It's no secret that getting a good night's sleep plays a major role in our overall well-being. Getting quality sleep affects our physical health, mental health, and our quality of life. Getting a good night's sleep isn't only about logging the hours that you're in bed dozing in and out of dreams. The quality of the sleep you're getting is really important too.
Waking up throughout the night, experiencing nightmares, and overheating are commonly overlooked issues, but they actually greatly diminish the benefits that we should be receiving from sleep.
Getting a good night's sleep is important.
Getting good sleep is about much more than simply the joy we experience from cozying up in our soft and fluffy bed after a long day. Here are just a few of the key benefits of getting proper sleep.
Higher energy levels
Sleeping well at night directly impacts energy levels for the next day. We know that your days can be long and busy; you should be waking up feeling strong and energized, ready for whatever the world may have in store for you.
Improved brain function
Productivity, concentration, focus, and general cognition are all improved when we have had adequate sleep. (Bye bye, brain farts).
Higher emotional intelligence
Being well-rested helps us manage our emotions, enhancing our emotional self-control. Adequate sleep can also affect our empathy and adaptability, improving our behavior in social interactions.
People who have had a good sleep will generally consume fewer calories throughout the day than individuals who have slept less or not as well. Poor sleep is also strongly linked to higher body weight.
Improved athletic abilities and performance
Getting a good night's rest enhances all aspects of athletic ability; strength, power, and endurance are all improved.
Stronger immune system
Sleep is your body's time to rebuild itself after the day. Getting proper rest each night gives our body the time it needs to repair itself and fight off disease.
Have you ever heard the saying "sleep is the best medicine?" We really think it might be. But there are things that can get in the way of us having the restful sleep that we deserve, like being too hot at night.
Staying cool at night plays a big role in our quality of sleep.
Not only is it extremely unpleasant to wake up hot and sweaty, it's also unhealthy. Night sweats and overheating disrupt our sleep cycle and can interfere with having a healthy REM cycle. Staying cool at night helps us sleep through the night, keep our sheets cleaner, and wake up feeling fresh each morning. A cooler body temperature also stimulates the release of melatonin, our body's natural chemical that induces and regulates sleep.
Being too hot at night means we'll likely also be sweating. Even though you may already be a morning shower kind of person, that shower should be a fresh pick me up; not a necessity to rinse off sweat from the night before. Sweating during the night also means that your sheets are absorbing this moisture, gradually building up night after night.
Even if you're washing your sheets once a week (which you definitely should be doing, by the way), it's unsanitary to have sweat-soaked sheets. You wouldn't re-wear your workout clothes more than once, would you? Of course not. No one reaches for a workout top that they got sweaty in the day before. So then why are so many people ok with hopping into a bed that was sweaty the night before?
Knowing you're snuggling up between sheets that have been sweaty the night before kind of ruins the magic of crawling into bed, doesn't it? Even if you have magical sheets that clean themselves, we want to avoid sweating at all costs.
We've all been there.
It's nothing to be shy about, we've all been there. At one point or another we've all woken up a little damp during the night. Let's tackle this taboo subject and get straight to how we can stay cool as a cucumber, all night, every night.
Take a shower before bed
- Showering at night will lower your body temperature, helping your body start off cooler as you climb into bed.
- Cold showers work best, but a warm shower will work too. (How will a warm shower still work? Glad you asked. When you hop out of a warm shower, your skin will immediately be greeted by the cooler outside air, leaving you feeling colder. Think of the fresh crisp feeling you experience when getting out of the shower, it's always a little chilly, isn't it?).
- Avoid taking a hot, or at least a long and hot, shower right before bed. This will raise your body's internal temperature. Furthermore, once you get in bed, the heat won't be able to keep leaving your body because you'll be between the sheets. Unless your sheets are breathable, that is.
Run the air conditioner (if you have one)
- If you're lucky enough to have an air conditioner, keep it running throughout the night.
- Some people will run it during the day and then turn it off at night thinking that the house has already been cooled down. But after a few hours and if your bedroom is at the top of the house, your bedroom is likely to start warming up again and you may wake up hot later in the night.
- Keep in mind that our body's ideal sleep temperature is between 60 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
Keep the blinds closed during the day
- If it's a hot or sunny day, keep the blinds closed to prevent the sun from cooking up your bedroom.
- This trick makes a bigger difference than we may think. Keeping curtains drawn or the blinds down can drastically affect the temperature of a room.
Exercise at least a few hours before bed
- Your body takes time to cool down after doing any intense or taxing exercise.
- Try to schedule your workouts earlier in the day or at least a few hours before you plan on going to sleep. This will help give your body enough time to return to its resting temperature before you get into bed.
Stop eating a few hours earlier
- When we eat food, our body supplies energy in order to digest it; this is why we may feel warmer after eating.
- Animal proteins, dairy, and nuts take the longest for our bodies to process, meaning we may feel warmer for longer. Try to avoid these food groups at least a few hours before hitting the hay.
- Digestion is also a busy process for our bodies. When our digestive system is hard at work, it can make it difficult for us to properly relax and wind down before bed, hindering our ability to easily drift off to sleep.
Wear loose pajamas
- If any.
- Sleeping in a ~ state of nature ~ is actually ideal for allowing your body to self-regulate and stay cool.
- If sleeping naked is a little too risqué or just doesn't feel right for you, wear pajamas that are loose and roomy. Having fabric that hugs your more tightly will trap your own body's heat and make it difficult to stay cool.
- Pajamas made of a high-quality cotton will be the most breathable and will be able to absorb any dampness that may still happen.
- Definitely avoid any polyester or human-made fabrics as this material is water resistant. If your pajamas don't absorb any of the moisture, it means that your sweat will be trapped on your skin, leading to irritation and potentially acne.
- Investing in high quality linen or cotton sheets can be a game changer.
- Some sheets are created with special materials that actually have cooling properties, like silver ions. When natural silver is woven into fabric, it allows the sheet to be thermoregulating, meaning you'll sleep at the perfect temperature all night long.
- Breathable sheets also mean that your skin will be healthier, helping to prevent acne or breakouts.
We want you to sleep well at night!
Getting a good sleep at night is just as important for our health as exercising and having a proper diet. Staying cool at night will help you get to sleep and stay asleep. We hope these tips and tricks will help you get back to those blissful Zzz's.