Bedding Guide to Help Those Who Sleep Hot or Cold
What you put on your bed can hinder or enhance your sleep quality. Believe it or not, your bedding may be to blame for your nighttime sweats and chills.
Self-proclaimed hot sleeper Kristen Hicks makes reducing heat at night a priority, otherwise insomnia sets in for her.
“It’s less about when I crawl into bed though and more about getting hot or staying comfortable throughout the night,” she notes.
If your evening ritual includes being mindful of temperature too, you’re not alone. In fact, 80% of couples sleep too hot or too cold* and need to make adjustments to their bedroom before drifting off. This might include changing the thermostat, opening a window or turning on a fan for a cooling breeze.
Let’s learn how temperature affects our sleep and explore the best bedding choices for those of you who sleep too hot or too cold — so you can finally snooze at a temperature that feels just right.
Does Temperature Actually Affect Your Sleep?
Yes! The body is happiest when it’s in a state of being “thermally neutral”. This means it doesn’t need to release heat via sweating or create warmth via shivering. It’s the sweet spot for sleep. You can help create this ideal environment by setting your thermostat to 65 to 68 degrees.
“I start out with my comforter pulled all the way up to my chin because I like the comfort of it. Usually in the night I go back and forth with the bedding on and off depending on how bad the night sweats get,” explains Margo Leisinger, an Iowa resident who creates a cool sleeping environment by using a fan and wearing lightweight pajamas.
When you or your bedroom are too cold or too hot at night, expect increased wakefulness, a decrease in REM sleep and slow wave sleep, according to a paper published in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology. In other words: YOU WAKE UP GROGGY AND TIRED and don’t have as much energy as you’d like.
What Should You Have on Your Bed for Better Sleep?
For many of us, picking out pillows and bedding focuses on colors or patterns that coordinate with bedroom décor. We challenge you to go one step further and consider the quality and type of bedding you’re using if you have trouble finding the right sleep temperature.
Temperature-balancing bedding can absorb excess body heat. It works to keep you warm as you fall asleep, then provides cooling to help you stay asleep without the need for adjustments at night. Yes, smart bedding is a thing, and it’s awesome.
So, let’s make the bed — with temperature in mind:
- Pillows: A cool pillow is a must for many, choose pillows that help regulate your temperature at night. True Temp™ pillows unique active-particle technology attracts and removes moisture vapor to resist heat and humidity buildup. A cool-to-the touch cover is combined with soft fiberfill and supportive foam for maximum comfort. Take the Sleep Number® PillowFit® quiz to find the perfect one for you.
- Sheets: If you flux between hot and cold (or have a partner with the opposite temperature preference as you) try the True Temp™ sheet set for equalized comfort all night long.
- Mattress Layer: Select a layer for below your sheets that helps regulate temperature. The True Temp™ mattress layer is a fitted layer that wicks away heat and humidity (Take that, night sweats!). It keeps you cooler at night when your body temperature is on the rise. If you sleep cold a warming layer will help you sleep comfortably all night long. For those that fluctuate between warm and cold, try the DualTemp™ individual layer to help you sleep up to 35% cooler or warmer.
- Blankets: If you bundle up for bed and still find it hard to fall asleep, get extra cozy with a warming blanket. This option shuts off automatically after 10 hours and is safe even if it gets damp. Or, consider a temperature balancing True Temp™ blanket that attracts and removes moisture to reduce heat and humidity build-up in bed. “We sleep under the blankets. I like the blankets pulled up to my cheekbone,” says Nikki Purucker, a Nebraska woman who prefers warmth head-to-toe when she lies down for the night.
- Pets: Okay, so these don’t fit into bedding category, strictly speaking — but if they are on your bed each night, are they hindering your sleep by adding extra warmth? Dog book author and psychology professor Stanley Coren, PhD., DSc., FRSC says in a Psychology Today article that having a pet in the bed can create psychological comfort, but it can also be a source of heat. A dog’s normal body temp is 104 degrees Fahrenheit, while a human’s hovers around 98. If you’re too hot at night, encourage pets to stay at the foot of the bed.
How you make your bed and prepare for sleep each night matters. If you’re often too hot in the evening, try these tips for cooling down. And if you’re chilly, layer on an extra blanket or pull your partner in close to cuddle.
*Results from a 2020 Sleep Number® survey of 1,004 respondents who reported they or their partner sometimes sleep too hot or too cold.
Like diet and exercise, quality sleep is essential for optimal well-being and performance. Because everyone’s sleep needs are different, Sleep Number 360® smart beds, with SleepIQ® technology inside, sense your movements and automatically adjust firmness, comfort and support to keep you both sleeping comfortably. Find your Sleep Number® setting for your best possible night’s sleep.