You know the fantasy - waking up after a perfect night's sleep feeling refreshed and energized. But while your reality may be far from your imagination, there are things you can do to wake up cool and refreshed every morning.
You might be doing all the right things: adjusting your thermostat to ensure a perfect nighttime temperature, darkening the shades, turning off the lights, and keeping noise to a minimum. You might even be avoiding your electronic devices and television, and that relaxing glass of wine before sleep. But if you're like a lot of people, though you might be doing everything right, you find that you wake up more tired in the morning than you were the night before.
Even if you have a thermostat that keeps your room at a perfect sleeping temperature, a ceiling fan, a room fan, or a room air conditioner, you may find yourself waking up in the middle of the night hot and uncomfortable, and unable to get back to sleep.
Why you get hot during the night
While your core body temperature is regulated to keep you healthy while you sleep, during REM sleep (rapid-eye-movement, or dreaming sleep), your thermoregulation system (the part of your brain that keeps your body temperature in check) switches off. The temperature of your environment is critical to ensuring sound sleep. The air temperature and humidity, the temperature of your pillows, sheets, pajamas or nightgown, and especially the temperature of your mattress will all influence how well you'll sleep through the night.
Air Temperature & Humidity
Recent research indicates that the ideal sleeping temperature is lower than you might expect. The perfect sleeping temperature is between 60-65 degrees Fahrenheit, according to most experts. While that may seem chilly to some, research indicates that a cool (but not cold) environment will help you stay asleep longer. The ideal humidity level should be between 30 and 50 percent. If your sleeping environment is either too cold or too warm, too dry or too humid, you're more likely to wake during the night and be unable to get back to sleep. To keep the temperature of your sleeping environment regulated, keep air circulating, and if necessary, use either a humidifier or a dehumidifier.
For a perfect night's sleep, your sheets, pillowcases, and covers need to breathe. In order of preference, the best choice for your bed clothes are:
- Silk (best at thermal regulation and moisture wicking)
- Cotton (lightweight and soft, but dries poorly)
- Bamboo (also known as "polyviscose," good at moisture wicking, hypoallergenic)
- Wool or flannel (good at keeping you warm, but may make you overheat quickly)
For best results, stick to a high thread count when choosing sheets – they’re more refreshing, more comfortable, and will last longer. Good sheets range between 200 and 800, but you can buy more comfortable sheets with a thread count over 1000.
Traditional box spring mattresses aren't just uncomfortable - they don't circulate air correctly, and the materials used to cover inner springs are poor regulators of temperature. Memory foam mattresses, while better than those containing springs, suffer from many of the same faults. Memory foam mattresses consist mainly of polyurethane as well as additional chemicals to increase viscosity and density. While the cells in the form quickly react to body heat as you change position, they're mediocre at transferring heat away from your body. If your mattress traps heat rather than releasing it, your bed will quickly become uncomfortable, and too hot to sleep on.
The perfect solution
The Halcyon Micro Air Foam from GelFoamBed makes traditional memory foam obsolete. It's the only bed with Heat Neutral Support. Halcyon foam releases body heat, so you sleep at a more comfortable temperature staying cool throughout the night. You can have the perfect sleeping temperature and humidity, top-shelf pajamas or nightgown, and thousand-dollar sheets, but if your bed doesn't regulate sleep properly, you'll be doomed to a mediocre (or worse) night's sleep.