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Hot sleeper? How to beat the heat

25th January 2024 • 4 min read
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When things heat up and sleep evades you, here are some practical ways to cool down.

Nothing beats the feeling of jumping into bed at the end of a long and tiring day. But cosying up under the covers isn’t always conducive to a good night’s sleep – especially if you’re prone to overheating.

Overheating can impact the quality and duration of your sleep. Spending hours tossing, turning and sweating at night is incredibly tiresome, and it only gets worse as the weather gets warmer. 

Whether you experience this issue seasonally or year-round, here’s how to keep your cool.

Heating up

No, it’s not just you. The world is getting warmer. Statistically, night-time temperatures in Australia are increasing – and, according to Australia’s Climate Council, “heatwaves are becoming hotter, lasting longer and occurring more often”. 

All of this can impact the quality of your sleep. Why? Because your body temperature naturally declines at night. It usually starts to fall a couple of hours before you go to sleep and continues to decline during non-REM sleep. 

Slow wave sleep is a key part of non-REM sleep. Although its exact purpose isn’t fully understood, experts often refer to it as deep or ‘restorative’ sleep, believing that this is when your body renews itself – processing memories, repairing tissue, boosting immune function, and contributing to that general sense of feeling rested. A hot environment may interfere with this stage, leaving you feeling tired (and sweaty) the next day. 

Heat can affect the amount of time you spend asleep, too. We all know how difficult it can be to doze off when the air feels like it’s closing in around us, and one global study found that, as ambient night-time temperatures increased, sleep duration decreased. Taking a few minutes longer to fall asleep each night might not seem like much, but it all adds up. 

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A sweaty saga

Of course, some people overheat at night even when the temperature is mild. If you find yourself frequently waking up to sweat-soaked sheets, chances are you’re experiencing night sweats

Sweating isn’t all bad: it’s a natural occurrence that helps us regulate our body temperature by cooling the skin as it evaporates. However, if your body starts generating more moisture than it needs, night sweats can occur.

Often, it can be a symptom of a medical condition, a side effect of a medication you’ve been prescribed, or a sign you’re coming down with a cold. Night sweats can also be hormonal. Pregnant, menopausal and perimenopausal women all face significant hormonal fluctuations that can interfere with the body's ability to regulate heat. 

Luckily, there are some strategies you can employ to help regulate your skin temperature and settle in for a better night’s sleep. 

Keep your cool

You may not be able to control the weather, but you can definitely take steps to cultivate a healthy sleep environment. 

According to Australia’s Sleep Health Foundation, the ideal sleeping temperature is between 17 and 19 degrees Celsius. If this temperature can’t be maintained (having the AC running all night isn’t ideal, after all) it’s important to practise good sleep hygiene before hopping under the covers. 

Avoiding vigorous exercise before bed is a good place to start. Generally, exercise is good for sleep – but it can also be stimulating and heat you up, so opt for an earlier workout if you can. Ensuring your bedroom has good ventilation and you’re hydrated is also key, as is switching off heat-generating phones, tablets and laptops.

Choosing the right bedding and pillows can have a big impact on your ability to regulate your body temperature while you sleep. The Forty Winks Moonshadow THERMOCOOL Adjustable Pillow, for example, helps reduce the body’s surface temperature so that it can maintain a level of coolness throughout the night. 

There are also mattresses specifically designed and engineered to help you stay cool at night. One of the best mattress choices for those who have trouble regulating their body heat is the Forty Winks King Koil Chiro Resolve Mattress. It features adaptive temperature-regulating technology that responds to your individual body temperature, helping keep you cool and dry. It also contains two elements of our advanced comfort technology, AeroComfort – AeroQuilt and AeroFoam+ - which provide breathable, pressure-relieving comfort that is more resilient to body signatures.

And if you’re prone to night sweats, consider using a mattress protector like the Forty Winks TEMPUR-FIT Mattress Protector, which is made from heat-regulating fibres to help keep you cool and protect mattresses from excess sweat. 

A cooler, more comfortable night's sleep is not too far away thanks to our collection of temperature control products. Explore our summer cooling range here.

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