Sleeping Hot? It Might Be Your Mattress's Fault
(+ 4 Tips for How to Sleep Cool)
Sleeping hot is a common issue that stands between millions of people and a good night’s rest. Sleep and temperature are deeply related. Your core body temperature needs to drop a few degrees as you progress through the stages of sleep. Plus, when you’re hot at night, you’re kicking off covers, getting out of bed to see if the fan can go any faster, and tossing and turning.
All of this keeps you from getting that quality REM sleep that helps you recover, rest, and wake up feeling fresh.
There are several different factors to consider if you’re waking up hot throughout the night – some are medical, some are dietary, and some are as simple as changing what you sleep on.
Today’s post discusses how a mattress can turn into a heat trap, warming you up at night and interrupting your sleep cycle. We show how to solve that problem by picking a mattress designed to keep you cool. Plus, we cover 4 tips that you can start using today to sleep cool through the night.
Are you ready to sleep on the coolest mattress available? Start shopping online to find a cooling mattress, or visit the Slumberland nearest you and we can pair you with the right mattress for your needs.
How Your Mattress Can Make You Sleep Hot
Your mattress can weigh anywhere from 60lbs to over 150lbs+, depending on the size and mattress type. That means if your bed is made of inexpensive materials – or is just poorly designed – you’re laying on a thick, heavy, heat trap.
A heat trap forms when your body heat gets trapped in the mattress beneath you. This in turn heats you up, which adds more heat to your mattress, creating a hot cycle of discomfort.
You’ve likely experienced this with your pillow. When we turn our pillows over to the “cool side” in the middle of the night we’re really just turning our pillows over so we aren’t sleeping on the side that we made hot with our face.
The same thing can happen with your mattress, but you can’t easily flip over a bed (nor should you!).The best mattress brands use various advanced cooling technologies to help you sleep cool throughout the night, including:
- Gel-infused memory foam – Gel can have cooling effects on its own, and gel beads or swirls are also used by mattress companies to break up the foam which helps stop your bed from becoming a heat trap.
- Phase changing materials (PCMs) – PCMs work by reacting to temperature. When they encounter heat, PCMs absorb the heat and help cool you down. They are commonly found in high-end winter gear or athletic clothing. But this unique process works both ways – when PCMs encounter low temperatures, they can release heat they previously stored. Due to this duality, PCMs in mattresses can keep you comfortable and prevent overheating (or even over-cooling) throughout the night.
- Breathable materials – From cover to the core (or base) of the mattress, it’s important to use high-quality materials that are also breathable. In a mattress’s cover, some companies use organic cotton, TENCEL®, or even cashmere. Foam layers – which are used to provide support and comfort – need to be dense enough to support you, but also ventilated in some way to promote airflow between the layers.
By using one of those technologies (or a combination of them) mattress companies can make a cool, breathable mattress where the air doesn’t get trapped and you don’t wake up hot and sweaty.
Nobody likes to be uncomfortable, especially not when they’re sleeping. When you’re shopping for a cooling mattress, you’ll still need to consider the different types of mattress construction. Whether you want a memory foam, innerspring, or a hybrid mattress, (learn more about the differences between mattress construction on Slumberland’s Mattress Buying Guide) you’re able to find the cooling mattress that best fits your needs.
When it comes to using the best cooling materials for the most relaxing night’s sleep, we think Tempur-Pedic does it better than anyone else, but there are options for everyone when you shop for Sleep Solutions at Slumberland Furniture.
Sleep on the Coolest Mattress: The Tempur-Pedic Breeze
If you walk into your nearest Slumberland location and ask one of our sleep solution experts for a cool mattress, they will recommend that you try the Tempur-Pedic Breeze before you try any other models.
Customers immediately feel the difference when laying on a Tempur-Pedic Breeze. It has cooling technology right in the cover and is cool to the touch, whereas other mattresses are more accurately described as temperature neutral.
The Tempur-Pedic Breeze is available in two different models:
- The PRObreeze – The PRObreeze is available in two different feels (medium and medium hybrid, for more bounce) and can feel up to 3 degrees cooler.
- The LUXEbreeze – The LUXEbreeze is available in two different feels (firm and soft), features an advanced pressure relieving layer of TEMPUR-material with a breathable, ventilated design, and can feel up to 8 degrees cooler.
Both Breeze mattresses use a combination of cooling technologies to help you sleep cool through the night.
- Tempur-Pedic Breeze mattresses have a SmartClimate™ Dual Cover System. All Tempur-Pedic mattresses have a cool-to-touch cover, which is the first part of the Breeze’s Dual Cover System. The cool-to-touch cover is made with a high density yarn that makes it impossible for heat to stay trapped in the fibers. Think of a marble countertop as a very dense surface. Whenever you put your hand on a marble countertop, it’s cool to the touch. (Don’t worry, sleeping on a Tempur-Pedic is not like napping on a marble countertop, but the high density yarns do a great job at making sure the cover is cool.) The second part of the Dual Cover System is the removable, washable cover. You can easily zip off your mattress’s cover and wash it in cold water with bleach-free detergent (hang dry). This helps the cover feel fresh and clean.
- Beneath the SmartClimate™ Cover is Tempur-Pedic’s PureCool+™ Phase Change Material. Phase change materials (PCMs) are thermoreactive fibers. These fibers absorb your heat, drawing it away from your body, helping you feel cool throughout the night. They can also later release heat back to you when temperatures drop below a certain threshold.
- Directly beneath Tempur-Pedic’s Phase Change Material is TEMPUR-CM+™’s comfort layer. CM stands for “climate management.” This foam was made to be extremely breathable and to hold practically no insulation.
