How To Stay Cool at Night: A Hot Sleeper's Guide

How To Stay Cool at Night: A Hot Sleeper's Guide

Temperature is very important for getting good sleep. Exposure to hot or cold temperatures can affect rapid eye movement (REM) and slow-wave sleep. 

As you begin falling asleep, your body temperature naturally cools down. This natural thermoregulation is what helps you fall and stay asleep.

Some people need more than a decrease in their natural body temperature to rest at night. No matter how hard they try, these people feel hot when they go to bed. They toss and turn and maybe even experience night sweats. Even turning on the AC or a fan doesn’t seem to cool them down.

If you are one of these hot sleepers and need help staying cool at night, you’ve come to the right place. This article will tell you how to keep cool at night so you can get a refreshing night's sleep, and how the SONU Sleep System can get you your best sleep yet.

How Does Staying Cool Help You Sleep?

Before clocks, humans would rise at dawn and go to bed as soon as it got dark, influencing circadian rhythm. The circadian rhythm is the 24-hour cycle that the body goes through. Humans experience various behavioral and physical changes during those 24 hours.

The circadian rhythm is controlled by the suprachiasmatic nucleus — the part of the brain that is influenced by factors like temperature, light and dark, and physical movement. Naturally, body temperature begins to drop as day transitions into night. Melatonin is released, and the body’s temperature continues to fall, causing people to feel drowsy and ready to sleep.

Blood flows to the extremities when people sleep through a process known as vasodilation, causing the hands and feet to feel warm. If someone’s circadian clock has been altered by a dramatic change in their day, like a workout later in the day or the consumption of caffeine after noon, they may feel hot and have trouble sleeping.

If you are someone who consistently feels hot at night, you can readjust and get your circadian rhythm back in order. 

Try these tips to help you get a nice, cool night's sleep. 

1. Lower the Room Temperature

This is probably the most obvious tip on this list. Before trying anything else, lower the temperature in the bedroom or home to 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18.3 degrees Celsius). This is the optimal temperature for reducing body heat to induce sound sleep. 

When you sleep, your body drops an additional 1 to 2 degrees Fahrenheit. Reducing your body temperature can help you fall asleep faster and prevent insomnia. Sleeping cool can even boost your metabolism

Researchers found that when the body is exposed to even a mild amount of cold, the body produces more brown fat, which usually uses energy to create heat. Some participants in the research study had their brown fat increase by 42%, and their metabolic activity rose an astonishing 10%. 

Sleeping cool doesn’t just help you sleep better. It can help you lose weight.

2. Keep a Fan Nearby

Operating a fan in addition to the air conditioning is one way many people stay cool at night. Fans circulate air, which helps create a breezy sleep environment. Fans are also a source of white noise, which can help people fall asleep quickly.

Luckily, there is a wide option of fans for you to choose from. Whether it’s a small, personal fan on your bedside table or a taller, oscillating one at the foot of the bed, a fan is available to suit your taste.

3. Exercise Early

If you work out regularly and sleep hot, the problem could be the time of day you exercise. Working out late in the evening and at night can raise your body temperature, making it hard to fall asleep or cool down. 

Exercising earlier in the day can help you sleep better at night. Plus, you don’t run the risk of overheating before you go to bed. 

Some exercises can help you cool down after a workout or just relax. Some examples of these exercises are:

  • Light walking
  • Child’s pose
  • Bringing knees to the chest
  • Lunges
  • Hamstring stretch
  • Abdominal stretch

What’s most important is that you avoid aerobic exercise close to bedtime.

4. Take a Bath

Taking a relaxing, warm bath before bedtime might not be the first thing to come to mind when trying to cool down, but it’s a perfect tactic. 

Taking a warm bath will temporarily raise your body temperature. Once you get out of the tub, your body temperature will drop, helping you feel cooler. 

A bath will also help reduce anxiety, a common sleep disturbance.

On the flip side, you could also take a cool shower before bed to help lower your temperature. This one is self-explanatory!

5. Change Your Bedding

As winter transitions into spring, it’s a good idea to trade those warm flannel sheets for some made of cotton or silk. Heat-wicking fabrics like 100% cotton help people fall asleep faster, providing just enough coverage for warm nights. 

Changing bedspreads is also helpful for staying cool at night. Bedspreads made of cotton or linen are best, as they help keep sleepers from overheating. Cotton and linen are both known for their moisture-wicking ability.

All of SONU’s sleep systems come with a set of cooling cotton sheets that fit the beds’ Comfort Channels. These are completely original, offering sleepers the option of submerging their arms and shoulders into the SONU mattresses.

