Summertime, and the sleeping is. . . elusive. That’s because it’s really hard for you to sleep in a bedroom that’s humid and hot. If your mattress doesn’t help you get cool, then matters are even worse.
It’s not just your inability to nod off and knock out a bunch of Zzzzzs. Were you aware that, if you can’t get to sleep quickly, your health could be negatively affected? People who don’t get sufficient hours of sleep every night can develop diabetes. Or they may find it difficult to take weight off or keep it off.
If you haven’t heard of melatonin, this is a sleep-promoting hormone in our brains. And, a few hours before bedtime, this hormone level slowly rises. That won’t happen if your home and bedroom aren’t cool enough.
Finally, it’s definitely all about the mattress. If your mattress is made with the right materials, you’ll find it easier to get cooler and stay cooler throughout the night.
The Health Aspect
If you don’t care for the hot, humid summer months, your dislike may be related to the science of sleeping. You need to sleep several hours a night for your body to repair itself and so you stay healthier. Of course, not everyone needs eight hours a night. Teens between 14 and 17 should aim for eight to 10 hours nightly. Adults between 18 and 64 benefit from seven to nine hours a night. Finally, adults 65 and older benefit from seven to eight hours a night. That’s only a general rule. You may need more sleep—or you function just fine on six hours of sleep a night.
If a hot bedroom is making it nearly impossible for you to nod off, then the short-term effects may include an inability to use good judgment, retain information or even learn. You may also get into a potentially serious auto accident if you begin falling asleep behind the wheel. Long-term loss of sleep may lead to becoming obese, developing cardiovascular disease or diabetes. You may even die early.
If you suffer from insomnia already, a hot sleeping environment doesn’t make matters any easier for you. Making a few simple changes and bringing down the temperature in your house and bedroom may lead to better control of your condition.
If you have a different health issue that causes you to suffer from insomnia a hot bedroom makes things worse. So, if you adjust at least one environmental factor to help you sleep better, then you’ll be better able to control, not only the symptoms of your illness, but your insomnia. You may not need to rely on sleeping medications as much—and being able to fall asleep naturally means that sleep is of a higher quality.
Weight Loss, Diabetes
Sleeping in a cooler room enables your body to produce more brown fat. This is the healthier fat that allows you to burn calories as you sleep. In Virginia, the Virginia Commonwealth University researchers studied how cooler room temperatures affected the sleeping habits of healthy young men (average age, 21). They found that, when the room temperature was cooler, these young men experienced a 42 percent increase in their production of brown fat. Along with this, they had a 10 percent increase in fat metabolic activity. Their insulin sensitivity improved as well.
What Your Body Does Before Bedtime
Roughly one to one and a half hours before you go to sleep, your body starts cooling down from the center. You feel more tired and sleepy. To help ease this natural process along, you should have your home’s thermostat set between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit. While you sleep, your body temperature continues to drop, which means you sleep better and more deeply. Don’t set your thermostat any lower than 60 degrees or higher than 75. You’ll defeat your goal of better, healthier sleep.
Melatonin and Anti-Aging
Now that you know your body releases that sleep hormone (melatonin), you should also know that sleeping in a cooler room helps promote this release. Along with its sleep properties, melatonin is an antioxidant. It fights inflammation, helps you to keep a sharp mind and fights the development of some cancers. Melatonin also helps to make your immune system stronger.
Throughout the day, your body undergoes an oxidative stress process. Melatonin helps to minimize this. It also slows neurodegeneration.
Your mental health will also benefit from better sleep in a cool room. Ward off emotional stress and potential depression by getting healthy sleep in a cool bedroom.
Cool Sleep Tips
Now that you have all this information to consider, it’s time to invest in a little time and a few easy tips that will help you sleep better in a cooler bedroom.
- Go to bed naked. Your skin can release some of that heat you don’t need. You won’t sweat as much.
- If you do wear sleepwear, look for something made with cotton. You’ll stay cooler at night.
- Freeze your pillowcase and put it on your pillow right before going to bed.
- Invest in a programmable thermostat. Keep your home’s temperature at a comfortable level.
- Don’t cover your feet—again, you’ll release the excess heat still in your body.
- Put a small fan in your room. Having a cool breeze blowing over you makes the room feel cooler. It also helps to drop the temperature in your room.
- Sleep in layers. If you get hot, toss the blanket or comforter to the foot of your bed.
- Look for the right kind of summertime bedding.
Find the Right Bedding
Speaking of summertime bedding, that means sheets made from cotton. It breathes better, allowing you to cool down on a hot night. Sheets made from a polyester fabric don’t have that cooling, wicking property. Looking at wicking, cotton will wick the moisture (sweat) from your body. Result: You won’t wake up with a damp sheet beneath you.
Even better, look for sheet sets made from organic cotton. It doesn’t have harmful chemicals, such as flame retardants, in it.
“Cool” Mattress Construction
Some mattresses just don’t have the capability of moving heat away from your body at night. This means you’re going to get hotter and be unable to fall asleep.
The Brooklyn Aurora mattress has layers that are arranged to keep you cool at night. You want a mattress that cradles you comfortably, rather than allowing you to sink deep into the depths of the materials. Result: You don’t sink into the mattress, becoming trapped within its layers.
Depending on the firmness you need, you can buy a soft, medium or firm. Your back will thank you.
Next on the list is the Casper Wave. This contains a five-layer foam arrangement. You’ll be able to maintain a beneficial spine alignment. Even better, the latex memory foam is placed in the middle of the five layers making up this mattress.
The DreamCloud mattress is made of a hybrid design, using both coils and foams. You’ll get a 365-night risk-free guarantee—yes, sleep on the bed free for a year! You’ll experience its cooling comfort throughout four seasons which may be one of its best selling points.
WinkBeds coolControl is the next mattress. This mattress comes with a coolControl base that was developed by its maker. Using a remote or phone app, you’ll be able to adjust the airflow tubes that deliver conditioned air throughout the whole mattress. Set your side of the bed to the temperature best for you. If your partner sleeps better at a higher or lower temperature, they will be able to set it for their needs without affecting your own setting.
The Purple mattress contains superior pressure relief. It’s also temperature-neutral. The cell design inside promotes good airflow. You won’t have your body heat trapped on the top layer of the mattress.
The Muse relies on high-performance materials, meaning the memory foam that makes up other mattresses won’t be a problem. It also uses a proprietary Cool Wire fabric. The fibers wick moisture away. A temperature regulating gel is encased in the layer made of memory foam. You’ll be able to find this mattress in firm, medium or soft versions.
The Zenhaven is made of all-latex. With its four laters of aerated American Talalay latex, you’ll find that the color temperature is conducive to keeping you cooler.
The latex is poured into a mold containing pins. These pins create the aeration that enables you to stay cooler at night. The cover is made of a quilted organic cotton.
If you are on a budget, the Ultimate Dreams Latex mattress will help you stay cool on those hot, humid nights. The mattress’ cover is made from bamboo fibers which help to wick away excess moisture.
Made using the Talalay process, cooled air moves throughout the mattress. Just because you’re on a budget, that doesn’t mean you should sacrifice comfort or a good night’s sleep.