Beat the bedtime heat with these easy tips.

If you've ever tossed and turned in bed because you felt like you were overheating, you might be a "hot sleeper." These night sweats may have more to do with physiological reasons than environmental ones, but that doesn't mean that there aren't things that you can change in and around your bed to give you a more comfortable night's sleep. Here, a few experts share their best tips for getting cool.

woman sleeping in bed
Credit: Getty / Rakop Tanyakam / EyeEm

Understand why you "sleep hot."

Experts call the increased temperatures and subsequent perspiration that happens overnight "night sweats;" this is unrelated to being in a room with an elevated temperature. "Some causes include infection; changes in hormonal states that can occur during pregnancy, puberty, menopause, or thyroid conditions; anxiety or stress; and low blood sugar," explains Dr. Marisa Garshick, the Certain Dri chief medical correspondent. Medications and certain foods, drinks, or other medical conditions can also be the culprit. If you're experiencing excessive sweating overnight, or sweating with additional symptoms, Dr. Garshick suggests checking in with your doctor to rule out more serious conditions.

Switch your sheets.

To make yourself more comfortable, Kevin Queen, the president of Sleepletics, suggests making some changes to your sleep environment—starting with your sheets. He suggests linen and cotton to start, and if that doesn't work, there are new textile technologies that might. "Celliant sheets absorb body heat and reflect it back as therapeutic infrared light to the body's muscle and tissues," he says, which can increase circulation and aid better oxygen flow to your cells. "The result? Better, more comfortable sleep without being overly hot and faster recovery from physical activity, so people wake up energized."

Try a breathable mattress pad—and lower the thermostat.

You can do more for a better night sleep than just switch your sheets. Queen says that adding a breathable mattress pad may also make a big difference, and so will lowering the thermostat before bed. "A room temperature of around 65 degrees Fahrenheit is optimal for a good night's sleep," he says, adding that creating a dark, quiet environment is just as important.

Dress for success.

What you wear to bed also plays a role, says Dr. Garshick. "To help reduce feeling hot and sweaty at night, it is important to sleep in a comfortable, cool environment and avoid clothing and bedding that tend to trap heat," she says. Light, breathable clothing will not only help you feel cooler, but it will help you feel less constricted, as well. Whatever you do to beat the heat, make sure you avoid fabrics like silk. Dr. Garshick says that while they may be good for hair and skin health, they generally do not absorb moisture as well as cotton fabrics, and they may retain odors after a sweaty night. Additionally, she advises skipping any pre-bedtime workouts. Anything that raises your body temperature before bed won't help you beat the late-night heat.

Comments (5)

Martha Stewart Member
October 11, 2020
I've always been a hot sleeper my entire life. I've been checked by my doctors several times over the years and they've never found a medical cause. I have made 2 changes that are giving me the coolness I crave and allows the house to stay comfortable for my husband. I bought bamboo fiber sheets (they stay cool) and I have a bFan at the end of the bed.
Martha Stewart Member
October 11, 2020
I always use cotton sheets, my thermostat is set to 62 degrees and I only sleep in cotton panties & sleeveless tee. I have had my thyroid tested several times and I'm past menopause so its not my hormones. Some women keep the hot flashes way past menopause I have been told. My fan is my best friend!
Martha Stewart Member
October 11, 2020
56, male, very healthy but have had night sweats much of my adult life. Would often wake up in soaked sheets and a puddle of sweat on my chest. Mine turned out to be blood sugar related. I'm not diabetic but am prone to low blood sugar episodes. For me the cure is to drink a glass of water with soluble fiber before bed. Never have sweats anymore and sleep much better overall.
Martha Stewart Member
September 27, 2020
I have been diagnosed with gastritis, and when I'm dealing with a flare up, from eating something my stomach didn't agree with, I will get hot flashes until I can rid my body of as much gas as possible. I also find eating closely to the time I fall asleep will also have an affect on having the hot sweats. I try to elevate my body, use Pepcid, and Gas-X Extra Strength Chewables, which seem to help. But, I find the night sweats will also happen during the day, and was told by multiple doctors it was caused by being pre-menopausal. However, they will go away completely once my stomach/intestines have got ridden of any gas & toxins. I will do slim fast shakes, basically try not to eat solids, drink only, and take a 30 billion live culture probiotics. Hopefully, this helps someone else. Your body is your vessel, and no one knows it better than you. Pay attention to what your intuition is telling you too. This will also help you give the best information to your doctor, so they are not wasting time with guess work. Best wishes for us all to have the best quality of sleep, that we can desire 😁
Martha Stewart Member
September 15, 2020
Yes, I am an extremely hot sleeper. I wake up at least twice at night soaked with sweat. It's miserable!! All I sleep in is my bra and panties and I nearly cook. We turn the air down and I cover with a sheet. Sure wish I could figure out how to sleep thru the night without being woke up hot.