6. Buy a Cooling Mattress and Pillows

Your mattress matters. Some mattress material, like memory foam, is known for trapping heat against the body. Swap out your old memory foam mattress for one made of gel, latex, or another innovative material like serene foam.

If you still prefer the feeling of memory foam but need to cool down, you’re in luck. SONU’s Sleep System includes a mattress made of multiple layers of high-quality foam topped with Serene foam. Serene foam contains tons of air capsules that allow air to flow seamlessly through the mattress and deliver a cooling sleep experience.

Waterbeds are still on the market! These beds are filled with water capsules and can be heated or cooled. If you feel nostalgic and don’t mind the extra care waterbeds require, invest in one to help you sleep cool.

The benefits of cooling mattresses include:

  • Zero heat retention
  • Reduced night sweats
  • Boosted metabolism 
  • Better sleep quality

Cooling pillows help lower your head temperature, which helps induce slow-wave sleep. You’ll want a pillow with airflow in mind, so avoid those strictly made of memory foam. Instead, opt for pillows that are gel-infused or made of ventilated foam, like serene foam.

If you can’t afford to change your mattress, invest in a mattress topper made of gel or other cooling material. And if you aren’t ready to toss your old pillows, throw your pillowcases into the freezer each day and put them on your pillows at bedtime. 

7. Create a Bedtime Ritual

Many people have fast-paced lifestyles that lead to them experiencing increases in anxiety and body temperature. Take time out each evening to get ready for bed; you can decrease stress, lower body temperature, and promote a positive mindset. 

If you aren’t sure how to create a bedtime ritual, here is some helpful advice.

  • Create boundaries. Leave work at work — checking email after work hours might be tempting, but you’d be much better off waiting until the next business day. 
  • Turn off all electronic devices. An hour or two before bedtime, turn off the television, your phone, or any other devices that connect you to social media, the news, or other events online. Stimulation from the blue light from phone screens can keep people up at night.
  • Read a book. Reading can be soothing. Curling up with a book can help calm your mind and make you tired enough to fall asleep.
  • Drink decaffeinated tea. Teas made of lemon balm, lavender, and valerian root can help people rest.

8. Avoid Alcohol and Caffeine

Drinking caffeine can temporarily raise your body temperature and elevate your heart rate. Drinking too much alcohol can lead to a hangover, which raises body temperature. Both of these stimulants can disrupt sleep patterns.

Many people need caffeine to help them stay alert during the day. However, consuming caffeine too late in the day can cause sleep issues. If you get your caffeine from coffee, it can cause the body to create heat.

The effects of caffeine can last for several hours after consumption.

Although alcohol can make you feel sleepy and help you fall asleep faster, it does not help you get better sleep. Alcohol disrupts rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and slow-wave sleep. 

When REM sleep is disturbed, you may feel dizzy, unable to concentrate or cause you to wake up in the middle of the night. When drinking alcohol, blood vessels also expand and temporarily cause an increase in body heat.

9. Keep Ice Nearby

When all else fails, keeping an ice pack or a glass of ice water on your bedside stand can help you keep cool. You can apply ice packs to different parts of the body for thermoregulation. 

Freezing gel packs commonly used for injuries and sleeping with them can also help.

Sips of ice water throughout the night can help decrease your body temperature. Dehydration is an issue for many people with sleep problems, so keeping the body hydrated can help you rest.

Another way to use ice is to put ice water into a water bottle or bag, then wrap it with a towel to protect your bedding from getting wet. Place the bottle or bag near your face or neck to reap the benefits. 


If you sleep hot and need relief, try these tips to help you cool down any time of year, not just in the warmer months.

Regulating your body temperature is a key component of sleeping well. Maintaining circadian rhythm is critical for falling asleep comfortably. As you can see, making even the slightest change to your day can throw you for a loop.

A mattress like SONU’s can not only help you cool down but deliver your body some of the best sleep you’ve ever gotten. If you’re a hot sleeper eager to try the SONU Sleep System, don’t hesitate another second! 

Order your SONU Sleep System today and get acquainted with the cooling comfort of serene foam. A better sleep experience is just one click away. 


Effects of thermal environment on sleep and circadian rhythm | NLM

How to Sleep When It's Too Hot Outside | Sleep Foundation

8 secrets to a good night's sleep | Harvard Health

The Best Temperature for Sleep: Advice & Tips | Sleep Foundation

Cool Temperature Alters Human Fat and Metabolism | National Institutes of Health (NIH)

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