There’s no better way to close out your day than laying your head on a cool pillow, closing your eyes, and letting sleep take over. Unfortunately, there are nights when that ritual gets interrupted: Leftover stress; too much caffeine too late in the day; or an evening that is hanging onto the day’s heat. But your pillow should never be a reason for you not getting a relaxing start to a good night’s sleep.
Too Hot to Handle
When it’s time to go to sleep, our bodies begin a natural cooling process. Generally speaking, heat is automatically released through our hands, face and feet right as sleep begins taking over. To keep you comfortable while snoozing, the body continues that temperature trend throughout the night. But if you can’t cool down, then chances are you really won’t get a restful sleep.
There are many reasons why things heat up during the night, including environmental factors.
• Ambient air temp
When the sun sets later in the day there’s less time for the ambient air in the bedroom to cool down and that stifling heat can keep you awake.
• Too many covers
Even in the colder months, too many blankets and comforters can generate too much heat. The same can be said for heavy nightclothes.
Also, some medical conditions can raise your temperature at night and trigger night sweats, which by definition, leave pajamas and bed linens drenched.
There’s no rule that hot flashes only happen during daytime hours. For some women, these sudden bursts of heat come on after dark.
• Idiopathic hyperhidrosis
This is a chronic condition characterized by heavy sweating—the body produces sweat in inordinate amounts for no identifiable cause, such as menopause. Again, episodes can take place at night as easily as they can during the day.
A few infections are known to spur on night sweats, specifically tuberculosis, endocarditis—inflammation of heart valves—and osteomyelitis—an inflammation of the bones.
Approximately 8 to 22 percent of people taking antidepressants report night sweats.
This occurs when blood sugar levels drop. Diabetics who have been prescribed insulin or oral medications tend to have more night sweats associated with hypoglycemia.
• Hormone disorders
When hormones are out of balance, your sleep can be affected. For example, hyperthyroidism is known to induce sweating.
The good news is that there are various steps you can take to create a more peaceful, cool sleeping situation.
• Cool things down
During hot summer nights, run the air conditioner to bring the room temperature down. If that’s not an option, keep drapes closed during the day and open them and the windows at night, at least for a little while before you go to bed.
• Dress the bed appropriately
Pare down the bed covers and your bedclothes. You can always add more if you get cold.
• Check with your doctor
If you’ve been diagnosed with a condition or illness known to produce nighttime sweating, check with your physician regarding medication adjustments or other recommendations to reduce the intensity or frequency of the sweating episodes.
• Buy a cool pillow
It used to be that sleep experts suggested putting your regular old pillow in the refrigerator during the day so it can help induce that sleep-related cooling effect. Thanks to modern technology, you no longer have to clear out the condiments to make room for your pillow. Here are two cool pillows for your consideration.
Sweet dreams are almost guaranteed with this cushy pillow. It features the firm support of Memory Foam that also contours to your body, only taken to another level with the micro-bubble Hyrdaluxe gel technology. The gel maintains a consistent coolness regardless of room temperatures. A mesh spandex cover makes room for airflow.
A 3-inch gusset gives sleepers a more natural head and neck positioning for a comfortable night. The 300-thread cotton cover provides a breathability factor that keeps the pillow cooler, but it’s the Iso-Cool that helps keep your body temp in check.