Summer is here and the weather is starting to heat up! While we all enjoy a nice summer day by hitting the pool or going to the park, we do not enjoy the high temperature in the bedroom! But, what is the ideal temperature? What kind of materials can go into a mattress to help reduce the heat? All this, and more, will be covered in this blog post.
All of us have experienced trying to sleep when it is too hot. You throw off covers, turn on fans, try to flip the pillow over to get the “cool” side, or even try and get a cool wash cloth to fight it. That does not even include when things are too cold in the bedroom. The best way to combat this is to wear the right sleep wear and set the temperature at the right settings. Generally speaking, the bedroom should be kept between 60-67 degrees in order to get ideal sleep. Over and below that and you risk not hitting REM sleep and getting the full restoration that you need. But, hitting the right number on the thermostat isn't the only thing to consider. Choosing the right sleep wear can also help in getting a full night's rest.
Loose, comfortable clothes are the first step in choosing the right sleep wear. Too tight, or uncomfortable clothing won't let you get to sleep. In addition, the type of fabric is important. Focus on breathable fabrics such as cotton that can naturally regulate your body temperature. In addition, during the hotter months of the year, picking fabric with moisture wicking properties like bamboo can also help in keeping you cooler at night. And, if you are really hot at night, you might consider sleeping au naturel. Research has shown that sleeping too hot at night will cause your body to not produce enough melatonin. Sleeping in the nude will prevent overheating and help you reach deeper sleep. The right temperature and the right clothes will help, but also choosing a mattress that fits your sleep needs is also important.
When choosing a mattress, you want something that will follow your specific sleep needs. This includes how you sleep (back, side, etc.) and getting the proper support. However, don't make the mistake of also choosing a mattress based on your specific temperature needs. It does not matter what a manufacturer does or what materials are used. All foam mattresses are going to always be hotter than a spring mattress and/or hybrid. Foam mattresses do not allow airflow. The dense, heavy duty foams built to last in these mattresses do not allow for it. A spring mattress stays cooler because springs allow airflow which help to keep things cooler at night. It is also important to consider the types of materials used in the mattress and their heat properties.
Memory foam is being used more and more. You will find it in shoes, car seats, couches, pillows, and yes, inside your mattress. Memory foam uses your body heat to conform to your body. This allows it to reduce pressure points and provides the nice, cushion feel that we enjoy. However, once it has conformed to your body, the memory foam will shoot the heat right back up to you. Therefore, the longer you lay on it, the hotter it becomes. In order to combat this, most companies have started adding gel into the production process. The gel helps to hold on to the heat and prevent it from coming back up to you. If you like the memory foam feel but hate the heat, make sure it is a gel infused memory foam. There is also the option of Latex foam. Latex has the same pressure relieving properties of memory foam; however, it does not use body heat to conform to you. Therefore, it will stay cooler than standard memory foam as well. Knowing the type of foam in your mattress is important, but it is also important to know the type of fabric on the mattress.
For the most part, the same type of fabrics you want in your sleep wear should also be used for the fabric of your mattress. Cotton and bamboo are great at being breathable and helping keep things cool. There are also moisture wicking fabrics placed in the fabric to wisk away heat at night. But, a lot of time mattresses can use even more proactive materials too. Phase change fabric is designed to actively fight to keep the temperature the same. If things are too hot, they hold on to the heat. If things are too cool, it lets some of the heat up. Due to the fact that most bedrooms are kept cooler, this type of fabric will fight to keep things cool at night for you. Where moisture wicking fabrics are reactive, phase change fabric is proactive in keeping things nice and cool. In addition, there are some materials added to fabrics that provide a cool to the touch feel. These help to start things cool and keep them that way throughout the night.
Hitting the ideal temperature is essential for sleep. Sleeping too hot or too cold will cause your REM cycle to suffer and your overall sleep benefits to drop. So, make sure that the thermostat is right, you are dressed for success, and find a mattress that fits your support, comfort, and temperature needs and your summer will be a rousing success!