of thumb, 4.5 – 9 tog duvets are for spring-summer use, and winter duvets usually fall between 10.5 – 15 togs. This is obviously affected by your central heating preferences, but checking your current tog rating is a good place to start.
Once your duvet is good to go, time to turn your attention to snooze-friendly sheets. The National Sleep Foundation recommend sticking to natural materials such as cotton and bamboo, rather than synthetics which are not as breathable. Also, whilst luxurious, a higher thread count can also trap heat – so aim for 200-400 to keep cool and dry.
So, your duvet and sheets now pass the test, but what about your mattress and pillows? Materials such as memory foam are renowned for retaining heat, and can provide a sweatier sleeping experience. To remain cool, real latex mattresses are cooling and circulate your body heat, helping your body’s natural temperature regulation. Don’t forget breathable pillows, too!
Overheating at night can be a sneaky side effect of many medications, so this could easily have slipped through the net as a possible explanation. From over-the-counter medications like aspirin, to prescribed ones such as anti-depressants, it’s worth taking a look at the full list of side effects of anything you have taken recently or regularly to rule out this possible reason.
Hormonal changes in both men and women caused by conditions such as hyperthyroidism, pheochromocytoma, menopause, andropause or simply the time of the month can wreak havoc on your body’s temperature regulation. Not just limited to night sweats, these can also cause vasomotor symptoms like hot flushes, chills and producing much perspiration. To rule out this as a possibility and discuss possible treatments, it’s best to see your GP and explain your symptoms for some further investigation.
If you’ve ticked off all of the above possibilities and you’re still not sure why you’re a sweaty sleeper, it could be that your body is trying to tell you something’s awry. When your body is trying to fight infection or illness, your temperature increases. Whilst it could be something as harmless as the onset of a common cold, overheating at night can also be an early indicator of more serious conditions such as tuberculosis and osteomyelitis (bone infection). So, if you’ve been feeling peaky, be sure to head to the doctor to rule out these possibilities.
That’s it folks! We hope you found this blog helpful, and if you have any comments, feedback or just fancy a natter – catch us on Twitter at @SleepbearUK! Happy snoozing 💤