- Then there’s a layer of Ventilated TEMPUR-APR® material. APR stands for advanced pressure relief. This is a dense layer of foam that conforms to your body. But it’s also ventilated to promote airflow, so heat won’t get trapped. (Exclusive to the LUXEBreeze model.)
Complete Your Cooling Sleep System: Sheets, Blankets, and Mattress Protectors
When you go to bed at night you’re not just sleeping on a mattress, you’re also sleeping on a set of bed sheets, using a pillow or two, along with a mattress pad, and a blanket or comforter.
If you buy a cooling mattress, like a Tempur-Pedic Breeze, you want to make sure you’re not reducing its effect by using mattress accessories that work against all the features we discussed above. For example, polyester sheets aren’t as breathable as cotton sheets.
4 Tips for Sleeping Cool
Finding the right sleep solution will go a long way in helping you sleep cool at night, but there are other factors you need to consider.
1. Check Your Thermostat
Plenty of customers simply have their air conditioner set too high. Sleep experts agree that the ideal room temperature at night is 60-67 degrees. Your body temperature decreases through the night as you get deeper sleep (eventually warming back up again as you begin the wake-up process).
The idea is that by keeping your room nice and cool you can help your body facilitate its natural process.
Smart thermostats can also be used to help both parts of this process – set your thermostat to cool down to the low 60s degrees at your bedtime and then in the morning, when you want to wake up, have the temperature adjust to high 60s, low 70s.
2. Put a Fan in Your Room
Some bedrooms have poor circulation which can lead to a stuffy room full of hot air.
You can add either a ceiling fan (which may not be an option for everyone) or a standing fan to help improve air circulation and keep you cool on hot nights.
But there are drawbacks to using a fan.
- Not aesthetically pleasing or practical – You might not like the look of a standing fan in your room, or you may not have the space for a fan that would be powerful enough to help keep you cool.
- Disruptive to your sleep – Fans can be noisy and some fans have annoying LED indicators to show they are on.
- Increased allergies – Fans circulate the air in your room, and that means it also circulates the dust or pollen.
- Dry eyes and skin – Because a fan is blowing air onto you, it can dry out eyes and skin.
- Inconsistent cooling – If you have a standing oscillating fan, then the cool air you’re getting is inconsistent. It’s like sleeping in a hot room that’s only cool for those ten minutes when the air conditioner kicks on. Plus, depending on the size of fan you found, you likely need to be directly in front of the fan to feel any breeze.
Fan Pro Tip: Create a Cross-Breeze
There are ways to make a fan more effective, including setting up a cross-breeze. A cross-breeze is two airstreams that are traveling in opposing directions or “crossing” each other.
An easy way to do this is to position a fan on one side of your bed, and have it pointing at an open window. With your bed between the fan and the window, you’ll get a cross-breeze.
Even on hot summer nights, using a cross-breeze can cool you down a few degrees.
3. Avoid Alcohol Right Before Bed
Alcohol literally widens your blood vessels – this means more blood is flowing to your skin.
And while this doesn’t change your body’s internal temperature, it does redistribute your body heat closer to the surface of your skin. So you’ll feel warmer, which then triggers your body to start sweating even though you don’t need to cool down.
This can lead to an uncomfortable night of sleep where you kick covers off, then pull them back up as you cool down, and then kick them off again because you’re sweating.
4. Check Your Medications
Sometimes medications can cause you to sleep hot. If this is a common side effect of medication you’re taking, talk to your attending physician to see if there is any alternative brand you can take or ask them for recommendations on how to treat the side effect.
Sleeping Cool Tips to Avoid
Some tips online for sleeping cool technically do cool you down, but not how you think – and if anything they can actually disrupt your sleep even more.
Changing Your Temperature with Spicy Food and Hot Showers
Sometimes online blogs or even well intentioned friends will recommend that you can hack your temperature before bed by taking a warm shower before, eating spicy food, or putting a washcloth over your head.
The suggested ideas are rooted in some logic, even though they are misguided. When your body warms up, it works to cool itself down by making you sweat. As you sweat, your body cools down. Therefore, taking a warm shower or eating spicy food (both which warm you up) will cool you down.
But again, while technically true, these are not long-term solutions. Your body is going to try and get back to its normal core temperature. When your core temperature naturally drops during sleep, it’s deep into the night. With these “hacks” you’re simply confusing your body right before bed.
Focusing on Cooling Pulse Points
Another tip we see online is to focus on cooling pulse points, specifically your feet. And it’s true, if you’re ever sleeping with socks and you take them off, you do cool down.
But some recommendations go as far as to say that you should dunk your feet in cold water to lower your body temperature or to sleep with an ice pack wrapped in a towel or plastic bag.
Not only is this inconvenient – having a bucket of cold water by your bed and then getting into bed with damp feet – but it’s similarly a short-term solution.
If you drastically lower your body temperature, your body will work to raise it, undoing your hard work.
Going Forward: Next Steps to Help You Sleep Better and Cooler
Instead of worrying about finding a chili pepper to eat before bedtime or getting in the shower at the right time, it’s much more convenient – and better for your overall sleep health – to make sure you’re sleeping in a cool environment and this means sleeping on a cool, breathable mattress.
The Tempur-Pedic Breeze collection helps you cool through the night by using advanced technologies through the entire mattress, including:
- A cool-to-the-touch cover
- Advanced PCMs that draw heat from your body
- A breathable layer of TEMPUR-material
- A ventilated layer of advanced pressure relieving TEMPUR-material (exclusive to the LuxeBreeze model)
Ready to improve your sleep? When you buy a Tempur-Pedic mattress through Slumberland, you get a 120-night comfort guarantee and a 10-year warranty backed by Tempur-Pedic.
Interested in learning more about Tempur-Pedic in person? Visit one of our many Slumberland locations.