If you’re a hot sleeper, getting through the night can be a challenge. Washing your sheets often enough may not entirely solve that problem – especially if the material isn’t the cooling sort. You might be trying to avoid sleep sweats or clamminess at night, which can be such a struggle. And while waking up sweaty, overheated, and restless is uncomfortable enough, it can also disrupt your normal sleep cycle, leading to problems during the day. The good news is that something as simple as swapping out old sheets in favor of those with cooling materials can often help, and with a little guidance on the matter, you can enjoy cooler nights ahead.
Hot sleepers will want to opt for natural fibers in their sheets whenever possible. Cotton, bamboo, linen, and eucalyptus are great examples of these types of sheets. Let’s take a look at each one of these fabrics:
Of all of the best cool-sleeping sheet fabrics, linen is at the front of the line. Although it may be on the pricy side, this fabric’s superior breathability and lightweight essence make for excellent cooling sheets. Linen is usually cooler than cotton, and tends to be highly durable for years of use. Linen sheets won’t be extremely soft, but they are undoubtedly of a higher quality than other options, and offer a slightly textured feel and look.
Bamboo sheets are both thermoregulating and hygroscopic, meaning they keep sleepers cool overnight (or, when necessary, warm), and wick away moisture, eventually absorbing it, to keep sleepers nice and dry. They’re usually hypoallergenic as well. The best form of bamboo for sheets is Lyocell, which is a more eco-friendly variety due to its manufacturing process, which results in not only less stress to the environment, but a silkier, softer feeling sheet than other varieties.
When choosing cotton sheets, percale will likely be your best bet. Percale cotton generally makes the best cotton sheets for warm sleepers, as it is constructed of a very breathable, loosely woven fabric — most often a polyester or cotton blend — with a cooler finish than others. Stick with a low, single-ply thread count for a crisper, thinner percale — less than 400 thread count is recommended.
Eucalyptus sheets are known to be cooler, softer, and have better moisture-wicking qualities than the usual cotton, with some varieties even seeming to get softer with every washing. Eucalyptus has naturally temperature-regulating traits, and is often considered to be an exceptionally cool sleeping bed sheet. While their cooling properties are not actually proven scientifically, eucalyptus sheets are known as highly breathable with a luxuriously cooling feel.
Generally a low thread count (TC) is best for those who need cooling sheets at night, as it is helpful in regulating the body’s temperature while sleeping, with less than 300 TC being ideal. The National Sleep Foundation recommends anywhere between 200 and 400 TC sheets for your best cooling experience.
- Start by keeping your bedroom cool. Most summer nights cool down significantly, so if you can safely sleep with the window open (consider security issues please), this would be ideal. If not, keeping your room at approximately 65 degrees to 67 degrees Fahrenheit with air conditioning is optimal for most sleepers — although hot sleepers may need to take it down a notch or two from there.
- Take a cool shower before bed, and sleep in minimal, loose-fitting, comfy clothing. This will cool down your body and keep it cool as the night goes on.
- You could also use fans in the bedroom to circulate the air if need be. This can help keep the temperature down when you don’t want to run the air conditioning, and the white noise from the fan can contribute to a sound night’s sleep as well.
- Don’t eat for a few hours before bed. Digesting food can increase the body’s temperature, so do it earlier to allow your body to get cooler at night.
- Create a triple (or quadruple!) whammy: Get a set of cooling sheets, as well as a cooling pillow, cooling mattress, cooling mattress pad, or as many cooling accessories as you can find.
- If you still need more help getting comfortable at night, consider trying a mattress or bedding to match your needs, i.e. your preferred sleeping position, such as a Casper mattress (the Airscape foam helps you stay cool).
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