Posted by Bethaney Wallace on July 02, 2014
When you go to bed each night, one of the biggest factors as to how quickly you fall asleep is that of comfort. How comfortable your body is as far as sleeping surface, including pillow and mattress, but also how comfortable you are in your environment. For instance, if staying at a hotel or in a friend’s house, you aren’t as likely to get as good as a night of sleep as you are at your own home. Even when sleeping, the body can sense a certain level of uncertainty, which is then projected onto how it is able to drift off into sleep.
The same can be said for additional features that lead toward (or against) comfort. For instance, sheets and blankets. The right ones can add softness just where it’s needed most, while the wrong ones can cause you to itch and turn rather than drifting off into sleep. Pillows can also affect sleep quality; it’s important to find one that’s the right height and level of firmness.
One more way that sleep quality can be affected – one we might not always take into consideration – is that of room temperature. When a room is too hot, we sweat, and when it’s too cold, we hunker down and search for more blankets. It’s only at the in-between, the just-right temperature that we’re able to relax into the perfect level of nighttime sleeping routines.
Aside from just being plain uncomfortable, there are a number of negative side effects to sleeping hot. It creates a muggy or sticky environment, which can then cause pajamas or sheets to stick, even before you start to sweat. Even the most luxurious of sheets won’t feel comfortable in this type of muggy environment. Hot sleepers also tend to sweat throughout the duration of their rest. Depending on the person, this could mean a little sweat, or a constant stream of self-cooling power. In either scenario, however, these nighttime sweats can leave you thirsty and dehydrated in the morning.
While bodies were meant to sweat when necessary, doing so in a constant setting will deprive the body of its natural liquid concentration. Over time, or a simple severe night can cause headaches, slower body functions, and thirsty skin that’s just waiting for a large glass of water. Before going to bed in a warm environment, or after waking up in a sweat, be sure to drink plenty of water. Other hydrating liquids will work as well, such as caffeine and sugar-free substances. However, water is the quickest, most efficient way to pump your body full of body healthy moisture.
Sleeping while too warm will also decrease the amount of sleep you are able to get, as well as the quality. Because it causes you to be too warm for the entirety of the night, you will wake up in order to cool off or find a chillier position. This often happens subconsciously, only increasing the level of tiredness we feel the next day. Additionally, we can often fully wake during this time, making it much harder to fall back asleep.
While it might mean a slightly higher energy bill, staying cool (and humidity-free) is a quick fix for improving sleep quality. Set the thermostat down a few notches before heading to bed, or invest in fans to keep air flowing. Products such as cooling pillows or moisture wicking pajamas can also help reduce the amount of heat you feel throughout the night. By combining these methods, you can create an easier sleeping environment that better promotes rest on a nightly basis.