Why Do I Get So Hot When I Sleep?

Verified by: Neil Stanley

Last Updated: 06 Jul 2024

woman sleeping on her side on mattress

Are you waking up drenched in sweat, wondering why your nights are plagued with uncomfortable heat? 

You’re not alone. 

Many people struggle with feeling too hot while they sleep, disrupting their rest and affecting their overall well-being. 

In this article, we’ll examine the causes of nighttime overheating and provide practical tips for staying cool. 

From understanding the impact of your sleep environment and lifestyle choices to recognizing medical conditions that might be at play, we've got you covered. 

Let’s explore how to enjoy a cooler, more restful night’s sleep.

Key Takeaways

  • Your sleep environment, lifestyle choices, or medical conditions can cause nighttime overheating.

  • To sleep cooler, optimize your room temperature, use breathable bedding, and stay hydrated.

  • If feeling too hot while sleeping is persistent and unexplained, consider consulting a healthcare professional.

  • Find out the top rated cooling mattresses in 2024 from Best Cooling Mattress.

Understanding the Reasons You Get Hot When Sleeping

Sleep Environment

Your sleep environment is crucial to how hot you feel at night. 

The temperature of your bedroom, the bedding you use, and even the presence of sleeping partners can contribute to overheating.

  • Temperature and Humidity: Your bedroom should ideally be between 65-68°F to facilitate optimal sleep. High humidity can also trap heat, making it harder for your body to cool down.

  • Bedding and Sleepwear: Heavy or non-breathable materials like fleece can trap body heat. Opt for lightweight, breathable fabrics such as cotton or moisture-wicking materials.

  • Mattress and Pillows: Mattresses made from memory foam or similar materials can retain body heat. Look for options with cooling properties.

Body Factors

Several personal factors can make you feel hotter during the night.

  • Metabolism and Body Composition: Individuals with higher metabolism or muscle mass tend to produce more heat.

  • Hormonal Fluctuations: Hormonal changes, such as those experienced during menopause, pregnancy, or certain medical conditions, can cause hot flashes and night sweats.

  • Stress and Anxiety: High-stress levels can interfere with your body's ability to regulate temperature, making you feel hotter at night.

Lifestyle Influences

Your daily habits and lifestyle choices can also impact how hot you feel when you sleep.

  • Food and Drinks: Consuming alcohol, caffeine, spicy foods, or heavy meals close to bedtime can increase body temperature.

  • Physical Activity: Regular exercise, especially intense workouts, can elevate your body temperature, making you feel warmer at night.

Medical Conditions

Certain medical conditions can contribute to feeling excessively hot during sleep.

  • Nerve Damage: Conditions like diabetes or autoimmune disorders can cause heat intolerance and night sweats.

  • Hyperthyroidism: An overactive thyroid gland increases metabolism and body temperature, leading to excessive sweating.

  • Medications: Some medications, including antidepressants and hormone therapies, can cause increased sweating.

Fever: Fevers due to infections cause the body to raise its temperature to fight the infection, leading to sweating as it cools down.

How Heat Is Radiated During Sleep

Your body naturally cools down as you prepare for sleep. 

This process involves releasing heat through dilated blood vessels, which increases skin temperature and helps regulate overall body temperature.

Effective Tips to Stay Cool at Night

Optimize Your Sleep Environment

  • Choose Breathable Bedding: Use pillows, sheets, and comforters that are lightweight and moisture-wicking.

  • Turn Down the Thermostat: Keep your room temperature between 65-68°F.

  • Use a Fan: A fan can help circulate air and cool the room.

Adjust Your Sleep Habits

  • Wear Light Clothes: Opt for loose-fitting, breathable clothing from natural cotton fabrics.

  • Take a Warm Bath: A warm bath before bed can trigger vasodilation, helping the body cool down.

  • Sleep Alone if Necessary: If you find sharing a bed increases your body heat, consider sleeping alone.

Consider Your Health and Lifestyle

  • Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water throughout the day to help regulate body temperature.

  • Avoid Caffeine and Alcohol: These can increase body temperature and disrupt sleep.

  • Reduce Stress: Practice relaxation techniques to lower stress levels before bed.

When to Seek Medical Advice

If you experience unexplained excessive heat at night or if it consistently disrupts your sleep, it’s important to consult a healthcare professional. 

Certain medical conditions may require treatment to manage these symptoms.

By understanding the various factors contributing to feeling hot at night and implementing effective strategies to stay cool, you can enjoy a more restful and comfortable sleep.